The Town of Qualicum Beach council held a special council meeting to discuss the draft Official Community Plan following a public information meeting on April 4. — NEWS file photo

Qualicum Beach council amends draft OCP

Councillors question making changes to document

Following a public information meeting last week in which some residents said the draft Official Community Plan did not reflect the Quality of Life survey results, Qualicum Beach council has made some amendments to the document to reflect the survey results.

But some of those changes didn’t sit well with some council members.

Town council held two special council meetings Monday and Tuesday (April 9 and 10) to discuss the draft OCP, following last Wednesday’s (April 4) public information meeting. Council went through the document page by page to make the amendments.

RELATED: Qualicum Beach draft OCP draws criticism

However, at the start of Tuesday’s meeting, Coun. Anne Skipsey said she had “an uneasy feeling” over what transpired in the first meeting one night earlier.

“I’m very concerned about the number of changes that council has taken the liberty to make, and I would include myself in that,” said Skipsey, adding the changes bring into question the purpose of the two-year process.

She said she felt uncomfortable with many of the changes.

“To start striking fundamental objectives, policies and values because we, personally, don’t like them or because once upon a time they caused some raised eyes; I don’t think is honouring the process.”

In response, Coun. Neil Horner said, “We were elected to this council to make decisions, so let’s get to work.”

After Tuesday’s meeting, Horner told The NEWS that he didn’t agree with Skipsey’s comment, which he said “put two years of hard work at risk.”

Avis said he agreed with Skipsey and suggested keeping a record of all the motions made for further review which staff agreed to do.

The first discussion Monday was a direct follow up to comments made last week by former OCP review steering committee chair Kevin Monahan, which addressed the lack of clarity in the draft.

Horner said the document should follow Monahan’s suggestion about clarifying the directives and the recommendations because of confusing language.

“The directives, he indicated, must not say ‘should’ or ‘could,’ but rather ‘shall’ and ‘must.’ Similarly recommendations should not say ‘shall’ or ‘must,’ but rather ‘should’ and ‘could,’” Horner said.

CAO Daniel Sailland said staff did make note of it and will be reviewing the additional recommendations made along the way. He said staff wants to look at condensing the document after receiving comments that the draft is too long.

Avis said the draft should also include Monahan’s suggestion about the three-storey height limit in the village neighbourhood.

“It was pointed out in our Quality of Life survey (results) — and we’ve got to listen to the people — that the residents of Qualicum Beach wanted three-storey (limits), and anything other than that… should be an exception.”

Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said he disagrees with using the “carte blanche” statement of a three-storey height maximum.

“I think there are places where we should be encouraging some alternate thinking, other than the ‘You can’t go more than 30 feet off the ground in the Town of Qualicum Beach’ because there are some opportunities in town,” said Luchtmeijer, referring to the Berwick Qualicum Beach development next door to town hall and The Gardens at Qualicum Beach.

Mayor Teunis Westbroek suggested including the three-storey limit reference in the document but with some “flexibility.”

He made a motion for the amendment to include the three-storey limit with flexibility “to make people aware that it’s what we like to see, but we make some exceptions.”

However, Luchtmeijer said, the OCP shouldn’t be a restrictive document.

He also said the vision statement should include an economic strategy.

“We’re sort of floating along by the seat of our pants, and I see that comments like ‘Let’s go three-storey (limit) and put it in the OCP.’ Well that ignores some of the economic development aspects by creating a set of restrictions.

“The OCP shouldn’t be a document that restricts actions in Qualicum Beach. It should be a document that directs actions in Qualicum Beach and encourages some creative thinking.”

The document, Luchtmeijer said, is ignoring economic development altogether.

The draft OCP has been given first reading by council. Second reading is expected at council’s April 16 regular meeting.

Send story tips to: lauren.collins@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Five young goats go missing in Lantzville

Goats escape through hole in fence at property on Sywash Ridge Road

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Generals host camp in Parksville

Main camp attracts 45 players vying for sport in this season’s roster

Parksville-area watchdogs say drivers getting message on cell use

Other distracted driving habits still a problem

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Most Read