Marina owner Dale Cotton is headed back to the drawing board after a revamped development plan for the Port Side Marina again got a pass from Central Saanich council. They want him to build trust in the community.
“We’re going to go back to the drawing board with official representation from Moodyville,” Cotton said. “We’re going to follow council’s direction. I’ve talked with some members of Moodyville and they’re going to meet together to get a group of two or three that would represent them … and start all over.”
Last September, council denied the proposal to expand and develop the marina on Saunders Lane in Brentwood Bay. After a well-attended committee meeting, council of the day recommended that Cotton build confidence with residents and resolve traffic problems. As they did previously, Monday (May 14) during a planning and development committee meeting, most residents of the neighbourhood, known as Moodyville, spoke against the proposal.
“It seemed to me that quite a few of the councillors thought what we were doing was a good thing we just didn’t have community support, which was unfortunate,” Cotton said Wednesday, in the midst of organizing a meeting with residents and council members to get started.
During the meeting, garbage – a previous concern – again made an appearance underlining the concern over trust in the community. Cotton said garbage enclosures had been built and garbage moved off the street.
“I live there, it has not been done,” said Carole Francoeur. “That’s been my pet peeve for five years with the marina, please clean up. The garbage is all over the place. He hasn’t built confidence with many people.”
Residents and council members also voiced disappointment that Cotton did not attend the open house he held in February.
“You had a great turnout. … I have issue with the fact that you weren’t there. If you can’t be there, there’s got to be somebody there who can answer the questions. That’s the whole point of the open house,” said Coun. Carl Jensen.
The most significant change of the new proposal before council was in response to a letter suggestion to use commercially zoned 7221 Peden Ln. for parking to minimize parking and traffic in Moodyville, Cotton told council.
“I agree the use of 7221 Peden Ln. will keep most of the traffic to the outskirts of Moodyville,” he said. Renouf Lane would be used for assigned parking.
“The neighbourhood and the applicant it seems, we could have benefitted from some serious arbitration or moderator,” said Patrick McLaren. “There was no bargain that if the parking was moved to Peden Lane we’d all be happy … it was an example of commercial property in the area.
“We have this huge gap in knowledge … the credibility is not really very strong,” he added.
Trust was an issue addressing liveaboards as well. Mayor Alastair Bryson showed concern that Cotton wouldn’t acknowledge how many liveaboards exist in the marina. “One of the strongest arguments for legalizing secondary suites in the district was that we were as a community willing to acknowledge that they were there,” Bryson said. “You did introduce the argument that it could be legally non conforming, then we should be able to discuss it here. … It builds trust.”
When asked the question later by Coun. Terry Siklenka Cotton responded, “There’s 10.”
“There’s 10 liveaboards that are there and I’m not aware that they’re likely to be pumped,” Bryson said. “I’m willing to entertain the concept of a temporary use permit that would accommodate the existing number of liveaboards providing the sewer was hooked up and a facility created for pumpout.”
While council told Cotton to go back and try again, there was interest in seeing another plan.
“I’m hearing is a lot of complaints about the laneways. … It’s a choice you made, the laneways weren’t wider when you moved in,” Jensen said to neighbours. “I’m conformable with it … at this point I have issue with supporting the proposal for no other reason than the fact that I’ve got a ton of [community] disapproval.”