Qualicum Beach town council expansion still possible

Against Coun. Mary Brouilette's objections, council will get staff to produce a report on how to expand to a council of seven members

It wouldn’t be a Qualicum Beach town council meeting without some navel-gazing discussion about how this group of elected officials goes about its business.

If one could devise a drinking game that would require participants to down a shot every time the word ‘process’ is uttered at one of these gatherings, no one would be driving home.

Governance was a topic again Monday night on two fronts, one initiated by council itself and another by a resident. Against Coun. Mary Brouilette’s objections, council will get a report from staff on what is required, and when, related to adding a referendum question to the November ballots asking voters if they want to expand council from five members (the mayor and four councillors) to seven (the mayor and six councillors).

Mayor Teunis Westbroek’s motion to at least look at the staff report passed after a motion by Brouilette to cancel the entire discussion was not supported by any other members of council.

“This year we have a lot going on,” said Brouilette. “This is a non-critical issue. The timing is poor. I don’t think it is a priority.”

Later, resident Graham Riches, saying he represented a group called the Concerned Citizens of Qualicum Beach, came before council to once again complain about what he views the “rushed approval process” of the Clarion development in the village.

Riches also asked council again to build in more time and opportunity for public input into decisions. He spoke of a survey the group did and claimed “our views were shared by more than 800” of the 1,100 people surveyed.

“We heard many residents have lost faith in the council,” said Riches.

By law, municipal councillors are not allowed to receive any additional feedback after a public hearing. At least once councillor, Bill Luchtmeijer, said he didn’t like that rule, but he said a town council can’t arbitrarily change the provincial legislation.

“Personally, I feel the public hearing process is very one-sided,” said Luchtmeijer. “We (councillors) get to listen and we can’t respond. It (the issue of a specific public hearing) is not open to debate or discussion.”

A visit to the website of the Concerned Citizens of Qualicum Beach this week reveled no reference to any survey, no list of the group’s officers or organizational structure, no claims of any number of members, no names of group contacts and no references to any meetings, regularly scheduled or otherwise.

Also, briefly, from town council’s meeting Monday night:

• Council learned the company that owned the property where the Crystal Terrace development on the Island Highway was supposed to go has been sold. Staff reported the new owner has committed to removing the pilings on the property and a right-of-way required in a 2012 resolution of council has been registered. Staff reported it will now issue a development permit, as per the 2012 resolution.

• Council authorized staff to enter into separate fee-for-service agreements with both Broombusters and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Both were renewals with some minor changes.

• Council gave first reading to a bylaw amending the current secondary suites bylaw. There are four changes: garden suites will be permitted on non-ALR parcels of land; the maximum size of any carriage house, garden suite or secondary suite is 90 square metres (969 square feet); the owner-occupancy requirement will be eliminated; DCCs for secondary suites within the village neighbourhood would be eliminated. Click on this link to read a story on our website from June detailing the secondary suites review plans (http://www.pqbnews.com/news/212363461.html).

• Staff reported the timelines for changing the town’s growth containment boundary and the site-specific official community plan related to the proposed Pheasant Glen development have changed. The growth containment boundary change should be ready to send to the regional district of Nanaimo by the end of March and bylaws related to OCP changes for Pheasant Glen would likely be ready for town council by June.

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
‘Springsteen on Broadway’ clears way for AstraZeneca recipients to attend show

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville council receives letter from B.C.’s health minister regarding free prescription contraception

Letter was in response to Parksville’s support for universal no-cost measure

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

Most Read