Qualicum Beach council votes to grant zoning amendment and permit for mixed-use development

Artist rendering of the proposed development at 190/194 First Avenue West in Qualicum Beach. || Saywell Contracting Ltd. image.
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Qualicum Beach Town Council voted unanimously in favour of giving third reading to a bylaw that will permit a mixed-use development at 190/194 First Avenue West.

The vote paves the way for a development with three commercial units on the ground floor and 16 residential units above. The bylaw will change the zoning to Commercial 10 (C10), a new zone that permits a higher residential density, according to the town.

Members of council said they were pleased to see more rental units coming to the town.

“It’s something that we have a desperate need of in Qualicum Beach,” said Coun. Scott Harrison.

Council voted after a public hearing regarding the proposed development. Several councillors mentioned they would normally not vote immediately after a public hearing.

“There wasn’t a lot of opposition or a lot of comments to process,” said Coun. Anne Skipsey.

The town held a public information meeting on Dec. 7 and a number or concerns were raised including speed and traffic along First Avenue West, noise, air pollution and traffic during construction, length of rental agreements, tree removal and the zoning amendment and development permit process.

The town commissioned a traffic study on the impact of the proposed development which found that during the afternoon peak hour, the proposed development is expected to add 10 vehicles trips, or one additional vehicle every six minutes. 

The traffic also study found the proposed development would represent an increase in traffic of up to 2.5 per cent and that the First Avenue and Beach Road intersection is functioning at 60 per cent of the typical range of traffic for the intersection. The study also found an increase in traffic of 10 vehicles per hour would not impact First Avenue or Beach Road in a noticeable way.

The developer’s previous application was for 18 residential units, but was reduced to 16 units after a motion during council’s Jan. 12 meeting.

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