Last Monday evening, a main item on the Council agenda was related to 264 Nicol Street. Since April of 2022 the site has been been used as an unofficial Overdose Prevention Site operated by the Nanaimo Area of Drug Users (NANDU). This operation is a "peer support group" of volunteers who supply drugs to users at the property. It is not sanctioned or approved by Island Health, and Island Health does not oversee, manage, or have involvement in the operations of the site.
Since the operation started, City and RCMP have received numerous complaints from local resident and businesses about activities that have negatively impacted the local community. This has led to a decision taken by Council on Monday night to declare the site a "Nuisance Property". While the site may remain open, the decision is meant to hold the property landowner more responsible for what happens on site, and to be financially responsible for municipal services including RCMP calls required to abate any nuisance complaints. It was a decision that I had no hesitation in supporting. The neighbourhood has suffered more than enough.