The debate surrounding Qualicum Beach’s Growth Containment Boundary (GCB) has been deferred while one town councillor consults his lawyer.
At Monday’s council meeting, councillors were presented with a number of options from staff regarding the GCB, after the Regional District of Nanaimo’s board of directors did not approve the town’s request to make a minor amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy. One of those options in front of council Mondaywas to advance the Pheasant Glen application for development.
The issue involves a previous vote by council to amend the town’s Official Community Plan and extend the GCB to meet the town’s municipal boundary. This would eliminate the need to consult with the RDN over land-use issues and would help move the Pheasant Glen development forward.
But Coun. Dave Willie said at Monday’s meeting that some “late-breaking information” had come to light about half an hour before the meeting. Willie said he wanted to defer the vote on the OCP amendment until he could review the package and talk to his lawyer. He added that he didn’t mind a phone call or a letter, but this was too much.
“What I really find appalling is when individuals have to attack me personally, attack my business personally and attack the employees that work for me, because that’s basically what’s happening.”
Willie said the information distributed by Deb and Fox McKinley isn’t accurate and he said he takes great offence to it. The package, he said, infers that approval of the Pheasant Glen development would be to Willie’s betterment. His company, he argued, is based in Parksville and did 87 per cent of its business outside of Oceanside last year. “I’m appalled and I thought in this town we were way above that and I think for 99.9 per cent they are, but there’s a few people in here when they can’t get their way otherwise decide they can attack people, their business and their employees.”
Coun. Scott Tanner wanted to amend the deferral and ask staff for a new package on the issue that does not combine Pheasant Glen and the minor amendment, but make them two separate reports. Coun. Brouilette said she wouldn’t go for the amendment. “It’s not that I don’t agree that these things should be separate, because I have already said that a number of times, however in this report and because of previous conversations and with the entire issue, including going to the RDN, I think that some of council, the mayor and yourself (Tanner) have combined them in the past — it’s there now, and I think the whole thing should be deferred.”
Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer pointed out Tanner combined the two issues at the RDN: “I really think they are inseparable because south of Qualicum Beach is a large part of the discussion around Pheasant Glen so I think we’re talking out of both sides of our mouth if you try to say we’re going to now deal with them separately.”
Tanner’s amendment failed and the motion to defer passed.