Plan derailed for Osoyoos halfway house

Osoyoos Indian Band has withdrawn the rezoning application required for halfway house that would cater to aboriginal parolees

Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie will have to wait a while longer to find out if the regional district will approve a plan for an aboriginal-only halfway house in Osoyoos.

Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie will have to wait a while longer to find out if the regional district will approve a plan for an aboriginal-only halfway house in Osoyoos.

The Osoyoos Indian Band has apparently shelved its plan to build an aboriginal offender-only halfway house.

Evelyn Riechert, a planner for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, which had been asked to rezone the property, said the application was withdrawn Wednesday.

“I can’t speculate as to why,” she said. “They didn’t say.”

A public hearing on the matter scheduled for tonight has now been cancelled.

OIB Chief Clarence Louie could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

He told the RDOS board at its May 17 meeting, however, that he found it “really frustrating” going through another government’s rezoning process.

“It’s really tough for us to have other people have a say on our property,” he said.

Later that day, the board delayed a vote on the application after it found out neighbours in the nearby Spirit Ridge development should have been, but were not, notified of a public hearing.

That led to the scheduling of tonight’s cancelled meeting.

The five-bed halfway house was planned for what is currently an OIB staff home on 45th Street in rural Osoyoos, just outside OIB lands but still within RDOS jurisdiction.