The team behind the controversial Northern Supportive Recovery Centre for Women has gone forward with a new application to build their facility in the former Haldi elementary school.
Last month, Supreme Court Judge John Truscott overturned city council's December 2011 zoning amendment allowing the project to be be built on the Leslie Road site.
Truscott ruled the zoning change to accommodate 30-bed recovery facility was inconsistent with the city's official community plan and an OCP amendment was necessary if it were to proceed.
A new application to rezone the school from a rural residential to a special therapeutic community is currently before the city for review.
Centre spokesperson Dr. Michelle Sutter said following the judge's ruling - which rendered council's decision invalid and kept the city from issuing any building permits for the project - the recovery centre's board met to discuss their options.
"We felt we really need this facility and that this is our best option," Sutter said.
In a press release, the Northern Supportive Recovery Centre for Women board states the project is designed to bring "lifesaving health interventions" for those suffering from alcoholism and addiction to women and families in Prince George and northern B.C.
"Our community needs a safe and predictable environment where women and their families may embark on the healing journey of recovery and positive reconnection to the community," the release said.
One of the issues Sutter said has been addressed in the new application is the concern over the strain to the aquifer in the rural area.
"We're going to bring in our water so there's no concern that we will deplete the water supply for residents," she said.
Another less technical issue the proponents are working to address is clearing up any misunderstandings or misinformation about what the facility is there to do.
"I believe [the residents] don't fully understand that this is not a centre where people will be using drugs or will be withdrawing from drugs or alcohol... This is a centre for people who have already stopped their substance abuse to come in order to recover and learn how to live and be part of a community without the use of any substances," Sutter said.
Following the legal challenge, brought about by Leslie Road resident Janice Sevin, Sutter said the relationship with surrounding residents is varied.
"There are still neighbours who have questions or oppose the project, but certainly there's a good number of neighbours and citizens in the community who are strongly supportive," she said.
The board is still planning how they will co-ordinate educational efforts to ensure residents have full information about the project, Sutter added.
Sevin's lawyer Roy Stewart said he has not seen the new application and could not comment on any potential legal hurdles the proponents could face.