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Town of St. Paul approves first reading of rezoning of former group home property to Institutional District

A public hearing is scheduled to take place on April 22 at 7:30 p.m. to get public input on the potential rezoning to an Institutional District.

ST. PAUL - The developer of a property located near several industrial properties in St. Paul is looking to rezone an area with a house and secondary building from Controlled Urban Development District (CUD) to Institutional District (I). 

Town of St. Paul council approved first reading of the rezoning, which then allows for a public hearing to be scheduled and residents can offer feedback on the potential rezoning. The property in question was formerly used as a group home, along with a small school area on site. It is located at 5509-46 Street.

During the March 25 regular Town of St. Paul council meeting, Aline Brousseau, Director of Planning and Development, presented the item, offering some background on the property.

The application was received complete on March 19, said Brousseau.

"The property owner has an agent acting on their behalf," she added. The property does not have any residentially zoned properties adjacent to it and the closest residential district is about 250 metres away, to the southeast, although walking to the property from the nearest residential area would be about 400 metres.

"If the rezoning is granted, uses listed as either permitted use or discretionary use within the Institutional District can be applied for. Although, keeping in mind development permits that fall into the category of discretionary uses are decided by MPC (Municipal Planning Commission). If approved, there is a public input (appeal) process attached to the development permit process," heard council.

Because the property was once used as a group home and was zoned accordingly under a previous Land Use Bylaw, the current rezoning is being done to "reinstate a use that was previously used before its closure of more than six months and/or applying for a new supportive living facility," according to information presented by Brousseau.

The Institutional District was chosen after the developer looked at the uses outlined in the Land Use Bylaw, reads the information presented.

According to a redacted letter included in the meeting agenda package, the proposed project for the property would "contribute positively to the community and local economy."

The letter further states, "The proposed group home or treatment centre is designed to provide comprehensive support services, including counselling, therapy, vocational training, and life skills development. By offering a nurturing and structured environment, we aim to empower individuals to overcome their challenges, reintegrate into society, and lead fulfilling lives."

The project would also create jobs in the healthcare and social services sectors, reads the letter. The operation would run on a 24/7 basis and adequate staff would be on site to maintain quality of service, which includes two employees per shift and a total of 12 employees.


Offering history on the property, Brousseau noted that a development permit was approved in June 2004 for a group home. "Land Use Bylaw #1029 was in effect at that time."

According to the past LUB, a group home was defined as "a development consisting of the use of a dwelling as a facility which is authorized, licensed or certified by a public authority to provide room and board for foster children or disabled persons, or for persons with physical, mental, social, or behavioural problems and which may be for the personal rehabilitation of its residents either through self-help or professional care, guidance or supervision," reads information presented by Brousseau. "The residential character of the development shall be primary with the occupants living together as a single housekeeping group and using cooking facilities shared in common. This does not include drug or alcohol addiction treatment centres."

A group home that fits this previous definition could be continued at this site if the use has not been discontinued for six months or more. However, the property has not been used as a group home over the past six months and in the current LUB "group home" is not a specific use. New uses were introduced to allow more flexibility, heard council.

During discussions, Brousseau noted that the developer had noted that the file was "time sensitive." The developer was not referred to by name during discussions or in the March 25 agenda package.

As recommended by administration, first reading of the rezoning bylaw was approved by council.

"The site appears to be suitable for the proposed use and off-site impacts can be mitigated using conditions during the development permit process," reads information presented to council. 

Notices will be sent out to nearby properties, which are mostly industrial to the west. To the north of the subject property is the Town of St. Paul boundary, and to the east is Garneau Lake and the St. Paul Soccer fields located on the other side of the lake. A Controlled Urban Development district is located to the south.

A public hearing is scheduled to take place on April 22 at 7:30 p.m. to get public input on the potential rezoning to an Institutional District.


Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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