(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

Qualicum Beach councillor urges AVICC to oppose plan to remove housing approval powers

Westbroek submits late resolution

Qualicum Beach Coun. Teunis Westbroek has submitted a late resolution to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities that opposes a potential plan to take away municipal powers in approving development permits.

Westbroek has decided to do this on his own, after his motion to direct staff to draft a resolution for the Town of the Qualicum Beach did not pass. He has informed council of his intention.

Last February, provincial Minister of Housing David Eby indicated the provincial government is considering introducing legislation and regulatory changes that would take the final decision-making authority for housing development permit approvals out of the hands of local governments.

Westbroek strongly opposes the potential plan. He created a resolution, with some help from a legal counsel that urges the AVICC to petition the provincial government to leave the authority to approve all development within the said local government, and to make no changes to the fundamental principles embedded in the legislation and make no changes that might have the effect of doing so.

The deadline to submit a resolution to the AVICC to included in the annual report and resolutions was Jan. 28. Westbroek said late submissions would still be accepted for consideration by the AVICC executive until noon on March 30. And for a late resolution to be admitted for debate at the AVICC convention on April 2-3 in Victoria, it should be of an urgent or emergent nature or something that happened past the deadline.

READ MORE: QB councillor wants municipal governments to retain power to approve construction

Westbroek believes his resolution is an important issue that local governments on the Island should be worried about.

“This issue is timely,” said Westbroek. “The UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) won’t meet until September and they will all be too late by then. So I think there’s a sense of urgency.”

Local governments know best about height restrictions, environmental issues, parking and many more said Westbroek.

“And for the province to say we’re not going to let you decide on height restrictions, that should be a red flag for everybody in the community,” said Westbroek. “I do know that what I’m doing may get some people’s noses out of joint but I am prepared to fight for this because to me, that’s the essence of local government.”

Westbroek said he is also considering amending his resolution by adding they would work with the province on the ‘real’ issue, the provision of low cost-housing and addressing the escalating problem of homelessness.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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