Arbutus Road development closer to reality in Qualicum Beach

A proposed development on Arbutus Road in Qualicum Beach came one step closer to reality after councillors recently passed third reading of a rezoning bylaw to allow it.

A proposed development on Arbutus Road in Qualicum Beach came one step closer to reality after councillors recently passed third reading of a rezoning bylaw to allow it.

The proposal would see 12 single family homes built on two lots — 860 and 870 Arbutus Road — as opposed to multi-family residential units allowed in the current zoning.

Speaking at a public hearing, neighbour Patricia Wheeler stressed her support of the project, noting it would fit in well with the existing neighbourhood.

That support was echoed by Denyse and Bob Widdifield, who live two doors down.

However, support for the project was not unanimous, with former councillor and Qualicum Beach Residents Association president Scott Tanner questioning why the town would cut back on the allowable density when doing so flies in the face of their stated support for densification of the downtown core area.

He in turn was echoed by resident Frank Horner, who stressed the move would run contrary to the town’s philosophy of trying to attract younger families with less expensive housing.

Speaking on behalf of the developer, John Larson said  the homes would complement the neighbourhood.

“We strongly believe this is not an ideal location for multi-residential housing,” he said, as it lies outside the village neighbourhood. This is complementary to adjacent properties and addresses some of the more progressive steps for land outside the village neighbourhood.”

Council agreed, voting to pass third reading.

“In the quality of life survey, people said they wanted us to move towards smaller lots and this is a step in that direction,” said Mayor Teunis Westbroek.

Final adoption will be voted on at the April 4 meeting.