It’s a conflict that has pitted neighbour against neighbour.
And the Friends of South Bay – a group of residents on Okanagan Lake past Ellison Provincial Park – want the conflict with the nearby Outback Resort to stop.
More than 20 Friends of South Bay crammed Vernon council chambers Monday to reiterate its opposition to an Outback request to move a marina from Quarry Bay into South Bay.
“We don’t want to start a fight,” said Friends of South Bay spokesperson Kim Nasipayko.
“We’re trying to keep it the way it was supposed to be.”
Council of the day in 2011 reaffirmed a 2004 decision that South Bay not be used by the Outback strata for boat storage.
The Outback applied to the provincial government to construct a 72-slip marina in South Bay because the existing facility in Quarry Bay is subject to damage by storms.
Enforcement of the matter is with the provincial and federal governments.
There are currently 30 buoys in the bay during peak season which are used for motorcrafts. Those buoys would be moved if a South Bay marina is approved.
Nasipayko said there are many reasons to save South Bay, including as a public swimming access, protected freshwater clam habitats, spawning fish and saving the painted turtle species.
Nasipayko said Friends of South Bay have spent more than $125,000 defending space that belongs to the community.
“That’s personal money from our pockets,” she said. “We have had to fund a lawyer, an environmental study, wind and wave study, pay divers to find the clams, study marine habitat and hire an engineer.”
Friends of South Bay called for the city to reissue a letter of support, stating that the bay be left as a public swimming bay.