An expanded Rainbow Gardens senior care facility is back on the drawing board. The new plans are on the original desired spot: the park across the street from the existing facility. And the city is ready to sell the land to the Westcoast Native Health Care Society for $163,000.
The announcement was one of two land sale bombshells Port Alberni city council slipped into their post-long weekend meeting on Tuesday. The other was a pending sale of plywood lots A and B.
The last time Rainbow Gardens attempted to purchase the same property the neighbourhood cried foul. They didn’t want to lose the park, and they said expansion plans were too vague. Many people at the time missed the point that Rainbow Gardens wants to expand, instead telling them to build a seniors’ facility somewhere else in town.
In other words, not in their backyard.
Even though the city said there was another plot of undeveloped land at the top end of the neighbourhood where a park could be built as a replacement.
The WCNHS, with city councillor Sharie Minions as liaison, has listened, and come up with an alternative plan for the same property. It would see a complex care facility, adaptable housing—and a garden, pickleball court, covered exercise area and children’s playground.
The plan is solid; WCNHS has gone above and beyond to please the community by including things like a playground and greenspace.
It’s time for the community to meet Rainbow Gardens halfway and embrace the expansion. The community needs more beds as our senior population ages, and a local business wants to invest in the community with an expansion.
There is no reason for opposition.