EDITORIAL: Qualicum Beach council follies

What this council says about attracting families to the town is undermined by what it actually does

Qualicum Beach town council has taken a proposal that called for 60 housing units near a school and sliced it into something it feels better about, 12 units.

If councillors believe they were elected to keep development at bay, they are doing a good job.

However, councillors shouldn’t try to play both sides of the fence. If they want to limit development and give every person with a building/business/real estate idea a hard time, go right ahead. It seems some of the councillors believe they were elected to do just that.

Those same councillors cannot then talk about how they want to make Qualicum Beach more friendly for families. They cannot talk about how they want to see more affordable housing. At least they shouldn’t talk about those things with a straight face.

This most recent example centred around a parcel of land on Laburnum. Its development coincides with provisions of the much-talked-about official community plan and the used-as-a-ruse-by-some urban containment boundary.

It’s near a school, a reasonably new Qualicum Beach Elementary. That checks the family-friendly boxes.

The plan to build 60, or even 30 units on this parcel of land would most likely (how could it not?) produce homes that will cost less than the big-lot 12-unit proposal that council allowed to go to first reading after seriously grinding the landowners into submission.

Sixty or 30 units would have checked both the family-friendly and the affordable housing boxes, at least in a relative fashion.

No, this council apparently wants big houses on big lots. There seems to be no appetite for clustering relatively affordable homes near a school.

If council’s objection to this development was centred around the protection of wetlands in the area, that almost might make sense. A strong stance environmentally is at least a consistent message with principle. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for the majority of council regarding this proposal.

We cannot imagine a developer, whether it be single or multiple units, trying to do any kind of business with this town at this stage. The messages coming out of council chambers are conflicting at best. The voters are always correct, but we can’t imagine voters bargained for this type of erratic behaviour.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Suspect identified after theft of safe

Oceanside RCMP received 254 complaints the week of Nov. 24-30

Parksville swimmer Bennett has sights set on 2020 Para Olympics

Canadian coach impressed with rapid progress of world-record holder

RDN board votes to continue webcasting meetings despite low viewership

Staff to report back to RDN board about live-streamed meetings in time for 2021 budget discussions

Manna hands out gift cards to those in need in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Volunteers say it makes a big difference during the holidays

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read