The community, and women in need of shelter from the winter weather will learn on Dec. 5 whether the Municipality of North Cowichan will issue a temporary use permit to the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society to use a vacant School District 79 building as a winter weather women’s shelter.
Council made the decision at its Nov. 21 meeting to consult the public before making the call.
According to a media release, “the application and opportunity for input will be advertised in the local newspaper and on the municipality’s website (www.northcowichan.ca, ‘Events’).”
A staff report recommended notifying neighbours residing within 60 metres of the old concession building at 2003 University Way.
After years of trying to find a solution to the ongoing issue, the Cowichan Valley School District’s board of education has approved, in principle, the short-term lease of an 3,800-square-foot public building for a cold weather women’s shelter.
Other proposed locations for an emergency shelter for women, including the old school building on Cairnsmore and one at McAdam Park, have already been quashed by protest from neighbours.
According to the staff report, “The site is ideally located to services and day-time warming places (i.e. the library, coffee shops), some social services, as well as the RCMP station.”
The temporary use permit would allow CWAV to use the building as a women’s winter weather shelter, for a three-year period between Nov. 1 and Mar. 31 each year.
Funding for the shelter has been approved by BC Housing for this coming winter.
The proposed permit would see concerns of the neighbouring Wendy’s House play and discovery centre addressed.
“The draft temporary use permit application is structured around reconciling any conflict between these two uses,” said the report.