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A plea for a wider view of Pheasant Glen proposal in Qualicum Beach
Motions on the floor deferred from their last regular meeting regarding Pheasant Glen's proposed development were killed Monday night by town councillors.
The recommendations put forward by planning director Luke Sales from the Nov. 4 meeting suggested council refuse Pheasant Glen's application to amend the zoning and official community plan to permit permanent residences at the golf resort. However, at their committee of the whole meeting last week — which attracted more than 200 people to the civic centre — council voted to start the process of a focussed OCP review that could clear the way for a more streamlined route for Pheasant Glen's approvals.
Coun. Scott Tanner was the only councillor opposed to the motion at the committee of the whole last week and he was also the only one in favour of going ahead with the Nov. 4 recommendations by Sales to refuse the application.
When all the smoke cleared, Sales was instructed by council to come up with a timeline and budget for the Pheasant Glen approval process. Council will have a look at that plan at its next regular meeting, which is not until Jan. 13, 2014.
All of this happened Monday night prior to a passionate presentation by Ray Abermann, a resident of Nenzel Road, which runs alongside the area proposed for development. Abermann was calling on council to do a more detailed and expansive OCP review of the area before permitting Pheasant Glen's development.
"Eighteen years ago we found our little piece of heaven in Qualicum Beach," said Abermann. "And we were content in the knowledge our comfort, lifestyle and value of our home would be protected."
Abermann said he understood Qualicum Beach was "destined to grow," but he called on council to "safeguard our existing neighbourhoods."
He said he expected all the town's residents should be given a say in what happens in the Pheasant Glen area, and he also raised the spectre of further development in the area around Pheasant Glen on land owned by Island Timberlands. He also questionned the nature of the proposal, which calls for 100 permanent residences, 60 resort cabins, a clubhouse and pavilion.
"Unfortunately, the Pheasant Glen proposal cannot be considered as a resort," said Abermann. "It's a high-density housing subdivision wedged in a rural neighbourhood."
Pheasant Glen's owners say the development would net the town's coffers $3.5 million in development cost charges and $500,000 a year in net new taxes.