EDITORIAL: QB's pendulum

Perception can become reality, depending on who is spreading the message.

Here’s one from the just-won’t-let-go department. In relation to discussion about the controversial construction of a water detention pond in Qualicum Beach, Mayor Teunis Westbroek decided to slide in a comment about how he believes the pendulum has swung in favour of development in his town, yet another indication of his discomfort with a council that doesn’t follow his lead like it used to.

“I think the town had a reputation in the past, at least from a developer’s perspective, to be rather difficult to work with and in this case I think the pendulum may have gone the other way,” Westbroek said after the Town of Qualicum Beach regular council meeting on Monday night.

Well, let’s examine the facts here.

The developer in this case (West Ridge) might be surprised to hear the pendulum has swung his way. Actually, he would not be far off to believe the opposite is true.

This developer has done everything asked of him by the town, including paying the bill for the construction of this basin that has a much wider use than water issues related directly to his construction project.

Now the mayor says things have swung in his favour?

It’s also important to note that West Ridge’s 49 lots (we’re not talking a out a 150-lot subdivision here) represent the only new, single-family-home neighbourhood on offer for families in, or attracted to, Qualicum Beach. There are a few developments that have been approved which have a couple/few lots available for single-family homes, but West Ridge represents more than 80 per cent of what’s available. We wouldn’t want to be a developer or home builder trying to make a living in Qualicum Beach with that kind of inventory.

So where, exactly, has the mayor’s pendulum moved? If it’s moved off a stance that says ‘go away developer’ and ‘move along families, no room for your here,’ than we would suggest that’s a good move. With the small amount of inventory available and the rough ride they seem to get even when they do everything right, developers are clearly not running roughshod over the Town of Qualicum Beach.

It’s about balance, and despite the mayor’s claim, the town likely needs to move the pendulum even further to a point where it becomes a welcome place to build a new home for families.

— Editorial by John Harding

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