However, the spokesperson for the company now says that amenities planned to placate the local paddling community which, among other groups, has vigorously opposed the project may have to be scrapped. These include a kayak launch and landing dock, and paddler right of way through the marina. "It's hard to see where we can actually fit them," he said.
"There's not so much an obvious place now but we'll have a look. They were always a nice fit. We liked the idea of paddlers being able to stop in and have a coffee at the café or go visit friends. It gave a nice feel to the project."
(We liked the idea of being able to paddle in the area without risking getting run over by 135-foot yachts, and maintaining the way of life of the people who actually live in this city and use the harbour all year. But I digress.)
In an editorial on the subject, the Times-Colonist notes the failures of every level of government in dealing with this issue:
The last-minute decision is unfair to the proponents and the public. It sends a negative message to potential investors, who must now wonder if their efforts will be sabotaged by a last-minute change in the rules.The biggest failure is the failure of all levels of government to not listen to the people they serve. We don't want a marina there. The provincial government is currently facing the consequences of not learning this lesson with the HST issue and its backlash -- the other levels of government would be wise to pay attention.
And the rezoning offers no assurance that the concerns raised by project opponents will be addressed.
The last-minute rezoning is the result of a series of failures. The city failed, over the years, to put in place proper zoning (apparently in part because the provincial government wasn't keen, though it's hard to see why that mattered). The federal government's review process failed to allow public input or address a wide range of concerns. The provincial government, as owner of a water lot necessary for the project, failed to consider the public interest in deciding whether to lease the property for the marina.