Neighbours lose court battle against Outback resort's marina on Okanagan Lake - InfoNews

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Neighbours lose court battle against Outback resort's marina on Okanagan Lake

The Outback Resort is made up of 161 separate residences on Okanagan Lake.
Image Credit: www.outbacklakeside.com
March 28, 2019 - 5:30 PM

VERNON - Two lakeside neighbours have lost a legal battle with the strata of an Okanagan Lake resort and the province after a judge ruled a marina at the site can stay put.

The granting of a provincial licence allowing a marina to be built at the Outback Lakeside Vacation Homes resort had come under a legal challenge by neighbours Sheldon Trainor-Degirolamo and Euphemia (Kim) Nasipayko who took the resort's strata council and the Ministry of Environment to court arguing the ministry should have never issued the licence in the first place.

In her decision, March 26, the Hon. Justice Burke dismissed Trainor-Degirolamo and Nasipayko's application to revoke the licence issued by the Ministry of Environment in 2017, which allowed the resort to build a 65-boat marina.

The Outback resort's marina has caused a significant amount of controversy over the years, with opposition from neighbours and community groups dating back 15 years. The City of Vernon passed a resolution in 2004 against a marina being developed at the site.

"We were only fighting for what's right in the community and what was established in the first place," Nasipayko told iNFOnews.ca.

Friends of South Bay representative Kim Nasipayko speaking to Vernon council Nov. 9, 2015.
Friends of South Bay representative Kim Nasipayko speaking to Vernon council Nov. 9, 2015.

"There are lots of ways to solve this that would have less impact on the environment and [have] less impact on other neighbours," Nasipayko said, adding, "it's a really sad situation."

“It's something that has been going on for a very long time [and] we're just pleased to move on,” Outback strata council president Tracey Mattson said.

According to the court ruling, the Outback resort applied to the province in 2011 to build a new marina at South Bay after their existing marina at Quarry Bay was destroyed in a storm in 2010.

The resort's application cited the Quarry Bay location was "unsuitable and unsafe" largely because it faced the prevailing direction of strong winds. The new location of South Bay would be more suitable as the bay was more sheltered.

Trainor-Degirolamo and Nasipayko then hired legal counsel to file a formal objection to the site of the new marina.

In 2013 the ministry refused the application for the Outback to build the new marina. The ministry's decision cited a “social agreement” that a marina wouldn't be built at the South Bay location and had the Quarry Bay marina been built to its original specifications, which would have allowed it to sustain the storms, it would not have been destroyed.

However, in 2015 the Outback resort applied again and Vernon city council made a U-turn decision to support the marina - even though city staff recommended against it. In 2017 the province issued a licence for the marina.

Trainor-Degirolamo and Nasipayko argued against the Ministry's reasons for granting the licence, saying they were unreasonable because they were inconsistent with the early decision in 2013 not to allow the marina. They also argued the ministry put too much weight on council's decision to support the marina.

Trainor-Degirolamo and Nasipayko also argued the decision to build a marina at the South Bay site was a financial one, as the earlier Quarry Bay marina had to be moved each year so it didn't interfere with the salmon spawning habitat.

However, Judge Burke ruled "procedural fairness had been "adequately complied" and dismissed the application to revoke the licence.

Nasipayko said she didn't know whether they would appeal the decision.


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