The Town of Qualicum Beach went ahead with a plan to sell a portion of a road right of way on Teal Road.
The move didn’t come without controversy, however.
The town’s plan was to remove the dedication of highway from the 276-square metre site, located between Pintail Drive and Butterball Drive in the Eaglecrest subdivision and sell portions of it to homeowners on either side, while retaining an easement on the centre portion for future utility installation.
Speaking at a special council meeting Wednesday, area resident John Kurulak slammed the move and urged council to reconsider, calling the plan “shocking.”
“That land was set aside for a potential trail,” he said. “There’s no way anyone ever intended to put a roadway down there. It’s inconceivable. It was intended to be a public space. It also has intrinsic value as a wildlife corridor.”
As well, he said, a trail and stairway would not only serve the public, but would also increase the area’s property values.
However, town planner Luke Sales stressed there were no plans to put a road at the site, because of steep terrain.
While Sales added it would be possible to put a stairway in, it’s an expensive option, particularly since there are two access points nearby.
The site’s use as a public viewpoint had also been considered, but the town has no plans to put one there any time soon.
Councillor Barry Avis said the site could have been developed for another house, but council felt this would not be appropriate.
“Even though the land is wide enough, it would mean the property would have to be cleared and we considered that a non-starter for the area,” he said.
Coun. Mary Brouilette agreed.
“This wasn’t an easy decision on our parts from the beginning. We’ve had much discussion on this and out of the options, it’s more protective of the area. I sympathize with Mr. Kurulak. But on this piece of property, this is the best use.”
The rest of council agreed and the vote to move forward on the matter was unanimous.