EDITORIAL: Bowser builds

A comparison involving two very different development plans for Bowser/Deep Bay

There are two developments in the Bowser/Deep Bay area currently in the planning stages. That’s where their similarities end, aside from the fact there are stories about each development in today’s edition of The NEWS. On one hand there’s the Bowser Seniors’ Housing Society, which is trying to raise money to develop affordable housing for people who want to move out of their homes but stay in the gorgeous community.

It’s a laudable goal and the society seems to have its ducks in a row, starting with a needs assessment done by a consulting firm and flowing into what, on the surface, looks to be a solid business plan. If the money doesn’t come in, the society has plans to reduce the size of the development and add only when the money and increased need is apparent.

The society figures it needs to raise $200,000 in order to attract a similar amount from both the federal and provincial governments. With $600,000 in hand, they will likely be able to get a mortgage for their $2.8 million project that will keep costs down for those who would rent the (at first)18 units.

Next up we have Baynes Sound Investments Ltd. (BSI), which wants to build a multi-phased development with 386 residential units, commercial buildings, a 292-unit RV resort, community building, sewage treatment centre and park and open spaces in Deep Bay. It’s a development that could potentially double the population of the Deep Bay Improvement District.

We are not about to dismiss any development. We believe there is room for positive growth in the area and, if done properly, any and all developments should get a fair look by residents and those charged with governance. There are too many people who want to dismiss growth and development just on principle without taking jobs, housing and the sustainability of our communities into consideration.

That stated, a development of the magnitude proposed by BSI needs to be done in a proper, open, no-surprises fashion. On Tuesday night, BSI was in front of the regional district board asking for an extension to a deadline for submitting important information. It may be a reasonable request, and may not be BSI’s fault, but a project like this needs to be seen to be moving smoothly through the process, and that’s not the message we received Tuesday night.

— Editorial by John Harding

Parksville Qualicum Beach News

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