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Council rejects rezoning for transitional housing despite supportive comments

After a lengthy public hearing on February 12, the Town of St. Paul council made the decision to defeat the second reading of a proposed bylaw aimed at rezoning a property for transitional housing, effectively halting the project.

The proposed rezoning of a property located at 5130 45 Avenue from residential to institutional faced opposition from many residents during the public hearing. Concerns about potential disruptions to the neighborhood were raised, including increased traffic and impacts on property values.

A local real estate agent, Darryl Poirier, expressed his apprehension, highlighting the lack of communication regarding the project and its potential negative effects on the area. He stated, “I can tell you, it’s going to hurt that area.”

Similarly, Monique Jaman and Nathan Rosychuk voiced concerns about the location and its compatibility with the community. Jaman noted, “I’m not sure how many staff would be on site, but there would likely be an increase in traffic in the area.”

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Jason Kalynchuk presented a petition opposing the rezoning, emphasizing the stress and anxiety the situation has caused among residents, particularly families with young children who play outdoors in the neighborhood. He said, “We are safe, and our children are safe.”

However, Hinano Rosa, the executive director of the Mannawanis Native Friendship Centre, advocated for the project, explaining its importance in supporting individuals on their recovery journey. He emphasized, “I hear them loud and clear,” and stressed the center’s commitment to only housing low-risk individuals.

Despite some supportive comments, including those from Rosa, the council unanimously voted against the second reading of the rezoning bylaw. Councilor Nathan Taylor emphasized the need for further discussion and exploration of alternative locations for transitional housing in St. Paul, stating, “I think tonight needs to be the beginning of the process.”

Mayor Maureen Miller hoped the community could find a suitable location for the project and continue to support transitional housing. For more information and updates, residents are encouraged to stay engaged with the community and council proceedings.

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