Addictions centre receives approval to relocate to Regina
The Pine Lodge Addictions Treatment Centre has been approved to relocate to a new home in North Central Regina.
The organization said it purchased the former Soul’s Harbour Rescue Mission building located at 3535 8th Avenue, in a statement to CTV News.
“The Soul’s Harbour building was for sale and the area is zoned for our type of facility. The building provides a natural fit,” Brenda Behrns, an administrator at Pine Lodge, said in a statement. “In fact, some years ago it was home to a women’s addiction program.”
The facility is expected to open in June. The organization’s previous location in Indian Head suffered smoke damage in a December 2020 fire.
An attempt to move to a larger location on Echo Lake was met with local opposition.
The City of Regina said development and building permits were issued to Pine Lodge on Nov. 18, 2021. Since the project was already permitted within the zoning bylaws, consultation with local residents and stakeholders is not part of the approval process, the city said in a statement.
However, the Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) has appealed the development permit on the grounds of a misapplication of the zoning bylaw.
The proposed Pine Lodge facility would be located across the street from Sacred Heart Community School.
“We are discussing these perceived issues about our program and clients with RCSD representatives and we are confident that we can address their concerns to their satisfaction,” Behrns said.
Sean Chase, the director of education or Regina Catholic Schools, said the appeal was filed to give the school division more time to gather information about the project.
“It was really done in the spirit of simply a placeholder, to allow us to navigate some of the dates that are in place on behalf of the city, so we could engage into some productive dialogue with Pine Lodge, who have been doing their very best to get back to use with some of the nuance to the quite detailed operational questions that we’re asking,” Chase said, in an interview Friday.
Chase said the appeal process is also a chance for the school division to do its due diligence on behalf of students and families at Sacred Heart.
He added the division has been asking Pine Lodge “challenging questions,” but it has not yet determined what its preferred outcome for the situation is.
“Their staff who are available and their board members have been great in terms of getting back to us and helping us understand their process and collectively to understand, look and see what would work best for that location right across from an elementary school, in a different setting than perhaps what they occupied in the past,” Chase said.
Pine Lodge said its first concern is the safety of its clients, neighbours and staff.
“We believe this type of facility is an important one for Regina and one that will garner support, as we engage the surrounding community over coming weeks to explain our programs and our approach,” Behrns said.
Discussion about the project between the two parties is ongoing, but Chase said each conversation leads to a “greater degree of understanding.”
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