I voted no on the survey question on whether or not to make the former school bus site into a parking lot! Neither should it be used for another art facility or gallery, located as it is alongside TOSH.
The previous town council received many suggestions for the property’s use, held numerous public hearings, received suggestions and still never reached a decision, other than to make it into a parking lot.
Today’s council is concerned about filling the downtown area, has acknowledged the lack of hotel accommodation and no after-hours activity in Qualicum Beach — yet appears to be just as bereft of positive thinking as previous councils.
After several years of public forums and deliberations, the decision is to simply tear out bushes and fences, re-locate the entrance, probably discover the need for new asphalt and in the end simply provide more parking for patrons of TOSH and Qualicum Foods.
I have no criticism with either of these two worthy enterprises in our town’s core, but there is plenty of unused street and lot parking available already in the downtown area, within only a short walk of Memorial and 2nd Avenues.
Despite recognizing the need for filling the downtown core with businesses, realizing that visitors to our town are looking for something to do and observing that there is no overnight accommodation within an easy walk of downtown, the current council appears to be following the same route as preceding councils.
What’s happened to the suggestion for a central hotel with a licensed lounge, entertainment and respectable pub? Let’s hope that the present council can re-think this matter and make a better considered decision, faster than preceding councils took when dealing with the old George Inn property.