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Tread carefully

Council needs to take care when looking at the official community plan in Qualicum Beach

Official community plans are not a waste of time or money — it’s only the political haggling that can get people’s hands wringing.

An OCP sets the overall tone for a community. Without it, municipal councils can apply rules willy-nilly and end up with a town or city akin to a dog’s breakfast.

As a guide, however, OCPs are meant to be fluid — and transparent.

New wrangling over the Town of Qualicum Beach’s OCP is not a surprise. It was only a question of when a new council was going to pick away at it. It was part of their election platform in 2011, for goodness sake.

Where the danger lies in the town council’s recent vote to have staff search for specific development angles to change — and for the development community to have direct say in this outcome — is a potential lack of full and public disclosure.

The advantage of last year’s OCP process was that it was very public and balanced — everyone could speak up and their input was heard, if not directly acted upon.

This time, by taking a piecemeal approach, broad public interests could be overstepped, as council decides on potential OCP changes with only a majority vote of council.



Are you as annoyed as we are about the names of public places and buildings around here? Truly, those who come up with such names as ‘Oceanside this’ or ‘Community Park’ that, are uninspired at best — or hampered by indecision at worst.

We think there needs to be more effort made naming these public amenities — from major parks in Parksville and Qualicum Beach (both named ‘Community Park’) to the new health facility (currently being called ‘Oceanside’). There have got to be a few deserving people after whom to name these places.

Let’s see what we can come up with. Offer your suggestions at The News’ Facebook page — click the Facebook icon in the upper left corner of our website, — editorial by Steven Heywood