An image posted to the Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha's planned redevelopment, posted to the gurdwara's website. (Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha)

Burnaby gurdwara plans expansion as community centre

The Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha gurdwara is applying for an official community plan amendment to expand itself into a community centre.

By Dustin Godfrey | December 28, 2021 |5:00 am

A local gurdwara is looking to expand into a major community centre in South Burnaby.

The Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha gurdwara has been located at 7271 Gilley Avenue, in the Royal Oak area, since 2000.

The Royal Oak community plan (adopted in 1999, before the gurdwara was established), suggests industrial use for the property, though it is currently zoned for commercial use.

According to a city staff report, the belief by the city at the time of developing the community plan was that the property, “although long occupied by commercial uses, would eventually transition to industrial use.”

The report noted the surrounding properties have been zoned for industrial use since the mid-1960s.

“Since then, the centre has become a community hub and an important cultural institution in the city,” reads the staff report, which was presented to city council earlier this month.

To expand on that, the Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha gurdwara wants to redevelop the site into a larger community centre. The development, if approved, would include a childcare facility, a seniors centre, food production facilities to provide food for seniors, prayer halls, and other uses.

“The proposed redevelopment … indicates a continued commitment to serving the social and cultural needs of the community,” noted director of planning and building Ed Kozak in his report.

To achieve this, the gurdwara is looking to change the community plan designation for the area from industrial to school/institutional/assembly/community use.

And they’re seeking to rezone the property from commercial use to a comprehensive development district, based on the P5 community institutional district and the M5 light industrial district.

The industrial district “includes a broad range of uses,” Kozak noted, including for food production.

Plans posted to the gurdwara’s website indicate they are seeking to construct a three-storey building, but few further details are available.

Council recently voted to give city staff the go-ahead to work with the gurdwara on community consultations for the OCP amendment.

After that consultation, the amendment would go before council for consideration, with a public hearing both for the OCP amendment and for the rezoning.

Dustin Godfrey

Reporter at Burnaby Beacon

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