No kidding around with View Royal shelter

Resident wonders where his choice was in putting shelter in former corrections facility

Re: Choices shelter to operate to spring 2017 (Gazette, July 13)

I am a resident who lives nearby and unfortunately appear to have become a lone wolf opposing the extension of this shelter beyond the initial notion of it being a temporary fix. Government has a responsibility for the homeless situation and that remedy must occur immediately.

Living nearby, I wish to point out that when this idea came to light the residents were not consulted and the Town of View Royal said they had no choice, as the property is owned by the province.

What has now been made public is Mayor David Screech saying “we won’t consider another (extension) until they put in a proper zoning application.” Are you kidding me? He has publicly said this facility is not operating properly within the zoning by-law.

Try cutting down a tree without a permit, or leaving an extra bag of garbage out for collection, or parking without a resident permit. The Town bylaw enforcement staff takes action and cuts you no slack. Why should they, as they need to impartially enforce the bylaws. But why not in this situation?

Another issue for the mayor and council in the article is that the Town receives a $150,000 grant in lieu of taxes for that property from the province. Are you kidding me? What about us nearby residents who have had their livelihood impacted, as a former youth jail is now converted to a residence? What are we granted?

This facility was a custody centre and has the potential to serve as something suitable within the current purpose-zoned designation within the community plan.

When this initiative began the mayor was quoted as saying he supported this as a temporary measure. Are you kidding me? We now see that the true intent is to encourage it being rezoned and give the public an opportunity to weigh in on its future use. And if the residents are opposed?

Finally, there’s the comment that “Our Place hosts community meetings.” Unfortunately for us neighbours who are apparently being consulted, the time of day in which those meetings are held is when most of us are at work in order to earn a wage, live in peace, and follow the bylaws imposed upon us while loyally paying our municipal taxes. No kidding!

Len Meilleur

View Royal