Mayor frustrated with return of marina debate

Representatives for the Outback Resort sought support from Vernon council Monday for a marina in South Bay

Vernon’s mayor is frustrated with the city being caught in the middle of a neighbourhood dispute.

Representatives for the Outback Resort sought support from council Monday for a marina in South Bay, while the Friends of South Bay were before council two weeks ago in opposition to a marina.

“This is the most contentious issue we’ve had,” said Akbal Mund of his first term in office.

The matter has come before council again because the Outback has applied to the provincial government to move a marina from Quarry Bay to South Bay.

“Everyone is looking to us to make the decision,” said Mund, adding that the city stated in 2004 that it was opposed to a South Bay marina and that motion was reaffirmed again in 2011.

“Where’s the end to this?”

The Outback wants to construct a 72-slip marina in South Bay because the existing facility in Quarry Bay is damaged frequently by storms.

“We’ve had boats sink,” said Sidney Hanson, with the Outback marina committee.

As a result of that, most boaters are using buoys to moor their boats.

Hanson said many of the buoys are far offshore which makes access difficult during storms and boats trying to reach the buoys are coming into conflict with swimmers and kayakers.

According to the Outback, South Bay would be ideal for a marina because, unlike Quarry Bay, there is no kokanee habitat.

“We’d separate the swimmers so they have their area and there would be no treacherous transportation of families to the buoys,” said Hanson, adding that a marina would not conflict with other property owners at South Bay.

The Outback consists of 161 individual properties.

“We are asking you to support us and allow us to move forward,” Hanson told city council.