Opinion

EDITORIAL: Town and country

When a buyer or builder looks to build a house or subdivision, he/she is like any other consumer buying any other product.

They consider the price, and the value, before making the economic leap.

And so it goes in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, where population is declining in the two big communities (see reporter Candace Wu's story in today's edition of The NEWS) and increasing in the regional district lands between and around them.

If you decide to build or buy in, say, French Creek or Errington, you have access to the same amenities — pool, rink, shopping, parks — as someone who lives within the boundaries of Parksville or Qualicum Beach.

However, your tax bill is hundreds of dollars lower every year than your city and town neighbours.

Similarly, if a builder is considering the area, why not produce a product on the lower-taxed land — it's a good selling point. What's more, development cost charges are also less on RDN land than the town or city, so it seems a no brainer, a win-win for both the developer and the potential home buyer.

We had a conversation recently with a city politician about this who said something to the effect: yeah, but wait until it snows, then they will know the difference.

Um, we're still waiting. Let's face facts: it doesn't really snow here. Most of us live within a kilometre or two of the ocean and in the last two winters, snow has stayed on the ground for a grand total of about four days.

Is that all you've got to show the difference between the city and regional district services, snow clearing?

The trend will continue. Both Parksville and Qualicum Beach will talk about strategies to attract more families, more people in general, but until they address the taxation and DCC discrepancies with the RDN, more and more people will build and live in the RDN.

In the end, this is not a bad thing for the local economy and job creation. Those who live in the RDN shop in the same places locally as those who live in Parksville or Qualicum Beach. It does, however, further stretch the ability of the town and city to maintain and upgrade the services it currently delivers.

— Editorial by John Harding

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Alberni First rolls out slate of candidates for municipal election
 
Marigold customers show support for Sanchez
 
Camosun College seeks to become scholarly, community leader in First Nations research
A Region United Part 4: For rural communities in Greater Victoria, bigger isn’t better
 
Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock arrives in Sooke
 
Down but not out
Francisty views the Olympics from a front-row seat
 
Avis riding for the real heroes
 
Lest we forget: vets urge all to remember sacrifice

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.