Airport land subject of debate

QUALICUM BEACH — There is no shortage of ideas about what to do with land next to the Qualicum Beach airport, so the municipality plans to set up a task force to look into the best possible uses.

The issue came up at a special council meeting Wednesday to discuss public input into the town’s official community plan revision.

In a report to council, planner Luke Sales said the land in and around the airport could provide economic activity that would attract young families. However, he recommended that an airport area plan be developed to help plan development in the area and as a guideline for land use around the airport.

“We need to give this more careful analysis and thought,” Sales said. “Through the development of an airport area plan, we would have an opportunity to carefully consider land uses and come up with a comprehensive vision for the airport and how it would be used in the future.”

A motion by councillor Jack Wilson to clearly define which lands at the airport have a covenant restricting them to solely airport use failed to get a seconder and it failed.

Part of the land in question had earlier been purchased as a new home for the school district’s bus garage, which sits on prime downtown real estate in Qualicum Beach, a point Coun. Kent Becker made clear, noting council’s intent is to return it to its former rural designation.

Council approved the formation of the airport area plan, with Wilson opposed.

 — Neil Horner

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