Public Hearing For Blind Bay Resort Expansion & Rezoning

SWAT Members and Supporters

A Public Hearing for a waterfront RV/trailer park and an expanded large private marina at Blind Bay Resort will be held on December 5th, 6:00 p.m. at the Cedar Centre in Cedar Heights, 2316 Lakeview Drive

We recommend you become informed on the application (see CSRD website) as well as the concerns we have received from members and residents (summarized below).

You can also visit www.wateraction.ca for more information

This application as proposed ignores the Official Community Plan (OCP) and will set a SERIOUS precedent for future waterfront development in the South Shuswap

The OCP requires the number of boat slips to be based on the width of the property waterfront, not the lot size, or number of units the property can hold. This is consistent with the CSRD Docks and Buoys Bylaw.

The existing 50 slip private marina is already beyond the OCP policy so an expansion to 70 slips is not appropriate

Our OCP also specifies that higher density developments be directed away from the waterfront to town centers. However this rezoning is for a higher density trailer park on two waterfront properties currently zoned for two residences only.

We encourage you to send an email or letter to CSRD Director Paul Demenok pdemenok@csrd.bc.ca

with a copy to chamilton@csrd.bc.ca for the CSRD Board.

Please also attend the Public Hearing with your written letters and express your opinions. It will be your last opportunity to be heard

Thank you for supporting Shuswap water quality

SWAT Directors

OUR VISION

A Beautiful watershed and lake, available to all area residents with clean quiet water, accessible beaches, parks, walkways, swimming areas, and water that is safe for appropriate recreational activities including non-motorized watercraft. Recreation is available for visitors and tourists but without overcrowding the lake and facilities for Shuswap watershed residents.

SUMMARY OF CONCERNS FROM AREA RESIDENTS

  THIS PROPOSAL CONFLICTS WITH THE COMMUNITY’S VISION AND PLAN

Two Single-Family-Residential (SFR) waterfront lots would be rezoned to a 19-lot Higher Density RV/Trailer Park (about 12 units/acre). Other waterfront lots are about 1 unit/acre, and surrounding area residential densities are about 3 units/acre. This rezoning is directly in contrast with the community’s expressed vision, and wording, in both the old and new South Shuswap Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaws. Such a large“Private Marina” for multi-family developments is also prohibited in the new OCP.

Area residents made it clear in dozens of Public and Advisory Committee meetings that such high-density developments are not appropriate, or wanted, on the waterfront. Approval of this rezoning would ignore all that public input, undermine the purpose and effort of developing the OCP, and damage the reputation and trust in the CSRD.

SERIOUS PRECEDENT FOR WATERFRONTS

It will set a “Serious Precedent” to rezone even“one” waterfront residential lot to higher density, let alone “two” lots (one is being purchased to add to the developments property). Even commercial waterfront rezoning such as Carmel Cove and Westbeach were rejected by the public and denied by the CSRD. If this waterfront rezoning is approved it would make the OCP irrelevant and open the door for many more waterfront multi-family developments in Area C.

COMMERCIAL HOUSEBOAT OPERATIONS

Re-designating the foreshore to “Waterfront Commercial” opens up the potential for commercial houseboat rental operations. This could have a major impact on the relatively quiet nature of Blind Bay, and increase “Greywater Sewage” discharges. More jet-ski rentals will also impact boating safety and add to the congestion from two existing commercial marina rentals.

CSRD DOCKS AND BUOYS BYLAW

The CSRD Docks and Buoys Bylaw (900) was established to manage the proliferation of boats being parked in the lake on docks and buoys. This rezoning applicant’s original foreshore lease had a small dock with about 15 slips. The dock was recently expanded and extended outside its lease without BC Govt. authorization and now has about 50 slips.

If CSRD Directors approve a further expansion to 70 slips, plus widening, and re-locating the entire marina far out into the bay, it would conflict completely with the intent and purpose of the CSRD’s own Docks and Buoys Bylaw as well as the OCP. This private marina would become about the size of the two large public marinas that have recently doubled in size. The bay is quickly becoming a parking lot for boats and houseboats.

PRIVATE DOCK EXPANSION IMPACTS

The Marina could have many more than 112 lot users since lots are allowed to have four ¼ shareowners. This will increase traffic even further in the already congested bay with little benefit to area residents. The developer also announced that in future the slips would likely be expanded to allow room for larger boats. This would create even more conflicts.

WATER QUALITY IMPACTS

Water quality in the bay is already at risk and the impact of boats parked in the water is significant. All boats have bilge pumps, and larger boats are allowed to discharge their Greywater Sewage.  The two Public Marinas in Blind Bay both doubled their numbers of boat slips in recent years, and hundreds of boats and even houseboats are now being parked on buoys in the bay.

This continual creeping commercialization and boat storage is not only affecting our water quality, it is degrading the very beauty, serenity, and ecology, of the bay that area residents come here to enjoy. The CSRD’s priority should be to preserve and enhance this unique and beautiful bay for all Area C residents to enjoy- not just time-share owners and renters.

SEWAGE IMPACT ON WATER QUALITY

The sewage treatment plant discharges to a field not far from the lake. Ground water flows downhill to the lake and high volumes of effluent from this higher density development (112 lots) containing chemicals and pharmaceuticals will likely end up in the shallow waters of the bay, the source of residents’ drinking water. The smell from the treatment plant already creates odours in the parking lot of the Village Market Grocery.

SEMI-WATERFRONT INEQUITY.

Semi-Waterfront (behind a road) property owners around the lake are not allowed a boat dock or slip. Yet this rezoning will entrench the right to a boat slip for renters and “seasonal semi-waterfront”(behind Blind Bay road) “1/4 share” lots.This is inequitable and not appropriate.

IMPACT ON NEIGHBORS & LOCAL RESIDENTS

Neighboring residential property owners purchased their properties on the understanding they would be adjacent to other Single Family Residential zoned properties. Rezoning it to multi-family with a large marina significantly devalues their property and takes away their right to peaceful enjoyment of their property and waterfront.

NOISE IS ALREADY A SERIOUS ISSUE

Noise from loud boat exhausts and powerful speaker systems can be heard all around the bay and into the upper residential areas because sound travels very far over water. This has already become a very serious problem as it interferes with residents right to peace and quiet enjoyment. Increasing the density and size of a private residential marina contributes to this issue.

CONCERNS WITH OWNERSHIP MODEL OF MARINA

The Private Marina will be owned, controlled, and operated by one person. The lot purchasers would have little or no say in its operations, fees, or slip assignments. The BC Govt. says this model of marina ownership has been a recipe for problems in other developments on the lake.

OTHER OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE ISSUES

Unlike most multi-family developments that have an elected board with authority to make operational and financial decisions the lot owners appear to have little say in the management of the facility. The developer retains ownership of not just the marina, but also the commercial lot, and other facilities, and has authority to set operating and maintenance and other fees at whim.

The developer even retains rights to buy back lots solely at his discretion for 80 years. This buy back right is similar to a lease which provides little incentive for an owner to maintain his/her property and can result in run down properties over time.

BOAT TRAILER PARKING

The rezoning appears to provide inadequate space for parking and storage of boat trailers. At present many trailers are parked on lot proposed for development. They could end up being parked on the roadway boulevards.

* From the SEAS listserver

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s