Contentious plans for boat storage on Okanagan Lake have been sunk.
The provincial Integrated Land Management Bureau has denied an application from the Outback Resort to build a a 72-slip marina in South Bay.
“I didn’t think it would go this way so I am excited,” said Kim Nasipayko, with Friends of South Bay.
The group, which filed a formal complaint with the government in November, stated that a marina in South Bay would obstruct public access and potentially impact fish habitat and water quality.
Use of South Bay was also opposed because the Outback has approval for a marina in nearby Quarry Bay.
“I’m glad the government came to a decision and it realizes this is not a good use of that area,” said Nasipayko.
“If we keep this (South Bay) as a swimming area, we can co-exist in this space.”
The City of Vernon welcomes the ILMB’s ruling.
“They made the appropriate decision given all of the information presented,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
During the 2004 permit process to develop the resort, the city had stated the marina must be in Quarry Bay.
However, the lake is considered Crown land and the ILMB was the lead agency.
AN ILMB spokesperson confirmed the Outback application for South Bay was denied but they were unable to provide details behind the decision.
An Outback representative could not be reached for comment, but he has previously stated that lake storms place lives and property at risk in Quarry Bay.
“We had a marina there and our experience over four or five years was it’s an unsuitable place for a temporary marina,” said Darrel Zacharias, with the marina facilities committee, during a November interview.
“We are not allowed to put a permanent marina there because of government regulations and sensitive fish spawning habitat there.”