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Autism counselling centre could be coming to Agassiz

Agassiz Observer - 8/21/2019

Agassiz could be seeing a new education and counselling centre for people with autism come into the community, if a rezoning application for a property on Pioneer Avenue goes forward.

During council Monday night (Aug. 19), staff brought forward a rezoning application for 6942 Pioneer Avenue from Pivot Point Family Growth Centre.

The growth centre is a social service agency aimed at helping children and adults with diverse abilities through early intervention, school-age services, teen transitions and adult services. It currently has locations in Surrey, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Prince George, Cranbrook and the Cowichan Valley.

Pivot Point is hoping to expand its services to Agassiz by opening an office in what is currently a single-family home on Pioneer Avenue next to Kent Veterinary Services.

Although the centre would only require minor renovations to the interior of the house — bedrooms would be turned into counselling and study rooms, while the kitchen and living areas would remain as common meeting space — the property would need to be rezoned to Town Centre Commercial and Residential (CT2).

(The property is currently zoned Service Commercial, and the residential home is a legal, non-conforming use.)

The rezoning would allow for "assembly use" on the property, which includes things like churches and community centres, as well as educational facilities.

As part of the rezoning, Pivot Point would be required to provide five parking spaces on the property and build a concrete sidewalk along the back of the property at Cheam Avenue.

Overall, council was in support of moving the rezoning application forward, giving the application first and second reading Monday night. The proposal will come forward to a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., where residents will be able to provide their opinions on the rezoning application.


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