EDITORIAL: Ambitious OCP

As the population in Qualicum Beach dips, the Town will have a tough time reaching its 12,000 build-out goal

The Town of Qualicum Beach has a lot of work to do if it is going to live up to the growth provisions of its Official Community Plan.

A build-out of 12,000 residents. It’s a number we thought would be shuffled to the back and forgotten with this new council, but Mayor Teunis Westbroek reintroduced it to the conversation in a story Tuesday about population figures.

B.C. Statistics reported the population of Qualicum Beach declined 0.5 per cent in 2014 to 8,500.

“I consider the population statistics for last year as a minor fluctuation in our long-term plan which will see a build out to approximately 12,000,” said the mayor.

A closer look at the numbers and some very conservative projections on deaths and births suggest the town will have to start aggressively attracting people, jobs and development if it is to reach the number quoted from the OCP by Westbroek.

Let’s say the long-term plan has an end game of

60 years. Two generations sounds long-term enough.

On average, according to B.C. Vital Statistics, more than twice the amount of people die each year than there are births in the District 69 area. That rate is higher in Qualicum Beach — there are suggestions it’s 6:1 — but let’s go with 2:1 to be conservative. Continuing that conservative trend, let’s say Qualicum Beach loses 50 people a year through the birth/deaths ratio.

The town currently has 8,500 people. It needs 3,500 to reach the build-out of 12,000. In 60 years, the town will lose 3,000 people using the conservative births/deaths ratio we’ve chosen.

That means Qualicum Beach needs to attract 6,500 people to reach build out in 60 years. Let’s get even more conservative, and simplify the math, and call it 6,000. Qualicum Beach needs to attract 100 new people to town every year for the next 60 years to reach the OCP’s build-out number.

For this four-year council term alone, that’s 400 people, likely somewhere around 200 homes.

Does anyone believe this council will be agreeable to the construction of 200 more living spaces in the next four years?

Extensive public consultation and adherence to the letter of the OCP were the buzzwords that swept this council into office. It will be interesting to see if this council will adhere to the OCP’s build-out number and, if so, how it plans to accomplish that goal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Qualicum school district board reiterates support for 8-lane track at Ballenas Secondary

Officials pen another letter to Regional District of Nanaimo to clarify position

Public health forum in Parksville Jan. 30

Island Health will provide an update for the region

Cinema society concerned about bus garage property sale in Qualicum Beach

Group planned on commissioning a feasibility study for multi-use cinema

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Most Read