Kevin Monahan, Official Community Plan review chair, was one of the speakers at Thursday’s (Dec. 14) committee of the whole meeting on the OCP review process. — Lauren Collins photo

OCP review divides council on town growth

Qualicum Beach council defers discussion on OCP review to new year

After three hours of discussion, Town of Qualicum Beach council agreed to defer the remainder of the talks on the Official Community Plan review to the new year.

The review at Thursday’s (Dec. 14) committee of the whole meeting had more than 70 recommendations for the Official Community Plan review. In three hours, council covered the first 24 recommendations.

When council, staff and the gallery took a break for lunch, Mayor Teunis Westbroek suggested coming back in the new year to finish the rest of the discussions.

The first two dozen recommendations covered housing and residential development in the area.

Coun. Barry Avis said he was concerned about the vision for the OCP.

“When I look at the Quality of Life survey, there is a tremendous amount of attention given to quality of life and small town, and yet when I look at what we’re being presented, the majority of it is about growth and development.

RELATED: Qualicum Beach unveils survey results

“I see this as more — instead of an Official Community Plan, I see it more as an official growth plan,” Avis said.

Avis also said what was lacking from the OCP review was an action plan to prioritize the resolutions.

Luchtmeijer said the OCP review is a growth plan.

“It is, for the simple fact that how this town grows is really important to what Qualicum Beach is going to look like in 50 years,” Luchtmeijer said. “It is a growth plan whether it’s a restriction of growth or an encouragement of growth; it focuses on what this town is going to look like in the future.”

Coun. Anne Skispey, however, said the need for growth could be skewed between the overall results of the survey, which includes non-residents, and the results of only residents’ input in the survey. Skispey said that overall, the survey results state more than 40 per cent wanted residential growth within the town, while only 32 per cent of town residents wanted residential growth.

“There is a significant difference in some of these numbers, and I think some of the assumptions that we’re making are based on the bigger input, said Skipsey, adding town staff and council should be looking at the numbers that reflect the residents’ feedback.

While council agreed to defer the rest of the discussions on the OCP review, council did not set a date for the discussions.

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