Getting the support of residents will be a crucial component of the Town of Qualicum Beach’s major East Village development project.
The town is planning to establish an East Village Local Area Service Bylaw and East Village Loan Authorization Bylaw to pay for public realm improvements on Second Avenue East and two adjacent intersections. Before that, town council wants to gauge whether property owners fronting Second Avenue East who will benefit from the development would be willing to finance the project through taxation.
Council at its regular meeting on Oct. 7 gave first and second readings to each of the proposed bylaws but held back on giving third readings after the town has collected input from ratepayers, who are given until 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 to submit their petition against the local service plan.
Coun. Robert Filmer who indicated reluctance to give the bylaws third reading as he wanted to reserve his decision while public feedback is being sought.
“I understand why we’re doing three readings and I am not trying to delay it in any way,” said Filmer.
“I understand that it’s only going to affect the people that are included in that area.
But any decision we make affects all the residents in some way or another and all the residents have a say in what we do and how we operate. I am just curious just in case something was to come up between second and third reading we’d have a resident that would be able to give us their comments.”
The project has already received $250,000 funding from Island Coastal Economic Trust, bringing the cost down to $2,116,530, which would be allocated to the local area service.
The plan is to finance the development through a 30-year loan and town staff estimates the annual parcel tax would be approximately $355 per linear metre of frontage.
The petition against response form, draft bylaws and other information regarding the East Village Local Area Service may be obtained from the town office, 201-660 Primrose St., Qualicum Beach (250-752-6921) or from the town’s website at www.qualicumbeach.com.
The major undertaking will transform the town streets into a distinct and vibrant area, including streetscape redesign, pedestrian friendly elements and a focus on accessibility.