Close vote on subdivision at Qualicum Beach town council

Councillors Avis and Skipsey said they were concerned about setting precedent

A contentious bylaw amendment for a zoning change on Maple Street in Qualicum Beach passed Monday night, with councillors Anne Skipsey and Barry Avis opposed.

The bylaw amendment had already gone through three readings, as well as a public hearing on April 25.

Skipsey said she wouldn’t be voting in favour of the amendment because it does not follow the current zoning and recommendations of the town’s Official Community Plan. She added that she was concerned about what kind of precedent this would set.

At the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference, Skipsey said a Burnaby city councillor told her that spot rezoning “can appear to give preferential treatment to some people in the community which as a politician is not a wise position, obviously, to put yourself in.”

Avis agreed with Skipsey, adding that if some neighbours are not in favour then “we should really consider that. I would maybe have a different opinion if the whole area said they liked it, but we have had some opposition,” Avis said.

Mayor Teunis Westbroek said from what he can remember, there were only two letters in opposition to the rezoning of 629 Maple Street. The mayor also said he doesn’t think this rezoning will set a precedent in the future.

“The precedent only applies to some of the areas in Mill (Road), and maybe in First (Avenue), where you have these larger lots and single homes that are dated and perhaps can be replaced with two or three homes,” said Westbroek, who voted in favour of the bylaw amendment, along with councillors Neil Horner and Bill Luchtmeier.

The owner of the Maple Street property asked to rezone the property for subdivision into two lots of 590 square metres each.

The property is designated for single-family residential under the OCP, which allows a maximum of 12 dwellings per hectare, but the piece of land is one block out of the “Village Neighbourhood,” which allows up to 60 dwellings per hectare.

The next council meeting is Monday, July 11 at 7 p.m.

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