Qualicum Beach council has halted a planned demolition of the heritage building St. Andrews Lodge for now.
Council made the decision at a special meeting on Nov. 6, called by councillors Teunis Westbroek and Adam Walker under the Community Charter. It included directing staff to install signage immediately. Mayor Brian Wiese was opposed.
However, council’s earlier move to remove the structure has not been taken off the table, as council was not able to vote on a proposed motion to rescind the decision made on Oct. 28 to relocate or demolish the historical structure.
Coun. Scott Harrison raised legal concerns as he suggested they might be breaching the contract the town already entered with a contractor hired to do the demolition.
A new motion (passed unanimously) was made to direct staff to look into legal issues and cost involved if council rescinds the Oct. 28 motion.
Council also debated a motion to direct staff to support and work with the Qualicum Community Education & Wellness Society in establishing the St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society, to which the town would lease the lodge building in a similar arrangement as exists with the The Old School House Arts Society — after the lodge building has been restored at no cost to the town.
After an exchange of opinions, it was decided the phrase “will lease” be amended to “could lease,” which council agreed to unanimously.