Demographic dilemma

If something isn't done soon, local business community continue to whither

This letter is in regards to the letter from Lesley Winter, entitled Staying small (The News, Sept. 20).

I share Lesley Winter’s enthusiasm for Qualicum Beach, but can’t agree with the rationale that resisting appropriate development will preserve the town we love.

It really is time for people to realize that a continually aging demographic is going to kill our town.

This month we lost Elena’s Bakery, a long standing and much valued business. It’s empty building is now keeping company with a number of properties and businesses that are “To Let” or “For Sale.”

The fact is that if we don’t start to encourage younger families into the area we run the risk of losing the wonderful selection of unique businesses that populate our downtown core. And, with elections forthcoming, it’s time for all of our candidates to show some leadership and explain why we need to make some changes to preserve our town rather than entrenching themselves in resistance to appropriate development.

Why not release land for development for houses that have a reasonable maximum square footage, minimum of three bedrooms and playground facilities in common space as part of the permit’s conditions? The Town could play their part by linking developments to schools with safe routes for walking and cycling, thus sending a message that the area welcomes families.

Let me be clear, I’m fully supportive of the senior community in Qualicum Beach, and intend to be a part of it at some point in the future. The reality, however, is that seniors have no reason to make use of our town’s schools and businesses in the same way as families whose needs change as their children grow.

The community here does not owe me, or any other business owner, a living, but our businesses and schools need to operate in an appropriate demographic. With Qualicum Beach’s population getting older by the year, be aware that the un-halted deterioration of our downtown core will oblige everyone to head for the strips we moved here to avoid.

Michael Addiscot

 

Qualicum Beach

 

 

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