Haldi Road rezoning added to city agenda late; gets passed
An amended agenda greeted the public at Monday’s council meeting, with the new item added being the fourth and final reading for rezoning the old Haldi Lake school to build a women’s treatment centre.
The issue of putting the centre in the area has been a contentious one since it came to the attention of residents who were generally opposed to having the facility in the old primary school.
When the public hearing came before council, it took more than five hours for all those who attended, the majority of whom were opposed to the centre’s location, to speak.
A handful, also passionate, spoke in favour of the centre and its location.
Monday night representatives of the centre were on-hand, but residents who live in the Haldi Rd. area were scarce, though at that point in the process there was no opportunity for public presentations anyway.
“At this point I don’t think it matters if you’re for or against this,” said Coun. Brian Skakun. “But I think with an issue as controversial as this it would have been nice to have it on the agenda as soon as possible even though no submissions are accepted from the public.”
He added having it on the agenda would have shown transparency in government.
“I can appreciate the time lines involved but I think people in the Haldi area needed more time than they got.”
A question to city administration confirmed that, at the point of a fourth and final reading, no public notice needs to be given and no public input is accepted.
Likewise, it is not unusual for such items to come to the agenda at the last moment because of time constraints.
Coun. Garth Frizzell asked if the conditions, including disconnecting any wells on the property and dealing with some security issues, had been met.
He was informed they both were.
The fourth and final reading passed with both Coun. Murry Krause, Lyn Hall and Skakun opposing while Mayor Shari Green recused herself from the process due to her association with Marshall Smith, the centre’s executive director.
Smith volunteered for Green during her election campaign.