The arguments made to support this ban include comments such as,”…this will demonstrate to young families and those with children that they really are welcome to live in Qualicum Beach.” “We need to change the demographics and this will help.” Somehow it is thought this action will “free up” more housing for younger people. Other Council members stated it would be good for all of us to co-mingle generations in future housing.
CHEK NEWS briefly covered this subject and took a survey among viewers. Do you favour a municipality banning age restricted housing, yes or no. Of the 761 votes received, 66% were opposed to the idea and 34% were in favour.
Despite the fact that Councillor Horner offered a notice of motion on this subject in July 2017, to my knowledge Council made no effort to use the OCP process or the Quality of Life Survey to get a better sense of public opinion. Five residents spoke at the public hearing stating their opposition to the amendment. Council asked no questions.
It seems that the Town has become so preoccupied with wanting to alter demographics that it is prepared to discriminate against seniors who would prefer to live with others of their generation. It should be noted that the Town is basing their youth and family retention strategy on a study done nine years ago. The authors were primarily employed by the School District and the report was done at the height of uncertainty over the future of KSS.
If adopted on January 29, this bylaw will essentially freeze age-defined housing in Qualicum Beach to that which exists today. If you are looking forward to living and perhaps retiring to a building that welcomes families and children and if you have no problem with Councillors limiting your choices of how you may live, then you have no problem. You are among the 34% in the CHEK poll.
On the other hand, if you feel this amendment is an over-reach of Council authority that limits your freedom of choice as a property owner or strata member and contradicts senior adult human rights, you should be concerned. You are among the 66% in the CHEK poll.
After lengthy discussion of the pros and cons, the seven QBRA board members voted 5 opposed, 1 in favour, and 1 undecided.
If you have an opinion you should make it known to Town staff.