Marina plan fuels debate
Opinions remain divided over relocating a private marina on Okanagan Lake.
A public meeting was held Sunday to discuss the Outback strata’s plans to construct a 72-slip marina in South Bay because of storm damage to the existing facility in Quarry Bay.
“We have legal grounds and we’re putting together a case if they don’t agree to co-operate,” said Kim Nasipayko, with Friends of South Bay, which is challenging the Outback’s application to the government.
“We’re asking them to be responsible and leave South Bay as a swimming area.”
Nasipayko’s concerns include a lack of public access to the bay, as well as protection of fish habitat and drinking water.
“We’d like to share that bay. They don’t want to recognize the negatives for everybody including the environment,” she said.
Nasipayko also questions the need to relocate the marina because of storms while other residents along the lake contend with that situation regularly.
“We just rebuild our dock when it’s smashed by the weather. It’s just a fact of life,” she said.
Sunday’s meeting was hosted by the Outback’s marina facilities committee.
“We are not just trying to ram something through the system. We are trying to do everything by the book,” said Darrel Zacharias, a committee member.
Beyond needing a more secure location for a marina, Zacharias says a permanent structure in Quarry Bay would impact kokanee habitat.
Zacharias says a compromise situation with residents may be possible, but the committee cannot presently change direction because the proposal was voted on by the 161 families that own the Outback.
It’s not known when government agencies may rule on the application, and Zacharias says that process could lead to possible changes.
“We are prepared to react to anything suggested by any of the regulatory bodies,” he said.
The City of Vernon identified the location of a marina during the development permit stage for the Outback in 2004. It opposes relocation to South Bay.
Zacharias says the current owners had nothing to do with the development permit and any agreements with the city have been scrutinized.
“There is nothing in the development plan approved by the city that suggests anything like this and there are no caveats on title,” he said.