01/11/2013 09:42 EST | Updated 03/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Proposed addictions recovery centre draws opposition

Nearly 200 people packed a gymnasium in Prince George, B.C., last night to discuss a controversial proposed women's addictions recovery centre.

At issue is whether the city should change its official community plan to allow the Northern Supportive Recovery Centre for Women to move to a former elementary school in the Haldi Lake Road area.

Laura Jagodnick, who lives in the neighbourhood, believes the facility would have a negative impact on her rural way of life.

"Most of the people in Prince George didn't even know where Haldi Road was. That's the way we want to keep it. We enjoy leaving the city after a day's work and being in rural residential area, where you don't have traffic, you don't have strangers,” she said.

"You have two to five-acre lots, and all of a sudden in one area you have 30 residents … and we don't feel that it fits there.”

But some residents, like Jennifer Pighin, argue the centre would be a good fit.

"It sort of has a bit of a retreat, and that's what I feel like on those summer days when I'm in my backyard, just enjoying the sun, and enjoying the nature and the birds and stuff. And I think that's what people in recovery need is the nice setting,” she said.

"These services are needed and what these people really need is to be welcomed and accepted for who they are, and given supports and shown love."

The city still has to hold a public hearing on the proposed official community plan changes. A date for the hearing hasn't been set.