A public hearing for a controversial development project at Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach is slated for Thursday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m.
The Cabins at Terrace Beach in the Reef Point neighbourhood is requesting a development permit for 13 additional three-storey, two-bedroom cabins as well as a zoning bylaw amendment to change “The Lodge Property” and staff accommodation to from Guest House (GH) to CS-5 Tourist Commercial (CS-5).
The proposed development site is located on the old Peninsula Road and adjacent to a recorded provincial archaeological site of a First Nations midden. The applicant, Lougheed Enterprises Ltd., has been in discussion with authorities within Ucluelet First Nation as part of the permit process. An environmental assessment of the property was completed last year and Heritage Inspection Permits were issued. A message to Ucluelet First Nation was not returned.
The District of Ucluelet received about 30 written submissions about The Cabins development proposal, which included a letter signed by the owners of the adjacent Reef Point Beach Estates property indicating potential legal action if the development application gets approved.
Ucluelet resident Peter Timmermans says residents need to start tuning in to council meetings and public hearings.
“The time to be getting involved is now. Ucluelet citizens need to pay attention. The change that is happening is inevitable, but you know we don’t want to make the change regrettable. We could end up like Whistler,” Timmermans said.
Barbara Schramm shared her personal concerns.
“It’s important that we just don’t cave into maximizing profits. We need to keep our eye on the quality of life and the protection of the environment because that’s what we all moved here for. We will be pushed out of our own community if we don’t insist on that livability,” she said.
Mayor Mayco Noël says working with Ucluelet First Nation is a top priority with all land use decisions. He encouraged Ucluelet residents to get involved.
“We try our best to be truly transparent and the last 12 months has been difficult. Prior to COVID, we were starting to televise council meetings so all of our council meetings are there. If you want to take a look at anything they are there. There are no secrets of what’s going on. I always encourage residents to hear and see. We have a lot of decisions to make and we are elected to make these decisions. We can post to our social media and advertise, but at the end of the day, the responsibility is upon the residents to inform themselves,” said Noël.
Due to a clerical error, district staff cancelled the original public hearing date of Jan. 28 and rescheduled to April 8.
While in-person attendance is not permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions, people can participate via Zoom, by phone and the event will also be livestreamed on the District of Ucluelet’s YouTube channel. Details of the proposed development and public hearing materials can be viewed at: https://ucluelet.ca/community/district-of-ucluelet-council/public-hearings.