Development debate continues in Qualicum Beach

This time it's about what kind of process developers should have to gon through if they want ground-floor residential in business area

How much development Qualicum Beach councillors want was a hot topic in a recent debate on how to allow ground-floor residential.

“I know some of council wants the world to stop,” Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said at the July 13 council meeting. “I don’t think that’s a good message to give the world.”

Town director of planning Luke Sales said council has been using the development permit (DP) process to allow ground-floor residential, on top of requiring developers to go through a re-zoning process.

“One of the big complaints you hear about the town of Qualicum Beach is that — from a development point of view — we’re not a development-friendly community, at best,” said Luchtmeijer. “If anything, many developers avoid Qualicum Beach because of the hurdles that are placed in the way.”

Staff looked into “the manner in which council can permit residential use on the ground floor of properties in commercial areas, primarily the downtown,” Sales said, bringing back a recommendation that council not change the current process, which gives council more flexibility.

“Zoning is more permanent than a development permit, which expires after a number of years,” Sales said, adding that leaves “less chance of an outdated zoning change that no longer reflects the wishes of council.”

“The development permit process gives council more control in the long term, in that we’re not creating a permanent change to the way we do business per lot,” he said.

“I think the last council was creative enough with some of these re-zoning issues and I support this motion,” Coun. Neil Horner said of the motion to not change the process.

“We’re saying an amendment to the zoning of town, we want the people to be involved,” said Coun. Barry Avis, also supporting the motion, adding he’d like to see a lot of community discussion if someone wants to put residential on the ground floor in a commercial area.

Sales agreed with Luchtmeijer that “some smaller developers indicated that the process required for re-zoning was more expensive and required more time and was a barrier to redevelopment,” than the development permit.

But he also said that the re-zoning and DP processes “typically run in tandem, so at the time the zoning amendment is adopted, a development permit can be granted at the same time.”

Mayor Teunis Westbroek said that at $4,000, a zoning amendment can “significantly improve the value, or raise the value of the property… that doesn’t seem unreasonable.”

He pointed out the DP process also allows the developer more flexibility, including options like converting it back to commercial at some point.

“We’re working towards trying to be flexible, but still having control and allowing the public the input that I think we all want,” Westbroek said.

“Again, I think we’re making a change here that has a lot of strings attached,” said Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer, as the rest of council leaned to not changing the process.

He warned that developers “need the flexibility of a development permit… by forcing them into a re-zoning process, they’ll simply go elsewhere.”

Council passed the motion recommended by staff to leave the process the way it is, requiring a zoning amendment for ground floor residential in the downtown area. Only Luchtmeijer voted against.

Just Posted

Nine animals find fur-ever homes after special Parksville SPCA event

Province-wide half-price adoption deal homes 212 animals

Man, 50, dies following incident in downtown Parksville

Teenage girl hailed as hero for intervening after witnessing situation unfold

BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs move game to Parksville due to ice rink closure

Prince George and Bulldogs to battle it out Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Oceanside Place

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Most Read