Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Victoria Council Asks For Marina Public Hearing

The developers proposing a mega-yacht marina for Victoria's harbour have hit a few more snags.
Monday Magazine reports the Save Our Harbour group has "produced a legal opinion concerning who holds riparian rights (the right of landowners to reasonably access adjacent bodies of water) to portions of the waterfront at the Royal Quays condominiums where Evan wants to build his marina. And contrary to what events so far might suggest, it isn’t just Evans’ company Community Marine Concepts."
The opinion concludes "....we are of the view that the owners of Strata Plan VIS3900 and VIS1889 hold certain riparian rights to portions of the water in front of those developments. Those rights should not be ignored by the Provincial Crown, the City of Victoria or the developer of the marina.”
The Save Our Harbour group has turned the opinion over to the two strata corporations involved. Whether they chose to persue the matter is up to them, but up until now the developers and the province's Integrated Lands Management Bureau have considered the riparian rights question a non-issue.
Monday also reports that the City of Victoria is finally speaking out on the proposed marina. Quoting a letter from City of Victoria corporate administrator Rob Woodland to the province's Integrated Lands Management Bureau, Monday reports that "In the City’s view: a) a marina in this location would significantly diminish the natural marine area fronting Lime Bay Park; and b) would significantly diminish the public’s enjoyment of Lime Bay Park, including but not limited to, the views enjoyed by the public across the water surface.”
The letter also brings up the issue of the City's own riparian rights in the matter, and concludes that "[a]s far as the City is aware, the riparian rights issue has not been resolved, and certainly the City has not provided its consent to the proposed grant of any tenure directly in front of Lime Bay Park."
This is not the only front in which Victoria city council is finally speaking out of this issue. It has joined local sea kayakers and other groups in asking the Ministry of Environment that an independent review panel hold a full public hearing into the proposed mega-yacht project in Victoria's harbour. Local kayakers fear that this large-scale project will make it impossible for kayakers and rowers to use the harbour.
The city itself has no authority to reject or approve the marina application as the proposed marina is deemed to be on federal property, but it can make requests of the federal government. Currently, the application is under review by the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans.

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