Site map of an ambitious plan for the Garrison Crossing community. The plan calls for 327 units of senior housing and 188 medical beds.

Site map of an ambitious plan for the Garrison Crossing community. The plan calls for 327 units of senior housing and 188 medical beds.

Campus of care for seniors proposed for Garrison

The plan is four independent seniors living (207 units), two residential care (120 units) and one public medical building (188 beds).

Imagine a retirement community where seniors can transition through housing types, from independent living, to residential care, to a medical facility.

A rezoning proposal that came before council this week is aimed at creating an “aging in place” seniors’ housing complex on a sprawling eight-acre site at Garrison Crossing.

Named the ‘Elim Village at Garrison Crossing’ in the documents, Chilliwack council voted introduction and first reading to amend the CD-10 zone to allow the residential care complex on the site.

The scale is fairly large, and the parcels for the “campus of care” would cover 3.46 hectares for the three subject properties. The complex would include four independent seniors living apartment style buildings (207 units), two residential care buildings (120 units) and one public medical building (188 beds).

“It is intended to provide a facility to meet the needs of older adults as they transition through a variety of levels of care,” reads the staff report on the rezoning for 45460 And 45470 Chehalis Drive 45399 Keith Wilson Road.

The three properties have a combined area of about 3.46ha to be developed in conjunction with a fourth property (identified as Lot B 45460 Chehalis Drive – containing an existing apartment building) to create the proposed seniors living complex. The properties constitute one of the last large undeveloped sites inside the Garrison Crossing planned community.

A traffic study showed the project will actually result in a surplus of parking spots, which was reassuring since city officials were concerned about a shortfall of parking in the area.

The site has road frontage onto Keith Wilson Road, Sappers Way, Garrison Boulevard, Capilano Lane and Chehalis Avenue; with a single driveway access for the complex via Chehalis Avenue only.

Here is why a rezoning is required of the applicant:

“While the CD-10 Zone permits a range of housing options as well as Public Medical Facilities, the zone does not currently permit the proposed development,” according to the report.  Several amendments to the text of the CD-10 Zone are required, like adding “Residential Care” as a permitted use.

The term “residential care” as understood in City of Chilliwack zoning bylaws, is a broad one covering: Community Care Facilities, Assisted Living Residences, Adult Care Facilities and Community Care Centres.

By including the term “residential care” as a permitted use all four uses will be permitted within the CD-10 Zone.

“Such a facility would place housing adjacent to amenities with access to community kitchens and food services, and space for group activities, supporting communal interaction. Other benefits include the ability to move seniors into housing appropriate to their needs, as they age, without separating them from their neighbourhood and established social networks.”

The public hearing at city hall for the rezoning is April 5.