The Dryden Observer

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KDSB seeks zoning change at former Pinewood site

By Michael Christianson

Council has accepted a proposed request from KDSB CAO Henry Wall and Planning Technician Tara Rickaby for amendment of city of Dryden Zoning By-Law for the former Pinewood School Property at 91 Rourke Ave.

The proposed Dryden Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound (UIHB) will be comprised of 15 family units and on-site family resources such as day care. The proposed amendment pertains to reduce the required frontage from 120 metres (8m per unit) to 100 metres (6.7 meters per unit), this would be a sight specific exception to the zoning by-law. Chief Building Offical Bob Cunningham was on hand at the Council Meeting to approve the proposal saying that it fits in with the City’s official plan.

“Really good to see council accepting the application today, it’s a very positive step; we’ve got a few more steps to go through to get the zoning amendment done,” said Wall. “Certainly in respect to the project we see this having a huge impact on the families of this community and also I think it’s going to pave the future towards how we deliver social assistance and to how we partner with agencies in the community with the sole goal of supporting families to break the cycle of poverty, this is one way, using a holistic wrap around service to actually lift families our of poverty and in this particular case the project is geared to single moms and to ensure that after they graduate from the program they have a career they can start.”

In order to ensure that the immediate neighbours were given project information the KDSB consulted one on one in a door to door visit with the neighbourhood on July 20. 64 houses were canvassed from Arthur St. to Colonization Ave and on Rourke Ave. around the former school. Of the 64, 23 were spoken to directly and rest were provided with a flyer. Of those 23, 20 were supportive and three were not.

“We feel it’s going to change the neighbourhood in a very positive way, it’s very compatible with what’s there already, we’re bringing families with children into it,” said Wall. “What a better way to take an existing school that was all about educating and preparing children for the future, now it’s adults and we’re preparing them for the future. We think it’s quite good we can take an existing public asset and use it to continue to improve lives and make a better future for these women.”

Wall said that this is a pilot project and he hopes it is just the start of similar projects in the city. The plan is to have the facility open by Spring 2018.

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