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than a development permit, which expires after a number of years,” Sales said, adding that leaves “less chance of an outdated zoning change that no longer reflects the wishes of council.”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

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read