Turning Qualicum Beach into Calgary?
It seems that Mayne from Toronto and Wiess from Calgary are trying to remake district 69 into the big cities that they came from. Doesn’t seem either will stop till they have paved and built on every vacant property we have and they don’t care if it is in an environmentally sensitive area or not. QB may be a little behind PV which has been putting up buildings at a record pace and increasing the density to appease the developers. People are starting to wonder why on the one hand they say conserve water as we have a severe drought and on the other hand are creating an enormous amount of new users.
Dwayne Round, Parksville
Naked Naturals development
On August 9, 2021, Chris Lihou emailed the following to Carsten Jensen, designer of the proposed Naked Naturals development, cc to Town Council and Administration. Naked Naturals unveiled their design proposal for the former Town-owned Bus Garage property in July 2021. — Editor
We are the homeowners and the tenants most closely located to the proposed Naked Naturals development.
While we are impressed with the overall look of the new store as planned we are very concerned about:
1 the acoustic implications of the siting of the receiving bay, and
2 the treatment of the south side of the store as “the back of the store” in regards to garbage bins and receiving bay when it is in fact the side of the proposed immediately adjacent to residences.
As far as we can ascertain, there has been no account taken for truck acoustics in this plan.
A reversing beeper on a delivery truck is typically 97dB at 1 meter (and of course, other truck noise, especially refrigerated trucks are not trivial noises either). This noise will impact our right to peace and quiet, especially given deliveries prior to 7am will be so close to our bedrooms.
The current receiving bay at the Qualicum Foods store is ca. 170m from house #749 Memorial Ave whose has a north side along Fourth Ave. We all clearly hear the reversing alarms from trucks presently servicing Qualicum Foods.
Your proposed receiving bay at the new store is ONLY ca. 10 m from house #749’s northern boundary.
Thus, the distance to the new noise from trucks and truck alarms will be at least ca. 17 times closer than at Qualicum Foods. Sound falls by 6dB for every doubling of distance. There are 4 doublings of distance from 10m to 160m
This means that the sound of a truck reversing alarm on Fourth Ave (as it reverses into the new receiving bay), adjacent to #749 Memorial, will be 4 x 6dB or 24 dB LOUDER than those routinely servicing the Qualicum Foods store.
Importantly, a 10dB increase in output is perceived by the human ear as a DOUBLING of volume.
So, trucks arriving at the new store would produce sounds perceived as 2.5 TIMES LOUDER than we currently hear from the trucks arriving at Qualicum Foods.
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
A cursory review of the site plan suggests that trucks could be routed to the new store from the west side and a high, acoustic wall/baffle could be constructed along the Fourth Ave side of the development, on the southern side of the receiving bay.
We respectfully request that you, the planners and the owners seriously consider these acoustic aspects as they substantially and negatively impact the enjoyment (and potentially the value) of our homes.
Qualicum Beach residents: Nigel and Diana Dundas, Judy and Steve Hertling, Alan Kenore, Seung Lee, Chris and Anne Lihou, Mike and Jose Stockdale, Michelle Wilson.
Eaglecrest Roundabout still on Council’s agenda
The following letter was recently sent to Town Council. In October 2020, the Town submitted a grant application for funding an Eaglecrest Roundabout but BC’s Community Culture & Recreation Program has not yet announced their decision on applications submitted. — Editor
Attached in pdf form is a letter expressing concerns regarding the ever-increasing and non-stop flow of traffic along the 19a, making it difficult to exit Eaglecrest. A roundabout was supposed to be on the agenda, but in the eight years we have lived here, it has quietly been dropped. With the explosion of development in the area, with the resulting increase in cars on the road, we need help, and we need it NOW. Your thoughts and comments will be appreciated. Please reply.
Rosemary & Terry Taylor, Qualicum Beach
Business steps up for benches
On August 19, 2021 long-time Qualicum Beach resident and business owner Deanne May wrote expressing displeasure at the removal of Town benches — Editor
Dear Mayor, Council and Staff
My name is Deanne May and I grew up in Qualicum Beach and have lived here for 47 years. For 23 of those years I have owned and operated Bodysculptors Fitness on 2nd Avenue. I am writing on behalf of myself and the many citizens who come into our business to express our displeasure at the removal of town benches.
Over the years services have been sadly declining. We have less garbage cans; sidewalks don’t get cleaned and the street sweeper is rarely seen. Although complaints about those matters went unanswered, I am urging you to listen to your tax paying citizens this time.
If you compare the playground in our town to other communities it is embarrassing. To consider that we no longer have a bench to sit on I ask you this… What about a breast feeding mother? What about a child who gets hurt or just needs a moment for a cuddle? How about allowing some of our older population to just sit and enjoy watching children play?
We want our benches back. The idea that benches must be sponsored and paid for by citizens is absurd. We pay a lot of taxes and considering we have one of the oldest populations in the country I think the very least the town can do is provide benches to sit on. Please stop selling them on Facebook for $100 and put them back.
Deanne May, Owner – BodySculptors Fitness, Qualicum Beach, BC
Copied to: Daniel Sailland [CAO] and Heather Svensen [Deputy CAO]
Encroachment on Town-Owned Land
Second Opinion QB first reported on this issue on November 8, 2020 in Town Planner demands homeowners resolve encroachments, published several letters on November 21, 2020, and a Breakers update on March 29, 2021. At its May 27, 2021 Regular Meeting, QB Town Council directed staff to bring back a report on encroachments to Council and to hold off on any encroachment charges until Council have had a chance to review the policy by September 2021 — Editor
SUBJECT: Encroachment on Town-Owned Land
To: Luke Sales, Director Planning
Dear Mr. Sales:
We wish to acknowledge with appreciation the Council decision at the May 27th meeting to rethink the issue of how best to handle encroachments. While our work before that date was on behalf of four residents in Chartwell, we do have more general input to the Town as it readdresses the issue in broader terms. In a recent discussion with two councillors in the June public open house (Zoom) meeting this subject came up again. It was suggested we forward any views that might be relevant.
We understand from the May 27th Council discussion and more informal sources that the number of encroachments is “in the hundreds”. So, four Dover Court homes are the tip of an iceberg, and we understand the Town’s need to place some consistency in the situation after years (we understand) of lapsed communication between various parties. We wish to put forward these points:
- The Town may have an obvious need for some areas of encroached land. This was for example evident in the recent bike/walking trail extension at Harlech and Mill Road. These are clear situations to demand the removal of obstructions on Town land as there is a defined need. We understand in such situations there is no room for debate.
- In other areas, encroachment on Town land is not of immediate need for alternative development and the encroachments do not likely impede other residents’ enjoyment of adjoining Town property. We have identified the trail area behind the Dover Court homes as one falling into this category. We define them generally as “discretionary” cases.
- We further understand that in some cases (for example, the 3000 block along the beach highway) that the official lot lines pass through building additions. These may also be discretionary cases.
In discretionary cases, we note in support of the Town:
a. The Town has a desire and responsibility to have a written understanding that the land is not part of the persons legal property and continued use should incur some reasonable fee.
b. The Town still has the right to demand retreat to the official surveyed and marked lot lines if any future alternative public use is contemplated or is in any way negatively impacted.
With that as background, we see a decision in non-sale situations to adopt the current high annual 4.5% lease rates applied to BC-Assessment land values to be a “lose-lose” situation:
- In some cases, the annual fees are greater than the full Property taxes. Owners will clearly decide to move back their fences to the official lot lines.
- The Town loses out on some potential fees.
- The Town will now have some immediate recovery and future costs to maintain the areas.
We believe a lower fee structure, still using the full BC-Assessment land valuations as though the land was an extension of their property lines at the mil rate-based fee is a fair alternative. We believe this approach is a “win-win”:
- The 4.5% rate is not (as we read it) mandatory and we assume the council can decide on alternative arrangements in discretionary cases.
- The “B.C. mill rate” based approach we have previously suggested – as one Councillor described it “an extension of the property tax approach” – might gain as much as $100,000 or more annually.
- There are no immediate or future maintenance costs to the Town while continued encroachment is granted.
We understand the Town may also wish in appropriate circumstances to offer official purchase of the encroached land rather than assess encroachment fees, as has (we understand) been done before.
Additionally, we believe that any encroachments fees assessed and accepted should, out of fairness, be addressed in the same tax year. A policy not applied concurrently to all affected residents will foster an avoidable “winners and losers” situation.
We hope the Town will consider this input as they decide on a future broader policy on encroachments.
Len Flint, Director, Qualicum Beach Residents Association
CC: Daniel Sailland, CAO, Town of Qualicum Beach, Heather Svensen, Corporate Administration, Mayor and Councillors