No decision has been reached following BC Housing’s first court appearance to be added as a respondent in a pending lawsuit against Parksville’s 222 Corfield supportive housing project.
“BC Housing cannot comment on the specifics of the case as it is before the court which has not yet made a decision,” read an email from BC Housing. “We made an application to join the case as a respondent to ensure that the project can move forward to provide 52 new homes, as well as a cold weather shelter, for people in Parksville who are experiencing homelessness, including seniors and people with disabilities.”
A petition, by Ron Chiovetti, Adam Fras, Melanie Van Der Stock and others, was filed on Aug. 3 and calls for the city’s zoning bylaw for the supportive housing site to be “quashed” based on alleged issues with the rezoning process.
Just when petitioners thought their months-long campaign to restart the approval process for the project was about to see success, they were stopped from taking the final steps to achieve their goal, said one of the petitioners.
Petitioner Melanie Van Der Stock said a consent order was written up that would have essentially quashed and set aside the city’s Zoning and Development Bylaw, 2018, N0.2000.116, which proposes to facilitate supportive housing facility with a shelter and food preparation component.
Van Der Stock said she believes if the consent order was filed in court, the entire project would have to go back to a public hearing process—which is what the petitioners ultimately set out for, she said. The consent order was signed by the petitioner’s lawyer and the City of Parksville’s lawyer but did not receive a signature from the court registry, therefore the incomplete document could not be filed.
The application from BC Housing and the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation reads that the agencies should be respondents due to their “direct involvement” in the project, as the entity funding and managing the project, and the registered lease holder on the 222 Corfield Lands.
BC Housing said the manufacturers are working on the modular units and site work has begun. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2019.
The city’s lawyer, Sukhbir Manhas, said he could not comment on the lawsuit and city staff have yet to respond to the NEWS’ request for an interview.