News

Second community garden in the works in Qualicum Beach

With a large waiting list for the existing Community Garden in Qualicum Beach, council is inviting community groups to make proposals for the development for a second community garden in the grass area west of the tennis courts on Veterans Way.

Director of planning Luke Sales said July 11 at a regular meting of town council that there are about 30 people waiting to get into the community garden.

Talks about a location for a second community garden to accommodate 50 garden plots started in January.

Sales said the intent for the second garden is in line with the OCP objective.

"The rationale is if there are residents in the community that need community garden plots, it's likely those without yards to otherwise grow their own food," Sales said.

Within the Sustainability Plan, there is a long-term goal that " 90 per cent of multi-family units have access to a community garden plot within a 10-minute walking distance."

Sales said staff has reviewed areas around the Village Neighbourhood and they came up with a list of possible locations: Qualicum Beach Commons, Veterans Way (the grass west of the tennis courts), north of the BMX track, Fifth Avenue East and Old Scout Hall.

Sales said the Qualicum Commons property is an ideal location for the community garden, however the property is owned by the school district. He added that if a group wants to form a community garden there, it would be appropriate to contact School District 69.

Sales also said west of the tennis courts would be able to accommodate 10-15 plots, but a larger number of plots would be ideal.

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. Also from the July 11 meeting:

• Council approved (with minor amendments) the final wording of the 2015 Annual Municipal Report and the 2016 Qualicum Beach Ocean Mile Swim event on Aug. 14 at the waterfront.

• Fire chief Darryl Kohse said the Qualicum Beach Fire Department will be welcoming nine new members in August.

• Resident Jeannie Shaver spoke to council regarding a bylaw amendment on backyard chickens. Shaver said the amendment is "not only feasible, but beneficial," citing the advantages of backyard hens. She also added four is the maximum number of chickens allowed in most municipalities, including Parksville.

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