A common thread that ran through Wednesday’s (April 26) Qualicum Beach committee of the whole meeting on the Quality of Life survey was a desire to know why people were responding the way they were responding.
The meeting included a review of the Official Community Plan (OCP) Quality of Life Survey draft. While most of the questions require residents to check a box, Coun. Anne Skipsey said the survey would only give good or useful information if the town knows why the residents are responding the way they are, “especially if they’re not satisfied.”
“For example, if someone says they’re not satisfied with the trails, well, is that because there’s a whole bunch of dogs running around off-leash; is it because they can’t ride their bicycle on the trail; is it because the trails are too bumpy?” Skipsey said. “I think that in order for the information provided here to be useful going forward, we would need to have some more information.”
Some of the key points of discussion during the survey draft review were:
• Including the map of the new proposed community bus route through Qualicum Beach. Westbroek said that while the survey asks respondents whether they favour changes to the route, it would be a good way to inform people of the new route.
• Staff had recommended removing a question on which social or recreational activities residents take part in since the Regional District of Nanaimo recently conducted a survey on that, but Coun. Barry Avis said it would still be relevant to Qualicum Beach residents.
“I think there’s some that, even though the Regional District (of Nanaimo) has done some reporting, or questionnaires, I still think we need to know how Qualicum Beach feels about certain things in its own context,” Avis said.
Avis also asked to add pickleball to the list.
• In a question about improving the downtown area, staff recommended removing a box to check off “fewer ground floor offices” and add “trails and pedestrian walkways” instead, but Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said “fewer ground floor offices” should be kept as an option since commercial in the downtown area has been a big part of discussions lately.
“We’re just going through that whole issue of how do we zone the downtown core, so I think the answer to that question probably is a good sort of direction-finder for this whole process of how much commercial and residential do we allow,” Luchtmeijer said.