Qualicum Beach residents had an opportunity to give their views on the Pheasant Glen 225-unit multi-residential development, during a virtual public hearing on March 31.
The hearing lasted two hours, with participants offering thoughts on the developers’ application to amend the zoning and official community plan to support a destination resort at 1025 Qualicum Beach Rd.
Although there was support for creation of a destination resort, some residents felt the project was being rushed and it lacked details on town infrastructure that would be connected to the resort, as well as the cost to taxpayers, environmental protection of the area and guarantees the property won’t be put up for sale down the road.
Glenn MacKenzie said he is in favour of development but not at the expense of amending the zoning and the town’s OCP without consulting the public. He pointed out the Pheasant Glen lands were carefully allowed to be removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve to be used for tourism related facilities to create employment and community benefit.
“We urge council to only approve tourism facilities in keeping with both the original Agricultural Land Reserve intention for the land and with the Qualicum Beach official community plan,” said MacKenzie. “We’re also alarmed that this is the only opportunity for public input or last opportunity on this massive change to our town. Both the senior town management and the advisory planning commission have recommended more public input. For these reasons council must refuse this proposal or at least plan for more public input.”
Joyce Damon said they were thrilled to hear about the Pheasant Glen development and the positive benefits it will have to the town and residents. She indicated she was a former teacher and basketball coach at Kwalikum Secondary and often organized basketball tournaments that attracted teams from all over Vancouver Island and also from the Lower Mainland. At the time, Damon said, the town could accommodate the visiting teams as there were choices to stay such as the Qualicum College Inn, the Sunset Inn/George Inn, the Benbow Inn and many others.
“But we’ve lost all of those,” said Damon. “My last tournament was a provincial championship which brought in 15 teams from the province in addition to parents, fans, officials and so forth. Even then, several had to stay in Parksville as our facilities were dwindling. What a shame. When Qualicum stages a car show, most people are staying in Parksville and beyond.”
Pheasant Glen is proposing to build 225 units, with 185 alloted for either residential or tourist accommodations. There will be 40 units held and used as daily, weekly or monthly rentals. But development requires an amendment to the Comprehensive Development Zone 5 which does not allow resort accommodation, recreation facility, bed and breakfast, lock-off suite accommodations, public assembly and outdoor recreation.
No decision was made by council following the hearing.