Hats off to council

Densification of the downtown means buildings are going to have to go up, not out

My congratulations to Dean Dreger in his letter “Wheels off the Bus” (The News, July 13). It is so refreshing to read a thoughtful, analytical opinion without laying blame on one or more council members.

His observation that the town gained 610 inhabitants in the 65-85 year old age bracket from 2006-2011 suggests the Town gear itself up to become the retail Antique capital of Vancouver Island. Look at the success of Glendale, Arizona.

I do not view coun. Bill Luchtmeir’s statement that the council has too much control as being out of line but rather believe his statement is one of frustration because there is a lack of flexibility on the part of the town.

The town is desperate for some types of development but gone are the days of an abundance of what is referred to as Triple A tenants which encourage developers to do their thing — develop. With the shortage of retail demand this means future developments will have no need to include a commercial/retail component.

A number of years ago a potential development located on First Ave. adjacent to the town hall was brought forward for consideration, however, the developer gave up in frustration because of the town’s inflexibility for a slight height variance and the town’s demands, over and above the regular DCC, for an excessive financial contribution to cover specific infrastructure improvement far removed from the site. This site remains undeveloped, thus, a lost opportunity resulting in low tax revenue. Someone at the time didn’t understand economics, the art of compromise or flexibility.

Many years ago society demanded large lots and urban sprawl spread like wildfire with 75-foot frontage becoming the norm. Now the old Hudson Bay lots of 33 feet look rather sensible as does increased densification. However, densification and economics are greatly influenced by height.

Throughout B.C. there are many golf courses whose main core of membership are seniors who can often be reluctant to approve finances for improvements and see little need for change. Without the necessary improvements it is very difficult to attract younger members. Does the Town of Qualicum Beach fit into this scenario?

Donn Gardner

 

Qualicum Beach