Petition opposes Dignity Village proposal

Concerns raised over property crime and rural location

This vacant property on Valley Road is the suggested location for a Dignity Village-type encampment.

More than 100 people have signed a petition opposing a proposed transitional homeless village on Valley Road, according to Rob Mrcela, the area resident who gathered the signatures.

The petition expresses concerns about property crime and the rural location of the proposal.

“There are significant concerns with other such ‘tent villages’ that exist in Abbotsford already,” the petition reads. “Problems include increased crime, open drug use and dealing, violence, garbage and hazardous bio-waste from used drug paraphernalia.”

Mrcela said 141 people signed the petition within the last month. He dropped it off at city hall on Friday.

The petition urges the city to adopt other measures to house its homeless population.

“Supportive housing is an evidence-based solution to homelessness, tent villages are not evidence-based,” it states. The petition says the camp would lead to longer emergency response and make it more difficult to homeless residents to access services.

“An urban problem cannot be fixed with a rural solution,” it reads.

Mrcela, says he lives within a half a kilometre of the proposed site of the village which would be located at 33725 Valley Rd.

“It’s not a good idea,” he said. “This population is going to be basically stranded out there.”

Mrcela said he would oppose the plan, even if the dignity village was not going to be located nearby. “We feel the city is basically pushing them out of sight, out of mind.”

The privately owned site, located at 33725 Valley Rd. off the Abbotsford-Mission Highway, has been proposed for a homeless village by the Abbotsford Dignitarian Society and has been dubbed the “Abby Digs.”

One acre is proposed for the village’s first phase of development.

The society received $10,000 from the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA), which came out opposed to a supportive housing project that was rejected, after a tied vote, by council earlier this year.

For the housing component of the project to move forward, the city would have to amend the official community plan (OCP) to designate a portion of the subject property as a temporary residential use permit area.

That would allow the organization to develop up to 40 sleeping cabins; a communal laundry, kitchen and bathroom structure; and a caretaker/administrative building. The proposal also includes an area for up to five tent sites to be used as short-term emergency shelters.

The issue will go to council at an upcoming meeting, but no date has yet been set.

Just Posted

Elementary b-ball teams receive surprise game visit from ACSS Totems

Two grade 5 co-ed basketball teams were cheered on by players from the highschool Totems team.

Betty Gilbert b-ball boys defeat HD Stafford 38-28

Betty Gilbert’s grade 6 boys opened basketball season with a win against HD Stafford Tuesday.

Langley teams headed to upcoming basketball provincials

Teams from around B.C. converge on the Langley Events Centre for provincial tournaments.

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Kodiaks up 3-1 in playoff series

The Kodiaks lost against the Ice Hawks Tuesday but have taken the lead in Wednesday’s home game.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

North BC broken axle derailment could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man in wheelchair following police shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Most Read