High school site rezoned

The Town of Qualicum Beach fired off a salvo this week in their battle to keep Kwalikum Secondary School, rezoning the property to make it more difficult to sell, in the event of its closure by the school board.

At Monday night’s regular council meeting, council passed third reading and then final adoption of a land use and subdivision amendment bylaw that redesignated the land as school use only, from its former designation as institutional.

The move, said planner Luke Sales in a report to council, will send a clear message to school trustees.

“The KSS school land would be extremely valuable if it were made available for alternative uses, such as residential,” Sales said in his report. “A rezoning to school use only... would send a clear message to the school district that alternative uses are not an option, and to remind them that the town controls land use.”

Council passed both motions unanimously, with Coun. Kent Becker absent.

Commenting on the issue at the close of the meeting, Qualicum Beach resident Frank Horner said the move was going in the wrong direction.

“You’ve taken a defensive route on KSS,” Horner said. “I suggest you push the offensive on tnis school baord. There are all sorts of alternatives you could offer for the use of this building. That’s the only thing that will persuade them.”

However, Ross Milligan didn’t agree, calling for residents to make KSS an election issue.

“Vote for trustees who are committed to keeping the school open,” he said.

Similarly, parent Julie Austin thanked council for the move, along with all the other support they have given the cause.

“You have been very supportive over the past year,” she said, to applause from the audience. “Thank you for all the work you have put into KSS.”



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