Qualicum Beach town council heard public opinion on a large proposed development at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort at a public hearing this week.
The resort has made an application to the town for 225 residential and tourist units, which requires an amendment to the Official Community Plan (OCP).
The proposal includes a mix of housing, including detached dwellings, such as small houses or cabins and multi-family dwellings such as a condominium or a hotel style building, according to the town.
A portion of the units (185) are proposed to be used as either residential dwellings or tourist accommodations and 40 units would be held by the developer and used as daily, weekly, or monthly rentals.
Some residents expressed concern at the lack of specific details in the proposal and wondered if the developer would follow through with constructing all amenities proposed.
Residents who supported the development said it will fill a gap in tourist accommodation and provide diversity in the housing market.
“Qualicum Beach does indeed need tourist accommodation and off-season accommodation and the Pheasant Glen proposal provides both of these,” said John Wood.
The proposal also includes a clubhouse, brew pub and a blanket easement for connecting trails.
Most participants spoke in favour of a destination resort, but many were concerned about residential development as part of the proposal.
“We waited 15 years — we have to make this happen, but we have to do it in such a way that guarantees tourist accommodation,” said Doug Mackay-Dunn. He added the resort can attract year-round tourists and not just golfers.
Pat Jacobson spoke in favour of the resort, but said she believes the proposal lacks vision. She said the development could attract more young people and families for year-round tourism if it included cabins or an RV park.
“This would be a greater benefit to the economy of Qualicum Beach and the area, with a true destination resort as opposed to a golf retirement community,” she said.
Anne Skipsey, who is running in the town’s council byelection, said she does not support permanent residency as part of the development. She also said she believes the application is being rushed and is concerned the developer has not provided enough detail and there is no way to prevent the property being sold after the zoning is amended.
“I don’t believe this is the time to be making amendments of this magnitude and significance to our OCP. This type of amendment should be done during our next OCP review when it can be fully fleshed out and where there can be fulsome discussion within the community,” she said.
Council did not make a decision on the proposal after the public hearing.