Retirement home event questioned

The future of events still remains uncertain at an Armstrong's Heaton Place

The future of events still remains uncertain at an Armstrong retirement residence.

No further action has occurred since late January when city council instructed administration to meet with Heaton Place over permitted uses.

“We will have a meeting with them,” said Coun. Paul Britton Wednesday.

In November, the city received a complaint from someone in the community about whether zoning at Heaton Place permitted events where products are sold.

At the time, Heaton Place confirmed events where fees are charged to businesses for tables or space, and the revenue raised by the fee was going towards a hearing loop for residents of the facility.

City administration instructed Heaton Place that the sale of goods through onsite vendors is not allowed within the current zoning.

Britton is hopeful the issue can be resolved but he wouldn’t speculate on the next steps.

“I’m not sure if we make text amendments to allow it in the residential zone,” he said.

Heaton Place officials have defended the event with vendors.

“Most important, is these events are for the benefit of our residents and are included in their social and recreational programming,” said manager Penny Christensen in a recent article.

“With all of these positive attributes, I am hoping the City of Armstrong can rewrite the zoning bylaw to be more specific and allow these events for the wellness of the citizens of Armstrong.”

The Armstrong Old Timers Activity Centre Association wants Heaton residents to get out into the broader community and support local services.

“We feel that amending the bylaw so Heaton Place can compete with non-profits would endanger the viability of volunteer groups that are the heart of the community,” said Nancy Visser, association treasurer, in a letter to council.

“We encourage council to stay the course and respectfully request that you do not amend the bylaw to accommodate private enterprise at the expense of your community oriented non-profit groups.”