100 Mile House dental company trying to build more rental properties after trouble hiring hygienists

Valley Dental lost out on bringing hygienists into their practice, so they came up with a solution of their own, pending council approval.

“We needed a hygienist and we had a couple we hired but they never moved to town because they couldn’t find a place to stay,” said Jonathon Vissher, a general dentist and co-owner of Valley Dental, which has been open for a year and a half.

In one case, he hired a friend who worked for him in Kelowna for five years.

Not being able to find anything, she stayed in his basement before deciding to leave.

Tired of not being able to find a permanent hygienist, Visscher and his wife, Debra, (the other owner of Valley Dental) decided to buy a lot on Blackstock Rd, in the aims of building a duplex.

“We decided to build a duplex to help with that and then the builder looked at the lot and said “why don’t we build a fourplex on this lot instead of a duplex,” said Debra.

The Visscher’s first submitted their plan to council a month ago and will figure out on Nov. 28 if their plans to rezone it will be accepted.

“Everyone at city hall is positive about it because there’s nowhere else in town zoned to build a fourplex right now,” said Visscher, also mentioning Joanne Doddridge, director of economic development and planning, mentioned another lot but with a warning the lot had its problems and could probably only fit a triplex on it. According to Visscher, a real estate agent agreed with Doddridge’s assessment and the dentist passed on purchasing the lot, opting for the one on Blackstock.

More meetings with council will be happening to determine if the lot status can be changed or not. Including an open discussion on Nov. 14, where neighbours will be present but Visscher doesn’t think it will be a problem

If they’re good with it I think it will go through,” he said. “They use the lot to access the back of their properties. We’ve talked a little bit to them and they can still walk through there.”

Visscher doesn’t know how much the total project will cost or when it will be finished.

“We can’t do anything until it’s rezoned and they have to approve a building permit for the design we have,” he said. “We can’t really start construction with frost in the ground, so we’ll see once Nov. 28 comes around and if we can still start construction.”

If that’s the case, he anticipates construction to be slow due to the winter and estimated construction wouldn’t be finished until June if the building started right away. If the frost is too deep, construction won’t start until spring.

The couple believe more available rentals is essential to the community.

“I think the community would be supportive in getting more rentals,” said Debra. “The next step would be for the neighbourhood to express their opinion on it.”

Two of the units are meant to hold the hygienist and dental assistants but the other two are open to anyone.

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