The location of the land purchase that has been tentatively agreed to by the town of Qualicum Beach. (Photo submitted by the town of Qualicum Beach)

Time running out for public to share thoughts on ‘bus garage’ property sale in Qualicum Beach

Residents have until Jan. 29 to have voices heard

Residents have until Jan. 29 to share feedback on the potential $2.5M sale of the old bus garage and Qualicum Commons property to Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd.

The project has drawn questions and criticism from Ken Schley and John Biuolo, landlords of the nearby Quality Foods property in Qualicum Beach.

They said they don’t believe the consultation period for the sale is long enough and wonder about the standing of a previous proposal.

“It was our understanding that the Village Green concept with a cinema being led by Joe Martin and other local residents was in the works,” said Briuolo in a press release.

The town of Qualicum Beach tentatively agreed to an offer from Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd. to purchase the town-owned land last week for the $2.5 million.

“When we built the new QF we made a substantial contribution to the town for parking located on the town-owned TOSH property, so after 40 years of being a part of the community and being a large stockholder next door to the property we were surprised that the town didn’t consult us,” said Schley.

They both expressed questions surrounding the status of the East Village concept, and the lack of movement from the town on it in recent months.

READ MORE: Naked Naturals has tentative deal for $2.5M purchase of town-owned land in Qualicum Beach

READ MORE: Old bus garage in downtown Qualicum Beach to be demolished

Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese said this sale doesn’t mean the town is abandoning East Village — he said this plan still allows the East Village site to reach its “full potential.”

“During discussions about East Village, Naked Naturals expressed that the ideal location for a new store would be across from Quality Foods on that town-owned land. Once again, council took the time to consider their proposal and ultimately reached an agreement,” said Wiese in an email.

He said the purpose at this time is to gather public feedback about the concept.

“The notice period currently follows the provincial regulations for disposal of municipal land. The town is only looking at the land sale at this time – there will be further public consultation in the future when Naked Naturals submits a development proposal,” he said, adding “the proposal from Naked Naturals is in line with the OCP and would also help meet the town’s need for affordable housing.”

“The town also hopes to continue working with the QF landlords on the East Village and other projects in the future,” said Wiese.

Residents can give feedback on the potential sale by calling the town at 250-752-6921 or by emailing qbtown@qualicumbeach.com.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

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