Turning Point is moving to 5233 54th Ave. in Railyards, where it also wants to operate a supervised consumption site. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Supervised consumption site back before Red Deer council for development approval

City council approved rezoning for controversial consumption site location two weeks ago

After approving the contentious location for a supervised drug consumption site, Red Deer city council must now sign off on a development permit.

Since Turning Point’s proposed downtown site at 5233 54th Ave. is zoned direct control, city council rezoning and development permit approval is required.

Council approved rezoning by a 5-3 vote two weeks ago, despite opposition from some in the neighbourhood who argued it was the wrong spot for the facility.

A packed public hearing two weeks prior saw more than two dozen individuals speak for and against the proposal.

Council is expected to make a decision on the development permit on Monday.

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Turning Point intends to move all of its programs and operations to the new site, as well as add supervised drug consumption services. The consumption part of the operation will include reception, consumption and observation areas in a building, along with offices and spaces for other programs.

In keeping with the pedestrian-oriented vision for what the city calls the Railyards area, a sidewalk must be built out front of Turning Point’s facility.

At least eight parking spots must be provided, as well as landscaping, lighting, an outdoor area and a 2.4-metre fence on the east side.

A crime prevention through environmental design analysis must also be submitted to the city.

Turning Point says in its proposal that supervised consumption services will be offered around the clock, seven days a week. There will be 12 private booths for injecting, snorting or consuming pre-obtained drugs.

Two separate rooms for inhaling, ventilated to the outside, will be set up and a centralized nursing space will have a clear view of the entire consumption site.

An observation room will allow staff to monitor clients for at least 15 minutes to make sure they are healthy.

A “chill out” space will feature a kitchen, showers, washers and dryers.

There will be 24-hour monitored video surveillance, panic buttons and swipe card access. A staff person will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to maintain contact with local businesses and clean up the surrounding area.



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