Qualicum Beach town council continues to deny Laburnum development

This despite the fact the land is inside the much-talked-about urban containment boundary

It’s back to the drawing board once again for 560/570 Laburnum Road in Qualicum Beach.

John Larson of C.A. Design presented to Qualicum Beach town council the rezoning application for 560/570 Laburnum Road. Larson said the development would be close to Qualicum Beach Elementary School, it would be within the urban containment boundary and the growth containment boundary and it’s identified in the Official Community Plan (OCP) as part of the west Qualicum Beach development area.

Regardless of Larson’s presentation and the motion for council to proceed to first reading, the rezoning application failed with councillors Barry Avis, Neil Horner and Anne Skipsey voting no.

Because of the ambiguities in the OCP regarding west Qualicum Beach, director of planning Luke Sales said staff wanted the rezoning application to be referred to the advisory planning commission for further comment.

Coun. Horner was the first to voice his opinion, saying that he would not be supporting the rezoning application.

“I didn’t like the last proposal,” Horner said. “I do not like this proposal. It’s not all that different in my opinion except for the lack of all the kumbaya we saw last time around.”

According to Sales, the property was out of the town’s boundary in the late 1990s, but was eventually included into the town’s urban containment boundary with implied opportunity in the future for development.

“The idea at that time was to focus the development into a cluster, so instead of spreading it out over the entire expansive west Qualicum Beach, focus all of that energy in one specific area, but it never advanced past the point of an intention,” Sales said.

Coun. Skipsey said the last time the proposal came forward it was for 29 units, and this most recent one was for 27 small-lot units.

“I still feel that that the density is too high for this property being that it’s currently zoned rural,” Skipsey said. “I suggested the last time that the appropriate time to look at zoning changes was during the OCP review period. I would stick to that being that we’re coming up on an OCP review.”

Coun. Avis added that he didn’t see anything different in this proposal.

The rezoning application for the 8.17-hectare property on Laburnum Road was 27 small-lot residential dwellings, two larger lots for the existing homes, a wetland area to be donated to the town for conservation purposes and a park area and 10-metre green buffer adjacent to Laburnum Road.

Mayor Teunis Westbroek and Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer both supported the rezoning application.

Luchtmeijer said that allowing the property to be included in the town’s urban containment boundary implied that there would be an intention.

“Up until now all the intention — or at least until the Livewell proposal — all the intentions on that piece of property were to put some urban density,” Luchtmeijer said.

The next council meeting is Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.

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