Background on the Dream Centre proposal:
* City of Red Deer staff had recommended the project be approved, telling the municipal planning commission the proposal to add a third floor to the former nightclub to treat 48 addicted clients at a time, with related offices and an assembly hall, fit the zoning requirements and had adequate parking, including street stalls.
* Planning commission members felt it didn’t fit the downtown’s development plan, which seeks to attract businesses and residents to the city’s core.
* Concerns were expressed by some commission members about a lack of kitchen and in-house dining spaces for addictions centre clients, as well as very limited recreation space. The size of the assembly hall proposed for the main level of the building also raised fears that parking availability for other businesses in the area would be strained.
* In response, the Dream Centre proponents launched an appeal with major revisions to the initial proposal. Instead of a 600-person gathering space, the size was reduced to 200-person space. Larger recreational spaces and an in-house kitchen and dining area were added.
* The Red Deer Dream Centre’s co-chair, Wes Giesbrecht, told the appeal board on Tuesday that this project will be a secured facility. Clients of the centre will be able to leave the premises, but not unaccompanied, he added.