Vernon city council endorses controversial marina on Okanagan Lake
By Charlotte Helston
The Outback Resort is made up of 161 separate residences on Okanagan Lake.
Image Credit: www.outbacklakeside.com
December 14, 2015 - 4:36 PM
VERNON - Vernon city council has done a 180-degree-turn when it comes to a controversial marina on Okanagan Lake.
Outback Resort’s proposed marina in South Bay, near Ellison Provincial Park, got support from Vernon council today, Dec. 14 — with a few conditions.
The support hinges upon the removal of all the resort’s existing buoys in South Bay and Quarry Bay. The resort has stated that if the marina goes ahead, the buoys will no longer be needed.
“The buoys, I think, are becoming dangerous,” Coun. Catherine Lord says. “To me it’s becoming a safety factor.”
Council has been dealing with the controversial proposal on and off for several years, but has previously stood against allowing it in South Bay. A neighbourhood group called the Friends of South Bay has opposed the project from day one on the grounds of environmental impacts, water quality concerns, safety issues and access concerns.
A big tipping point for Coun. Scott Anderson was a letter from the Department of Fisheries stating it would not allow a marina in Quarry Bay any longer for environmental reasons. Outback resort built a marina there in the past, but it was destroyed by storms on the lake.
Another condition council made was the resort reduce the proposed marina from 72 to 65 boat slips to minimize the size.
Council is sending its recommendation to the Ministry of Environment, which has the ultimate say on whether or not the marina gets the green light.
Friends of South Bay spokesperson Kim Nasipayko was disappointed with council’s decision. She says the resort only has control of approximately six of the buoys on the lake, with the rest belonging to private owners, and believes the majority could likely remain even if a marina was built.
She says the Friends of South Bay will be lobbying the federal government to block the project.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015