Qualicum Beach could look at tax breaks for developments

Town council received a report on the status of some developments that have been on the books for some time

On a request from Coun. Barry Avis, Qualicum Beach town staff updated council on some properties with proposed developments at its Nov. 16 meeting.

Avis had suggested that some vacant lots where projects had been proposed were becoming eyesores and may just need a nudge from council or staff to restart.

Director of Planning Luke Sales said town staff did contact several property owners, but Sales said the owners were generally reluctant to share details or plans. Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Sailland attributed most of the delays to the owner’s planning process largely depending on the economy, but said council could look at incentive policies like tax breaks.

Sales’ report to council listed nine high-profile properties including the Clarion project beside town hall, where a building permit application is waiting for more information, the ongoing College Heights renovation of the old waterfront boys school is in the selling phase and the Crown Mansion still has approval for 36 new units but there doesn’t appear to be any current plan.

Sales said it was good timing for the question to come back up, since he was finally able to report the long pending waterfront Crystal Terraces proposal was now for sale and the eyesore sales building on the property was about to be torn down.

The report said a proposed Pheasant Glenn Golf Resort project — adding 100 vacation homes, 60 resort cabins and new facilities like a clubhouse, pavilion and amphitheatre — was refused a zoning change, but is still the owners’ “preferred option.”

Together the nine properties propose more than 377 new residences. The other properties are eight units at 101 Railway Street, a new Eaglecrest subdivision with no numbers provided, a 40-unit condominium on the former Sunset Inn property (532 Memorial Ave.) which received zoning approval and has been sold by the mortgage lender, and a 42-unit proposal at 673 Fir Street which Sales’ report said was “being held for investment purposes.”

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