Council open to reconsider application

  • Mar. 22, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Smithers council is willing to reconsider an earlier application by Northern Health to rezone six lots adjacent to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, but first it must meet with their Advisory Planning Commission.

They made the decision last Tuesday, following a request by Health Service Administrator Cormac Hikisch that they reconsider.  The earlier request was denied, citing an incomplete submission: council, at the time, didn’t feel enough information was provided to make an informed decision, but were unwilling to change the zone if it was solely for monetary savings.

It was unfortunate, Hikisch wrote in a statement to council, who hoped by bringing more information to the table council would reconsider the request. Northern Health doesn’t intend to sell those lots, neither do they intend on using them as the residential lots as they’re currently zoned. Instead, they’re holding the properties until such a time as Northern Health may have a need to expand the hospital, Hikisch wrote.

In the meantime, they’ve been approached by the Groundbreakers Collective to utilize the lots as a community garden, which is in keeping with Northern Health’s mandate to promote eating healthy, Hikisch wrote.

“The BVDH demonstration garden is intended to showcase, teach, and encourage urban agricultural best practices for community members as well as provide a aesthetic and inspiring space for patients, staff, medical staff, visitors and community members at the hospital,” Hikisch wrote.

By referring it to the APC it gives Hikisch and committee members, which includes Councillor Frank Wray, the chance to discuss the project in full before making a recommendation to council.