Gulf Islands Driftwood
Voice of the Southern Gulf Islands

Marina expansion back on track

Second Ganges pump-out station planned

Salt Spring Marina is moving forward with expansion plans after being on hold for several years, with an expired development permit resubmitted to the Local Trust Committee.

The application will go to the Advisory Planning Commission for evaluation and comment, with hopes that a new floating breakwater will be towed into the head of Ganges Harbour next to Moby’s Pub this fall.

“The reason we want to move forward with this now is there is material available,” marina owner Jerry Parks said during Thursday’s LTC meeting. “And if we waited six months or 10 months it might not be there.”

Parks said the breakwater will be made by repurposing parts of a fish farm from the northern coast. Several such farms are now being broken up. The hope is to have the materials towed down this fall and then installed before the winter.

“We want to get going on this, so we appreciate your consideration,” Parks said.

Senior Trust planner Jason Youmans explained the marina had previously been successful in obtaining zoning changes related to the proposed project. A development permit was duly issued in 2011 but lapsed without the proposed work taking place.

While Parks and contractor David McKerrell had hoped to avoid sending the application on to the APC, trustees agreed with staff’s recommendation given the importance of the development area and the potentially quick turn-around time, which should make it possible to bring the application back to the LTC’s July meeting.

“I understand the applicant’s need for urgency. My one caution is this is a really important part — I mean all of the parts of our island are important — but this one gets a lot of attention,” said trustee George Grams. “I think any work at the marina or the harbour assumes a level of priority and responsibility, and encourages me to get as much advice as I can. That’s why I feel referring this to the Advisory Planning Commission is sound advice. It’s also another way of consulting the community on this particular issue.”

Trustee Peter Grove said he would like to move the application forward right away, but also agreed with Grams’ points, especially since there will still be enough time for the fall move.

For more on this story, see the July 5, 2017 issue of the Driftwood newspaper.

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