A 16-parcel subdivision is being proposed on a property that is zoned Estate Residential and has been deemed unsuitable for urban development. (Town of Qualicum Beach Map)

A 16-parcel subdivision is being proposed on a property that is zoned Estate Residential and has been deemed unsuitable for urban development. (Town of Qualicum Beach Map)

Marathon public hearing held regarding OCP amendment for proposed 16-parcel subdivision in Qualicum Beach

Residents have their say via Zoom

The Town of Qualicum Beach hosted a marathon public hearing on Wednesday (Feb. 10) to deal with an official community plan and rezoning amendment application for a 16-parcel subdivision on a portion of Eaglecrest Drive and Island Highway.

The hearing lasted more than three hours.

Town council listened to a large amount of public input and feedback on the development, which required an OCP amendment because the proposed property is designated as estate residential and lies outside the town’s urban containment boundary.

The size of the area proposed for development is approximately 2.5 hectares but the estate residential designation specifies a maximum density of only one dwelling per hectare and a maximum of two dwellings per parcel. The proposed development is for a 16-lot subdivision which his higher than the maximum density outlined in the estate residential policy. Twelve of the 16 parcels will have two dwelling units on it.

The town will also have to extend municipal services to the area, which contravenes policy. But staff indicated services do exist on the boundary of the proposed development property and could be added at the expense of the developer.

A majority of citizens who participated in the public hearing via Zoom expressed opposition.

“Today we can all be proud that our community came together and coalesced around the ideas that we believe in; the ideas that define us. Today was a good day for democracy,” said Qualicum Nature Preservation Society president Ezra Morse. “Now the question is: will our council listen to their citizens?”

READ MORE: Property owners propose the demolition and replication of Qualicum College structure

Some residents felt the project would set a precedent for other developers to follow. Some stressed developments should be restricted within the town’s urban containment boundary as the proposed site for the project has been deemed not suitable for urban development in the OCP. Others also questioned the time of the public hearing, which began at 10 a.m. They felt residents who are at work were denied an opportunity to provide feedback. Others requested a deferral of the project, particularly while council isn’t at full capacity.

At present there are two councillors, Teunis Westbroek and Scott Harrison, along with Mayor Brian Wiese. Coun. Robert Filmer has been on medical leave while former Coun. Adam Walker is now the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum and will be replaced in a coming byelection.

Those who spoke in support of the project highlighted and dispelled the misinformation that has been circulating and the notion the project will only benefit the developers.

“The (developers) have tweaked their plan numerous times to help address the variety of housing needs indicated in the OCP as well as to address requests by the town council and the director of planning,” said resident Joyce Damon. “The form and character of the variety of housing to be offered will complement the Eaglecrest and the Qualicum Beach community. As the Todsen development is to be a bare land strata, the 16 lots will be quite a boon to the Qualicum Beach tax base. Many folks will be employed on this project directly and indirectly.”

Damon said they’ve lived in Qualicum Beach for 40 years and supported many of the developments in the town.

“Qualicum Beach can take pride in its history of slow, well-planned growth,” said Damon. “But now to block all growth is to erect a tombstone on this town.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

qualicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Qualicum Beach will put aside money for future purchase of electric vehicle and to put up charging stations. (Photo Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)
Qualicum Beach to put aside funds for purchase of electric vehicles, charging stations

Citizens can donate funds to help reduce emissions in town

Ecko Aleck, recipient of $5,000 award for Indigenous entrepreneurs presented by Young Entrepreneurs Symposium. (photo courtesy of Adam Ziorio Photography)
Qualicum Beach woman one of 20 winners in nationwide challenge for Indigenous entrepreneurs

Ecko Aleck plans to create youth council with paid consultation

(PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach voters head back to the polls on May 15

Byelection will be held to replace former councillor (now MLA) Adam Walker

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Most Read