Residents want input on new development plan in Qualicum Beach
They showed up in numbers and went home early with a resolve to return.
About 15 members of the Chartwell Residents Association massed in the lobby outside Qualicum Beach town council chambers Monday night, but dispersed minutes after the meeting started when council deferred their issue of concern. The nature of any future development on land adjacent to the 500-home Chartwell neighbourhood has the members of the association concerned and they want town council to know they want some input, group president Tom Davies said in an interview with The NEWS this week.
“We are not anti-development,” said Davies. “Chartwell has never had any objections to development on that property but it needs to be developed in harmony with the surrounding neighbourhood.”
Town council was scheduled to give two readings Monday to a bylaw that changes the possible use of the land bordered by Airport and Rupert roads from rural residential to light industrial. The Chartwell residents had barely found seats in the gallery when council opened its meeting by deferring the readings to their Jan. 14, 2013 regular meeting.
More than 100 residents turned up to an open house hosted by the owners of the property in June and Davies said they weren’t convinced then development plans would in harmony with the neighbourhood. He said residents are opposed to any development there that would create excessive noise, dust or small.
Davies also said residents aren’t convinced the light industrial zoning designation will protect them from those irritants. He said the process to decide exactly what kind of businesses would appear on that land should be town-driven and not developer-driven.
“Surely you could come up with 150 businesses that could be in harmony with the surrounding community,” said Davies, suggesting storage facilities or carpet/flooring outfits as possible examples. He even had a specific example, if only for a laugh.
“(Coun.) Dave Willie’s Black and White Party Rentals — that could go in there.”
A motion passed by council at its Nov. 19 regular meeting gave the go ahead to the zoning ammendment change from rural residential to light industrial. However, there still needs to be three readings and public hearing before any changes become official and council may craft the zoning to allow for only specific uses, director of planning Luke Sales said this week.
“It’s really early days . . . a starting point,” said Sales, adding that Chartwell residents “have to take assurance in the fact we will be refining this zone.”
Sales also said the final zoning for this land will be unique.
“There will be no other property in town that will have this zoning,” he said.