The Town of Qualicum Beach wants to densify its downtown population. It has recently consulted with the development community to seek out ways of achieving this.
So what is the first proposal to come before council? A request to cram 49 homes onto an approximately 10 acre parcel smack dab in front of the middle school property at the west end of town.
This plan was rejected by the previous council and, not surprisingly, is back again with some minor modifications for the new expansionist councillors to approve.
A potential 50 to 100 additional vehicles creating a hazard at the front entrance to the school would not be a positive change. Distance to the downtown core would probably mean little walking but the addition of these vehicles to the existing congestion.
But the icing on the cake is the proposal to provide 22 affordable homes. Unfortunately nobody seems to know what affordable means.
Is it purchase or rental? Is it a main house or secondary suite, carriage house or garden suite? How will the provision of such accommodation be assured? How will its affordability be controlled? How much effect will the currently unknown market value of these houses have on the affordable portion of the project?
Too much of this proposal is feel good statements but lacking established plans. The affordable housing portion is potentially a recipe for disaster in its present vague form. Council would do well to go slowly and carefully before making any decisions.