City sets aside 3 days in November to deal with Salvation Army proposal

Councillors should mark off three days in mid-November to consider public delegations and complex issues surrounding the Salvation Army's proposal for a 350-bed facility in Vanier, planning chair Coun. Jan Harder told committee colleagues Tuesday morning.

Planning committee will sit on Nov. 14, 15 and 17 if necessary to hear from public

Many residents are opposed to the scope of the Salvation Army's proposed facility for Montreal Road in Vanier. (Salvation Army)

Councillors should mark off three days in mid-November to consider public delegations and complex issues surrounding the Salvation Army's proposal for a 350-bed facility in Vanier, planning chair Coun. Jan Harder told committee colleagues Tuesday morning.

The city has set aside Nov. 14, 15 and 17 for the planning committee to consider the rezoning application and a proposal for a new $50-million Salvation Army facility on Montreal Road.

The Salvation Army plans to close its existing shelter on George Street in the ByWard Market and sell it to help pay for the new facility, which would be home to counseling, skills training and housing spaces.

There has been vocal opposition to the project —in particular, the scale and nature of the proposal — as well as people in support of the plan.

Harder is expecting a large crowd, which is why the meetings will take place in council chambers instead of the Champlain Room, the planning committee's usual meeting spot.

"People will want to be comfortable because people will want to sit and listen," Harder told reporters Tuesday. "I think we'll have people who will be engaged throughout the process."

The veteran councillor said she remembers the days when planning would routinely sit late into the evening, "and that's not good for us, too, because that makes it very difficult for us to stay focused, listen. And this is important to all these people that are engaged in it, no matter which side they're on."

Harder said she doesn't have a position on the project at this time.

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