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Change to zoning bylaw helps new Riverside Mission project

212 and 218 River Street West have been rezoned to C2 high-density commercial district from M1 light industrial district
Riverside new home
Demolition crews remove debris and other building materials from 212 and 218 River Street West in preparation for the new Riverside Mission home. Photo by Jason G. Antonio

City council has just made it easier for Souls Harbour Rescue Mission to develop a 30-unit housing development and community service centre.

During the recent regular meeting, council gave three unanimous readings to a zoning bylaw amendment to rezone 212 and 218 River Street West to C2 high-density commercial district from M1 light industrial district to accommodate the project. 

A consultant provided city administration with a satisfactory environmental report about the sites, which prompted municipal officials to promote the amendment to the zoning bylaw, a council report explained. Along with public advertising, city hall sent notices to property owners within 90 metres of the area informing them of the potential change; no responses were received.

Souls Harbour Rescue Mission — which operates Riverside Mission — wants to redevelop both properties on River Street and construct a three-storey, 2,047.5-square metre (22,750-square-foot) building with 24 affordable housing units and six suites for addiction programming, according to previous information.

There will be a 5,000-square-foot food and distribution centre across the three floors, a new Riverside Mission, a full commercial kitchen, a dining space that converts into an emergency shelter, community offices, and board rooms. Other services will include employment training, high school and post-secondary education, and ministry opportunities.  

Construction is expected to start in 2022. 

The next regular council meeting is Monday, March 8.