North Battleford residents may soon see a new wellness centre starting up in the local area if proponents are successful in finding a home for the establishment.
Council discussed the issue at its meeting Monday but tabled the matter for further consideration. The only hitch is the location for the site is zoned light industrial, rather than commercial.
The city received an application from owner Vanessa Proznick-Fransoo and Shannon Iverson, of Lifeways Integrative Wellness, for the project to be located in a type of mini-mall location.
In their application, both registered nurses describe the business as a "joint venture, which would bring together collaborative and credible holistic healthcare practitioners into one facility," to meet growing health-care needs for the population of North Battleford, and surrounding area.
The business promotes a holistic approach to healthcare, and also hopes to have a Traditional Chinese Medical Doctor, a massage therapist, a footcare nurse, and a reflexologist on site.
The wellness centre would occupy 752-110 St. which offers roughly 1,800 square feet of available space, and is located in the same building that houses the gymnastics club.
The applicants said they have been looking for a location for the past two years, and have already invested "considerable dollars" on renovating this proposed space, and developing more parking, to meet their needs.
Councillors expressed excitement about the idea of having a new wellness centre in North Battleford, but some questioned whether this would be the best location for it.
The city's planning and development department and the city manager didn't believe the location for the business was ideal since it would create a precedence, and simply not be good for planning purposes.
Mayor Ryan Bater said following council a health centre or wellness centre does not fit into the city's requirements for discretionary use in a light industrial zone.
"There is always a benefit to any new business in the city but we have zoning bylaws that ensure that the right entity is in the right spot, and that it is conforming to the other businesses around it," he said.
"We can’t simply change zoning for one building," added Bater, saying the zoning change would affect all light industrial zoned property in the city.
Next, council will consult with the project proponents.
"This is a big process," Bater said. "I know that can be frustrating for people, especially when they want to see their business (starting) quickly, but we have responsibilities in the planning and development end to follow certain processes ... and responsibilities to other property owners."
He said the decision the city makes could potentially also impact property values and future use of these properties.
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