It's a good thing Parksville council approved the expanded parking at the Thrifty Foods plaza on Wednesday last week because the work had already been done.
Coun. Bill Neufeld said after the meeting he had been puzzled by the agenda item, went to have a look and realized the lots had already been turned into parking.
Council was only being asked to "legitimize" the work, he said Friday. "The project was completed, it changed a watercourse, the parking lot was put in and a variance was expected.
"All of this was done prior to any application for a parking lot. It really ticks me off."
If the Jensen Extension, which is still in the city's plans, ever goes through, Neufeld said, the two lots in question will have added value.
As well, he said, the city allowed a variance of 66 square metres (710 square feet), adding further value.
"It just doesn't wash," he said. "We have come out so pro-development as a council and so concerned about closing off all viewing by the constituents who put us into power. It just really bothers me.
"There is a concern for a lack of transparency, how things get done, the fact that we don't seem to care if the developer is doing it; we'll give them permission to do so."
Neufeld said he has similar concerns about council's closed strategic planning meetings on Monday and Thursday this week.
Mayor Chris Burger said last week the meetings are closed so council can "speak openly" about land-use needs, property acquisition and staffing.
Neufeld said he has seen "no indication of why these meetings are closed.
"There is nothing on the agenda that is earth-shattering," he said. "If there are significant land-use issues, maybe the residents have a right to be part of the discussion."
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