Qualicum Beach council has adopted its Official Community Plan.
Council endorsed the document at Monday’s meeting following nearly a year-and-a-half of meetings and discussions. The document was adopted unanimously, but not without some criticisms.
Mayor Teunis Westbroek said he felt like the process took too long.
Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer once again repeated his comments that he felt like the OCP isn’t a “visionary document,” but is instead a number of rules.
“I recommend that for future community plan processes we define what we’re looking for before we start,” said Luchtmeijer, adding that it felt like the OCP “cobbled together a whole bunch of things because we didn’t know where we were going.”
Westbroek said it is a lot of rules, “but we are governed by rules.”
“We’re a government. There’s got to be rules,” Westbroek said.
Coun. Anne Skipsey said she was a little disappointed with the optics of the OCP regarding a vote for the urban containment boundary following the public comment period, adding that it “didn’t help us really earn the trust and respect of many citizens for both council and the process itself.”
Qualicum Beach council, in a 3-2 vote, approved expanding the urban containment boundary May 28, but then at a subsequent meeting, council voted to instead keep the UCB where it is and instead create a municipal services boundary.
“Do I think this new OCP is perfect? No, but I do think there are a lot of good things in it and it has incorporated a lot of the input from the community,” Skipsey said.
Coun. Avis said he was still concerned about changes made following the public hearing. Avis also had a motion that an expansion to the urban containment boundary be supported by: a land inventory demand and supply analysis that assesses the need for additional land to be included within the UCB; a land use concept plan; an environmental impact assessment that identifies environmentally sensitive areas; a surface water or hydro-geological study that assesses the availability and quality of water; existing road traffic conditions; and demand for transit.
CAO Daniel Sailland said he felt Avis’ motion brought council into unanimity.
“It’s saying, ‘Alright, if this is the way we’re going to do our planning and we’re not going to go to the regional district, let’s make sure that we’re clear on the steps and the information that’s considered before that urban containment boundary changes,’” Sailland said.
Avis’s motion, Sailland said, has been adopted into the OCP but will also come back as a policy.