Media Release - Increased Seniors Housing Targeted with Sale of Property

Media Release - Increased Seniors Housing Targeted with Sale of Property

Media Release

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


The City has agreed to terms to sell Westporte Park for a proposed seniors housing and related park development, announced Mayor Mike Ruttan.  

The sale to the Westcoast Native Healthcare Society (WNHCS) for $163,000 will allow the non-profit society to advance a proposal for an expansion to their multi-care seniors’ facility with an accompanying park development. 

The decision by Council to proceed with the sale was made in consideration of the public input received during the previous rezoning process. The proposed development incorporates a park development with a variety of public amenities including children’s play structure, benches, drinking fountain, and pickleball court.  Council has also directed staff to issue a call for proposals for adjacent City-owned property that will include provisions for a new public park space.  

“Our seniors’ population is growing rapidly, and new developments are required to ensure we have the capacity and services to allow seniors to remain a vibrant part of our community,” said Mayor Ruttan. “The community has told us that there is a critical need for safe, affordable and accessible seniors housing and we are excited to be able to meet this need by working in cooperation with local partners.”  

The proposed development by the Westcoast Native Healthcare Society provides for 20 adaptable housing units and 10 complex care beds.  

Darleen Watts, WNHCS President commented, “This is an exciting announcement, as Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) has provided the best of care to seniors in the Alberni Valley for almost 25 years.  The Board of Directors for the Society made this decision to expand services as they are confident in their ability to develop the new seniors’ housing project and the accompanying amenities”. She further noted, “It is timely that we create state of the art exercise equipment and a sports venue for our aging population to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Quick Facts: 

  • The sale is not subject to rezoning, however, prior to any development being undertaken on the site a formal rezoning process will be required, including a public hearing.
  • The sale is subject to the City and WNHCS entering into a lease back agreement where the City will lease the property after transfer until the society undertakes construction of a seniors housing facility. This will ensure the current park use is continued until development begins. 
  • The agreement provides for a buy-back provision in which if the WNHCS is unable to proceed with their proposed development within five years of purchase, the City may purchase the property back at the original sale price.
  • The sale of the lands will be advertised in in accordance with sections 26 and 94 of the Community Charter


For more information:

Mayor Mike Ruttan
City of Port Alberni