An appeal has been filed to stop the Parkside Inn from becoming supportive housing. A mixture of 19 people who live and own businesses in the area filed the appeal Tuesday, saying they are worried about a number of things including their personal safety and an increase in crime the new facility could bring.
One person says “there is still illegal stuff happening at the Inn. Windows have been broken at the Inn and they have them covered with plastic. It does not look good and it is not a deterrent to illegal activity.”
The city and the Canadian Mental Health Association have been working together to turn Parkside into 24-hour supportive housing since last fall when the city housed people in the motel over the winter months. CMHA is still waiting on council approval before it can move forward with the plan.
Crime Prevention Manager Karen Gariepy says she recently conducted a safety audit on the motel and surrounding area to see what could be added to make people feel safer.
“We look at the site in the daytime, nighttime and we also look at behaviours. We observe from a distance the types of behaviours that are occurring in the neighbourhood. At this point, we are not only working on Parkside but we’re also looking at the neighbourhood and what’s going on also.”
Another reason listed in the appeal package is a lack of public information. Some people around Parkside said they weren’t talked to about the plan.
One neighbour says, “CMHA or administration do not have a plan, nor have they presented the plan to the public. There is no neighbourhood impact plan in place.”
Gariepy says she’s spoken to 25 businesses around the motel and plans to continue to talk to members of the community as they go through the appeal process.
“We definitely want to bring the residents together and we want to discuss with the residents. We’ve talked to businesses and we’re looking at possibly conducting another meeting with just businesses… We’re kind of at a standstill until the hearing is done but we will still engage the community to see what’s happening.”
Gariepy says shes also beginning the process of recruiting for the neighbourhood advisory committee. The hearing is expected to take place sometime in the next three weeks.