By on July 13, 2010
A design plan for the proposed Lions Park lagoon marina dated June of 2010. Image courtesy of the Town of Osoyoos - Click on picture for larger image

A design plan for the proposed Lions Park lagoon marina dated June of 2010. Image courtesy of the Town of Osoyoos - Click on picture for larger image

OSOYOOS TIMES-July 14, 2010

By Paul Everest – Osoyoos Times

Following a public hearing where roughly 20 people spoke up, Osoyoos council gave third reading to a zoning amendment that would allow for the development of a marina at the Lions Park lagoon.
Nearly 90 people gathered at the Sonora Community Centre on July 6 for the second public hearing on the matter, followed by a special meeting of council where the reading was given.
The Lions Park lagoon area is adjacent to the Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club and is zoned Parks and Recreation.
The zoning does not include marina operations as a permitted use in the area.
The zoning amendment, if adopted, would allow for a marina to be developed at the site.
At a special meeting on June 24, the amendment was updated to clarify where the amendment would apply — “the immediate area surrounding Lions Park lagoon” — and to provide a definition of a marina.
The definition is “the use of buildings, land or surface of the water for the sale and/or rental of water sports equipment, boats, docking berths, marine supplies and may include the sale of petroleum products.”
The marina concept, which has not been approved by council, would have the Town and the developers of the Watermark Beach Resort develop the facility together.
Preliminary designs for the marina include the development of 30 slips within the lagoon, two F-shaped docks each containing 52 slips extending roughly 75 metres out into the lake as well as parking and landscaping alterations to the area.
The idea of developing the marina at the site has raised some concerns within the community and prompted calls from the public for more information about the proposed project.
During the public hearing on July 6, which followed a public hearing held on the matter on May 17, nearly a dozen residents expressed concerns about the project or suggested alternatives to the proposed marina concept.
Five written submissions also brought up concerns regarding the project.
The concerns included the sale of fuel at the site, the effects the marina could have on the neighbouring sailing club, a lack of police patrols on the lake, erosion damage to the shoreline caused by fast-moving boats and parking limitations around the proposed marina site.
Some people suggested that the lagoon should be cleaned up and slips could be developed there without the F-docks.
One local realtor said the Town and the resort should concentrate on developing a marina in the lagoon for a year and, after that time has passed, assess the situation to see if a larger facility would work.
Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society President Mark McKenney said the society is now taking a “position of neutrality” on the concept but added that the F-docks should not extend 75 metres into the lake, as per Town regulations.
A Town of Osoyoos zoning bylaw states that docks shall not extend beyond 30 metres from the lake’s high water mark.
McKenney also offered to have the society “monitor” the marina project.
People in favour of the marina concept said there is a high need to provide more moorage facilities for the lake as well as a need to improve the boat launch near the marina site and clean up the lagoon.
Some said a marina would provide new jobs and business opportunities in town including opportunities for watercraft sales and storage.
It was also pointed out that if people could dock their boats at a marina, there would be less of a need to store boats on trailers which end up getting parked on the community’s streets.
Rob Rausch, owner of Wakepilot Wakeboarding, said the marina concept could allow for the centralization of watercraft-focused businesses.
With a centralized location for operations, he said, those businesses, along with the RCMP, could educate watercraft owners about how to operate their crafts safely and respectfully on the lake while monitoring fuelling and watercraft operations on the water.
Suggestions of having the marina located in front of the Watermark Beach Resort were also brought up.
A development permit issued to the resort in 2006, however, included a condition prohibiting the development of any moorage facilities on its property as the Town’s preference is to keep Gyro Beach open to swimming.
Councillors Marg Chadsey, CJ Rhodes and Ted Cronmiller voted in favour of giving the amendment third reading, while Coun. Michael Ryan and Mayor Stu Wells voted against the amendment.
Ryan once again tabled an amendment to have “the sale of petroleum products” removed from the definition of a marina included in the zoning amendment, but his motion was voted down 3-2 with Cronmiller, Rhodes and Chadsey voting against it.
Ryan then tabled a motion that any marina developed in the Lions Park lagoon area would be subject to a development permit process and if the project is phased, council would have to approve each phase.
This motion passed unanimously.
The zoning amendment allowing for a marina at the lagoon site is likely to come up for adoption at the next council meeting on July 19.

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  1. Les W. Dewar

    July 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    How about banning all motorized watercrafts from the lake altogether. That is what I am in favor of!

  2. Mike

    July 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Les: If boats were banned, the economic impact to the town would be devastating. I’m all for a safer, cleaner, more controlled use of motorized craft on the lake, but this is a huge economic driver for the tourist industry.

    I’d be happy to see the ban of Seadoos and Tubing as an activity as these two generate much of the danger and injuries on the lake but the use of all motorized craft would be short sighted.

    Whats really needed is enforcement of the safe boating standards by RCMP rather than just setting up water based roadblocks looking for drinking and boating (although this needs to continue as well).

    There is a happy medium where boaters and non-boaters can enjoy the lake together but all or nothing isn’t the solution.

  3. Stuart

    July 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Alain Cunningham ( Director of Planning and Development for the City of Osoyoos ) has stated that there will be NO expropriation of private land to allow for the widening of Spartan Drive .
    If this is the case , how can they have a new sidewalk and two lanes of traffic on Spartan Drive by the lagoon / marina as they do in this plan .

  4. William

    July 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

    First reading, second reading, third reading and they still don’t see it. Our Council Chamber is a Chamber of Darkness.

    Osoyoos lake, difficult to pronounce, incorrectly spelled is a problem which can easily be solved by renaming it. I suggest
    CULTUS LAKE # 2, because that is where it is going.

  5. fed_up

    July 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Better yet ban the drug dealers, strippers and coke heads from whitesands and let the families have it back…but I guess getting rid of the drug money in Osoyoos would be detrimental to the local economy as well.

  6. Garry

    July 19, 2010 at 10:46 am

    It’s done, now let’s get on with it. However, based on the public open house meetings, comments contained on the papers website, recent fuel spills and comments from others I think the town should hold off on allowing fuel and rental seadoos at the new marina. The amendment will allow for these activities but the town does not need to approve them until such time that it can be seen as a prudent business move, for both the community and tourist needs since both services already exist on the lake.

  7. michael steeves

    March 31, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    hay wait a minute. where’s everybody goint to leave there boats, so they can drink in the bar. we will all go broke.OMG. hahaha.

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