News

Mayor would rescind Ravensbourne bylaw

The process to find development for land between the Chartwell neighbourhood and the Qualicum Beach Airport continues, although the mayor said Monday he wants it to stop.

Teunis Westbroek said he would vote to rescind the first reading town council gave last month to a bylaw changing the zoning of the land in question, which has become known as Ravensbourne Business Park.

"I think we need to make a decision," said Westbroek, raising the issue during his own report time of town council's regular meeting Monday night — Ravensbourne did not appear anywhere on the agenda. "People are getting rather frustrated with the process."

Tom Davies, president of the Chartwell Neighbourhood Association, did not express frustration when he spoke to The NEWS about the issue this week. He said residents are expecting to learn more about the land owner's plans in a meeting Thursday night (tonight) at Eaglecrest Golf Course.

"Whatever goes in there really needs to exist in harmony with a significant residential community that's cheek by jowl with them," said Davies.

The previous town council was happy to leave the land in question zoned as rural residential "but this council has taken a different view and that's their right to do that," said Davies. Coun. Dave Willie had a response for Westbroek's comments at the meeting Monday night.

"This council voted for a very transparent process," said Willie. "I would encourage all of council to follow the process or change the process."

Westbroek then said he and Willie would have to "agree to disagree" and the process "has gone on too long."

Also, from Qualicum Beach town council's regular meeting Monday night:

• Permission was granted to the Qualicum Beach Farmers' Market to close Veterans' Way at Memorial Avenue on April 6, 13, 20 and 27 and to use the parking lot around the former bus garage adjacent to TOSH on July 27.

• Permission was granted to TOSH to hold the Art in Action component of the Grand Prix d'Art event on the parking lot around the former bus garage on July 27.

• Dr. Paul Hasselback, the medical health officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, gave council a brief presentation outlining statistics related to Qualicum Beach. Hasselback has given a similar presentation to the City of Parksville and the board of directors of the Regonal District of Nanaimo.

• Council gave first reading to the 2013 tax rates bylaw, which includes a 3.5 per cent increase in property taxes. Changes can be made at subsequent readings of the bylaw (the second reading is schedule for April) but as the bylaw stands now, the town portion of a homeowner's 2013 tax bill will be approximately $3.34 per $1,000 of assessed value, or $1,336 for a $400,000 home.

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