Fort San Council says zoning bylaw real issue surrounding Pine Lodge relocation

The Pine Lodge Treatment Centre in Indian Head burned down last December.

With news that the Pine Lodge Treatment Centre, could be relocating to Fort San, both good and bad responses have surfaced.

The original site for the centre burned down in Indian Head this past December.

Fort San Council says it has been wrongly portrayed in the media as not wanting the treatment centre in the community.

In a news release issued Wednesday morning, Fort San Council says the real issue is they’re being made to make a decision regarding zoning bylaws.

In the release it says council is being asked to decide whether a substance abuse treatment centre fits into the definition of a “residential care facility” as defined in the Resort Village of Fort San Zoning Bylaw.

In the release it states; not all Substance Abuse Treatment Centres are the same. Some treatment centres are privately operated, some are government operated, some are for-profit, some are not-for-profit, some, like Pine Lodge, have patients who check themselves in voluntarily, while others have patients who are ordered into treatment by the courts.

Numerous Fort San residents who participated in a public inform ation conference call about a substance abuse treatment centre at the former PCTC site expressed public safety concerns about the possibility of patients from the latter type of facility causing disturbances in the village.

Council says it’s decision is also being prolonged because the owner of the former PCTC site has yet to provide Fort San Council with a written development plan for the site.

“This is not, nor has it ever been, about Pine Lodge. Pine Lodge is a great example of a well run substance abuse treatment centre but not all treatment centres are the same as Pine Lodge,” Mayor Steve Helfrick said in a release.

“I am deeply concerned by exchanges through the media that are resulting in inaccurate insinuations. I sincerely hope these tactics are not meant to pressure Council into making decisions without following our bylaws and proper protocol. Council must do our due diligence,” Councillor Brad Redman said in the same release.

(Files from Moises Canales) 

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