LETTER: How will town residents benefit from excluding RDN?

As you may appreciate, some recent amendments made by (Qualicum Beach) council have raised questions among residents. In some cases, council has voted to try to exclude certain authorities from the town planning process. In doing so, council has given itself greater authority and responsibility.

In council discussion leading to this amendment, certain questions come to mind. For example, I am not aware of any example where the RDN has actually stopped any development from happening. Is there any example? Council discussion has implied that the RDN has been an interference to development within the town. I am aware that the RDN has required rigorous environmental impact studies that a developer must satisfy prior to going forward, and some developers have elected not to move forward. Is that the interference council is trying to avoid?

Given council’s intention to remove an authority from the town planning process, should residents assume that with their added responsibility, town council would require the conducting of all environmental impact studies as currently stipulated by the RDN? Or is it council’s intention to further “streamline” the planning process by removing those impact studies as a pre approval requirement? If this is the case, perhaps council should explain to residents how they will benefit from this change.

Lance Nater, Qualicum Beach

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