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Laneway home proposed in Queen’s Park neighbourhood in New West

Council in brief
515 St. George rendering of laneway house facing Lancaster street
Rendering of a laneway home facing Lancaster Street, part of a proposal being considered by city council on Nov. 22.

A plan that includes the construction of a laneway house and the preservation of a heritage home in the Queen’s Park neighbourhood is heading to public hearing next week.

On Monday, Nov. 22, a public hearing will be held regarding a heritage revitalization agreement application for 515 St. George St. In exchange for restoring and protecting the 1912 house with a heritage designation bylaw, the owners would build a two-storey laneway house at the rear of the property.

According to a staff report, the property is currently zoned RS-6, so a laneway house isn’t currently permitted on the site. The report said the proposed laneway house would be a rental, and the property would not be stratified or subdivided.

Expanded hours for safe consumption site?

No overdose deaths have occurred at New Westminster’s overdose prevention site since it opened in April.

On Nov. 15, council received updates from the city’s COVID-19 task forces, including the vulnerable and at-risk populations task force. The report stated the health contact centre, which includes an overdose prevention site and other harm-reduction services, had recorded more than 700 visits (and no deaths) as of September.

“The centre operates from 3:30 to 10 p.m. and offers witnessed consumption, community referrals, drug testing and peer support,” said the update. “There is increasing evidence that illicit drug use and overdose are happening early in the day and when the centre is not operational.”

According to the report, the city is preparing a case for expanded operating hours for the centre, including the morning and early afternoon, and will be discussing the issue with Fraser Health.

The BC Coroners Service recently released a report stating 33 people died in New West of toxic illicit drug deaths in the first nine months of 2021. Across the province, 1,534 British Columbians died of illicit drug deaths from January to September.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus