Two architects currently living on Denman Island have a vision for the waterfront at Qualicum Beach.
Armin and Gina Maerkl of MM Architects have lived and worked as architects in Europe for 13 years and have been working in B.C. for 17 years (with offices in Vancouver and on Denman Island).
They presented an architectural and urban design study for the intersection at Highway 19a and Memorial Avenue. The plan includes a roundabout with bike lanes plus an upscale promenade complete with a pier, marina and cruise ship terminal. The plan showed a pedestrian friendly plaza, an LED screen meant to showcase the digital arts studio at the train station, and water features, plus much more.
Mayor Teunis Westbroek said council is going through the town’s waterfront master plan and will keep the architect’s plan and ideas to help start discussions around that master plan.
The question of increasing the size of Qualicum Beach council by two members is going to be posed to the community on the ballot in the next election.
Council approved placing the following question on the Nov. 15 ballot: “Are you in favour of the Town of Qualicum Beach council increasing in size from four councillors to six councillors, effective October 2018?”
Coun. Dave Willie said Lanztville may be looking at reducing its council from six to four members because of costs.
• The public was given a summary of the town’s financial plan at Monday’s meeting, and one resident was concerned about road improvements and safety at intersections.
“We are particularly concerned as a group of Qualicum Woods about safety at the intersection of Village Way and Qualicum Road,” said Carol Dowe.
Financial Administrator John Marsh said there isn’t considerable money available on an annual basis for major capital works. Last year, council requested staff get detailed designs on two roundabouts, one at Village Way and 19A and the other Village Way and Qualicum Rd. The latter has had very little work done to date however, he said. Dowe said she is disappointed because a group of residents came three or four years ago for the same reason.
“Please help us. We need help,” she said.
Town engineer Bob Weir said Qualicum Road is slated to be overlaid and widened for pedestrians in the next couple of weeks and there is a plan in place for the intersection, but nothing is yet official.
• One Qualicum Beach councillor found the discussions following the presentation of a roundabout design to be disrespectful. Bob Weir, director of engineering, presented the design during his public works verbal report, followed by some comments about it by the mayor saying he feels a roundabout at Village Way and 19A is the next project to move forward on and talked about applying for funding. Coun. Mary Brouilette said the project had not been approved by council yet and was not number one on the strategic plan.
“I think it’s inappropriate to be moving an item forward that has not come before council to decide whether that’s the project we want to do,” she said. “We’ve had no motion in this regard and I find it very disrespectful.”
Westbroek said he thought there was direction from council to prepare designs on both roundabouts, and Weir agreed.
Westbroek asked for information from staff at the next meeting so that a decision could be made on the matter.
• Volunteers are being sought for the Emergency Support Services and the Emergency Communications Team. An information session is being held Sept. 23 from 7-8 p.m. at Parksville City Hall, at 132 Jensen Street. The Oceanside Emergency Support Services and Communications teams are based in Parksville and represent three local governments. No specific skills are required to become a volunteer; training and experience is provided.
• Councillor Scott Tanner introduced a notice of motion to be considered at the Sept. 29 council meeting that the town provide more opportunities for recycling at future public functions/special events in addition to garbage containers.