It was love at first sight the day I drove into Qualicum Beach for the first time.
Now as a resident, I have an interest in ensuring that our town continues to be one of the most liveable communities in the country.
As a professional community planner and a former board member of a small city economic development corporation, perhaps I have some insight on towns that may be applicable here.
Planning towns, besides the technical elements, involves imagination, vision and values.
The plan, in my view is, thoughtful, and forward thinking. It is good for its residents, especially good for real-estate businesses, and for the retail sector.
It can, however, have little influence on the future of the high school and cannot deliver affordable housing. These must come from senior levels of government.
The plan continues to provide one of the basic foundations business requires: a highly attractive built environment. People love charming places to visit and to dispose of their cash.
However, is the business community marketing itself to its best advantage?
We need to make sure the goods and services wanted are provided to tourists, residents and the thousands that live in the region.
Population growth as a requirement for a sustainable economy is not the way to the future, if we want to preserve other values.
The success of our business sector is important, however, it will have to be more creative to effectively meet the future.
An examination of population trends would probably show that most of us arrive late in life, making it incumbent on the planners to ensure we keep attracting a replacement population. That may be the sustainability challenge. It is how Qualicum Beach looks and feels that draws us here.
This plan sets forth policies that supports what is already good, anticipates an uncertain future and can flex to meet challenges.
No plan is perfect or will please everyone, but this one should have the support of the vast majority of residents who love Qualicum Beach. Love is not blind.