The residential care facility being developed on Hillside Avenue, Summit at Quadra Village, has area residents concerned about adequate green space and the neighbourhood’s overall health.
Summit at Quadra Village, owned by the Capital Region Hospital District, will be a 320-unit facility for seniors who need complex and dementia care.
It will replace Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital.
“We would like the development to be approached with a maximization of green space in mind and different ways for that to be functional for the neighbourhood,” said Kelly Greenwell, executive director at Quadra Village Community Centre on Kings Street, near Summit at Quadra Village. “We want the neighbourhood to be given the license to basically come up with the ideas and hopefully their plans will incorporate those ideas into the project.”
Greenwell said ideas include a skateboard park, walking trails and an area for kids to play basketball and hockey.
The care facility will be built on a former school playing field.
Greenwell said when the school closed over 10 years ago, it became an informal dog park for the community, and not including green space into the design would be detrimental to nearby residents.
Maurice Rachwalski, Summit at Quadra Village project director and senior manager of the health and capital strategies division within the CRD, said the community has been included in such discussions, and they will continue to be.
“We’ve been very proactive in meeting with the Quadra Village Community Centre and folks from that community and sharing information on the project, identifying a process to move forward,” he said. “There’s going to be a much fuller, robust community involvement once we have more detail on the design.”
Greenwell said they hope to be going through the design process over the next 12 months after engaging with architects and design teams. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2016 with expected completion in 2018.
Greenwell said he hopes ideas from the neighbourhood are all taken seriously and not just cherry-picked.
“The current plan seems too focused on the facility itself, and not on the health of the neighbourhood,” he said.
While Rachwalski said there will be public consultations and opportunities for input, he added it is not technically part of their mandate to engage the community.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we get on with developing this project, because we know the folks who are in Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital deserve the best possible place and services for their care.”
He added the CRD is moving ahead with public consultations in order to be good neighbours.
“The process is very important. You want people to understand and feel engaged and participate.”