Qualicum Beach build-out details

While I appreciate the many caveats in Harding’s calculations, I believe that there is in fact a serious erroneous assumption.

John Harding’s recent editorial discussing the Official Community Plan’s maximum build-out of 12,000 people in the future Qualicum Beach raises many important questions and concerns.

While I appreciate the many caveats incorporated into Harding’s calculations, I believe that there is in fact a serious erroneous assumption.

If the town does lose approximately 3,000 people over 60 years, (using Harding’s conservative births/deaths ratio), it would indeed need to attract 6,000 additional people to reach the build-out capacity, and that is 100 additional people a year for the next 60 years, as Harding wrote.

He assumed this translates into 400 new people, all of whom need new homes or 200 new homes, in every council term. But this calculation deserves a very close examination.

In fact, half of those people, (the half who died), already had places to live: the town that is built now already accommodates 8,500 people.

When people die, they leave existing homes that are available for new people.

So, over the next 60 years, we would need to add homes for only 3,000 additional people, or 1,500 living units at two people per unit or 100 units in each council term, or 25 living units each year.

I could easily identify right now 25 new living units under construction in Qualicum Beach over the last year. So I am not concerned at all about the pace of growth and the management of that growth by the previous or current council.

But this issue masks some real concerns that merit much more attention.

Populations in all major western countries are shrinking. Apparently, our 60-year consumer holiday has created an appetite for more things, but not for more families or more young people. Also, I believe Harding’s deaths/births ratio assumes many of us are going to live longer than we actually will.

So, the era of ever-expanding growth may be over, and the build-out figure of 12,000 may not, in the end, even be realistic.

Planning is a discipline fraught with assumptions, agendas and land mines. The traditional developer sees only the new; their industry has been one of planned obsolescence.

But I think we have built housing for 8,500 people, and that valuable permanent infrastructure should be reflected in Harding’s calculations.

I think the wisest thing we could do is go beyond a focus on numbers, beyond an assumption that the new will be a replication or replacement of the old and focus on creating a community based on the quality of life, not the quantity of growth.

Andrew BrownQualicum Beach

Just Posted

Winds of up to 90 km/hr forecasted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

Parksville Qualicum Beach drivers reminded to be aware of possible icy road conditions

Shaded areas, bridge decks and corners are common areas where slippery conditions can occur

Multiple Parksville resorts report stolen Christmas decorations

Oceanside RCMP say three thefts likely occurred on same night

Tidesmen awash with festive tunes for Parksville performance

Male chorus bringing classics, and 21st century holiday love song to Knox

VIU researches importance of French Creek Estuary area

Estuary not currently included in any protected areas

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

BCHL player lifts Canada West to second win at World Junior A Challenge

Chilliwack Chiefs player has a a three-point performance

Well-known B.C. snowmobile guide killed in rollover accident

Shuswap sledding communty mourns loss of experienced Sicamous snowmobiler

B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019: analyst

Housing prices in Vancouver are set to rise just 0.6 per cent

Trapped humpback whale freed from salmon farm near Tofino

“All of these problems could be solved by the farms moving onto land and getting out of the ocean.”

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Majority of Nanaimo’s Discontent City residents moved into supportive housing sites

A few spaces remain at Terminal Avenue and Labieux Road locations

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

Most Read