Qualicum Beach town council deferred moving forward with zoning and Official Community Plan (OCP) amendments for a proposed 16-lot subdivision in order to have a review of the property appraisal.
Coun. Teunis Westbroek said he moved to defer third reading for bylaw amendments for 850 Eaglecrest Drive because he is not satisfied with inaccuracies in the current appraisal and he wants to be sure the development benefits the town as a whole.
The appraisal affects the amount the town gets from the development of as part of a community contribution policy. Westbroek said he would like to see the money used to build a roundabout at Island Highway and Village Way.
The property has been a point of debate for residents who do not want to see development in what is know as the estate residential properties.
“I support developments on properties like this if it results in a significant amenity benefit. We are bending a lot of rules to make this happen,” Westbroek said.
The proposal includes a couple duplexes on two of the lots — 10 others will have a secondary or garden suite, along with a single-family home, according to Linda Todson of from Todson Design and Construction, the company making the proposal.
Council heard many residents speak against the development last month when it held a public hearing. Most said they did not support amending the OCP.
“It’s a massive change to our OCP to see this happen and I have been recorded as saying it could be the ‘thin edge of the wedge.’ This is a very fine line,” Westbroek said at council’s Feb. 24 meeting.
Coun. Robert Filmer said he did not support the independent appraisal review because it will be at the expense of the town and does not support the development.
Coun. Scott Harrison noted in an earlier meeting there was support from four members of council in the past because Filmer had written a letter of support for the project.
Filmer said the letter was only written to support bringing the issue from committee level to council level. “I think it was wrong for council members to try to speak on my behalf thinking that I would still support this,” he said
Mayor Brian Weise questioned whether a review of the appraisal will create need for a second public hearing. Luke Sales, director of planning, said he would need to seek legal advice to be sure.