A 34-unit development at First Avenue and Beach Road went through to first reading and the Advisory Planning Commission at Monday’s (May 29) Qualicum Beach council meeting. — NEWS file photo

Proposed Qualicum Beach development slightly shrinks in size

Coun. Anne Skipsey asks if covenant on rentals can be included

A proposed development on the corner of First Avenue and Beach Road in Qualicum Beach has finaly been given first reading.

In its May 29 meeting, town council gave first reading to a 34-unit development that currently encompasses five properties. Council also referred the application to the Advisory Planning Commission.

Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer had to excuse himself from the discussion as it’s a conflict of interest for him.

The proposal is for a zoning amendment at 201, 207 and 211 First Avenue and 637 and 629 Beach Road, which would include a 20-unit condominium, two four-unit buildings and two three-unit buildings.

The application first came to council at its Feb. 6 meeting for first reading, but was referred back to staff for more information and options from the developer. The proponent then made a presentation at the April 19 committee of the whole meeting.

Council previously stated its concerns over height and age restrictions.

The applicant, said director of planning Luke Sales, has amended the proposal to reflect concerns raised at previous meetings. One of the buildings is now planned to be reduced to three storeys from the original four. Lower units, which weren’t originally suitable for families, have been changed to include townhouses in the lower block of the development.

“The applicant has essentially made every effort to respond to those concerns,” Sales said.

Sales also said a lot of detail wasn’t included in this application since the applicant wanted to check in and make sure this type of proposal was what council wanted to see.

Coun. Neil Horner said this development and its height is an example of why the Berwick development did not set a precedent.

“The very next development that comes along, they want four storeys, we said, ‘No, three.’ Clearly Berwick, in no way, was a precedent for anything,” Horner said.

Coun. Anne Skipsey said she was happy to see three-bedroom units included in this application, but she was disappointed to see the removal of rental units. Skipsey said she was wondering if a covenant could be included to ensure rentals are not prohibited.

Mayor Teunis Westbroek said including a covenant like this is something that needs to be discussed.

“I think that (we need to be) cautious that we don’t throw up so many barriers that somebody says ‘I don’t want to build in Qualicum Beach because they’re trying to run my financial affairs and I can’t operate that way,” Westbroek said.

Council also voted that, prior to adoption of the development, the following must be completed: an execution of a works and services agreement to ensure completion of adjacent works services, a form and character covenant to ensure the development is constructed as presented to council, and a legal agreement or covenant to ensure there are no age restrictions for occupants of the units.

The next council meeting is June 19 at 7 p.m.