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City of Edmonton Hear the Charms of the New Boyle Street Community Services Building – Edmonton

Boyle Street Community Services plans to replace its current facility with a newly renovated building, but has faced opposition.

The organization plans to leave its home at 105 Avenue near Rogers Place and move two blocks north to a building at 101 Street and 107 A Avenue. The building has recently housed a laser tag facility.

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On Thursday, the City of Edmonton’s Subdivision and Development Appeals Board held hearings from 16 appellants.

Attorney Janice Agrios, representing the Chinatown and Area Business Association and the Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton, spoke first.

She said everyone recognizes the importance of Boyle Street’s work, and that the appeal is about land-use planning that complies with the zoning ordinance.

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Agrios pointed out that Katz Group, which owns Oilers Entertainment Group, which operates Rogers Place, is helping fund the project, describing it as a win-win.

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Boyle Street is thrilled with community donations for new home

However, she said considerations for Chinatown and the Macquarie area were not considered.

Agrios said the new building will be zoned for commercial use, not for the social services that Boyle Street provides to the city’s most vulnerable.

“This is a large 75,000-square-foot drop in the center where we program a variety of social services support and other services to provide to the homeless,” Agrios said.

“This does not provide ARP and is not a permitted use under the Zoning Act.”

According to Agrios, the way Boyle Street filed this application was carefully crafted to meet current zone restrictions.

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“To allow zoning on this site, you must fix ARP and rezone the site.

“If the City Council decides to make this site a social institution, center drop, or day shelter, the City Council has the power to allow this.”

Boyle Street executive director Jordan Reiniger said the application was for the same use as the current building.

Reiniger said this is a fairly routine problem when applying for development permits.

“There are a lot of fundamental misunderstandings about the work we do, and you can even hear filings from appellants who don’t really understand the intended use of the building,” Reiniger said.

“There’s a sense that Boyle Street is like a soup kitchen, or that all we do is go there to warm people up, but really, it’s the fundamental driving force behind what we do. is finding a way to engage in healing.”

Boyle Street serves over 12,000 people. About 2,900 people on waiting lists for housing in Edmonton are experiencing homelessness, according to the organization. That number has more than doubled since March 2019, according to BSCS.

Earlier this month, Reiniger said the organization’s current building is inaccessible and “literally crumbling,” so this new project couldn’t have come to fruition any better.

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Relocation of Boyle Street Community Services

He said the center provides access to that healing through indigenous activities and rituals.

“That’s the true driving force of what we do, and the facilities we build are built through relationships and connections with people to give them access to those services.”

As of Nov. 1, BSCS said it had reached 75% of its $28.5 million funding goal to date without government assistance.

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The Aboriginal name for the new Boyle Street Community Center is okimaw peyesew kamik. In English, Cree’s name translates to “King Thunderbird Center”.

Other members of the Central Edmonton community expressed concern about how this would affect their businesses.

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Further social disruptions such as vandalism, broken windows, loitering around buildings, desertion/urination, etc., threaten to damage businesses and private property.

Ed Lamb of the Alberta Funkyness Association said safety around the school has deteriorated over the past six years.

“We see many instances of vandalism, hate crimes, robberies and thefts.”

“These incidents are very disturbing to our teachers and volunteers. We are taking all precautions to prevent these encounters, but the proximity of the homeless makes it difficult for communities and schools to remain vulnerable,” Lam said.

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Edmonton’s Chinatown Business Association expresses concern over relocation of Boyle Street Shelter Building

McCauley Community League president Alice Kos told the board that this had become an “us” versus “them” issue, but said it wasn’t.

She hopes there will be more services for people who are homeless or struggling with addiction. She doesn’t want to see existing services pushed out of her ICE district.

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“I am very proud to live in a community that does its job, but access to food, shelter and support services should be in every community. Make your neighborhood generous.”

Cos said Boyle Street wasn’t the only vulnerable group. Through his tears, Coss said Chinatown was vulnerable and the Macquarie neighborhood was vulnerable.

Kos said the proposed development would have a negative impact on the area.

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Frog Lake Cree Nation Chief Gregory Desjarlais made the three-hour trip to Edmonton to help Boyle Street. He said this was an opportunity to work together and that people should embrace the new building.

“Many people who are homeless and using services are indigenous and I believe they cannot enter this court, so we need representation from leaders in the treaty areas,” said Desjarlais. I got

“I believe we need to find a solution and not try to withdraw projects that the city has already approved.”

Desjarlais said the scale of the facility was necessary due to the number of people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton, and the new center is part of the solution.

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The Board will make a written decision within 15 days of the hearing.

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Boyle Street Community Services in downtown Edmonton move into new homes

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

City of Edmonton Hear the Charms of the New Boyle Street Community Services Building – Edmonton

Source link City of Edmonton Hear the Charms of the New Boyle Street Community Services Building – Edmonton

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