Changing the definition of the type of facility allowed in the former Haldi Road elementary school is a minor housekeeping adjustment to the application, but it's one more hurdle in an already long process, according to one city councillor.
Coun. Brian Skakun expressed his frustration over the continued changes to the Northern Supportive Recovery Centre for Women application.
"I feel like we're just spinning our wheels," he said during Monday's council meeting, adding he would like to see the new application die on the floor and get the various stakeholders together to work with the city on an acceptable project.
"The Haldi residents have taken the city to court and won, they've gone through a great deal of stress. You have a proponent who is facing uncertainty here because this has gone on so long. There is no recovery centre that has been built because of this lengthy process," Skakun said.
Council ultimately approved a new second reading of the rezoning bylaw that would allow the proposed women's treatment centre on Leslie Road.
While Mayor Shari Green agreed that everyone would like to see the issue dealt with once and for all, she stressed that it was an application that comes before the city like all others and has to go through the same channels.
"I see this also as a clerical amendment rather than anything dramatic," added Coun. Cameron Stolz, noting he was looking forward to the debate that would arise out of the public consultation on the rezoning.
In the original bylaw, a community care facility, therapeutic, was defined as providing residential care for up to 30 people "recovering from a limited range of issues." These include alcoholism, substance abuse as well as anxiety, codependency, avoidance and recovery from grief and loss.
The newly reworded definition narrows the facility's use to "care or support primarily related to substance dependence, mental health issues, or both."
"The change to the bylaw is with the intention of having clearer consistency with the policy objectives being proposed through the OCP amendment and the rezoning application," said planner Deanna Wasnik. "We wanted the definition to better and best reflect that policy."
In their new application, recovery centre proponents are asking for site-specific zoning, leaving the rest of the area as rural residential but adding the use of a therapeutic community for 5877 Leslie Rd.
The OCP amendment, while it would allow affordable or special needs housing in all areas of the city, also includes a provision for site-specific land use at the former school "for the supportive residential care of up to 30 persons who receive care or support primarily related to substance dependence, mental health issues or both."
"So these two applications basically reflect and speak to one another," Wasnik said.
A public hearing on the rezoning should come before council during the March 4 meeting.