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Photo: City of Kelowna
Photo: City of Kelowna

South Mission can keep docks, lifts

by Wayne Moore - Story: 51195
Dec 1, 2009 / 11:00 am

As far as the City of Kelowna is concerned, a series of docks and boat lifts fronting South Bay Landing in the South Mission can remain.

The final decision remains with Integrated Land Management, a provincial agency based out of Kamloops.

The matter came before council several weeks ago after after neighbours Ava and Wayne Fipke asked the boat lifts be removed because they were obstructing their view and presented increased stress on the environment.

City Council heard submissions during a lengthy public hearing, which went well past 2 a.m. on November 17, but deferred making a decision until they were able to receive more information on the original decision on construction of the docks and boat lifts back in 2001.

When the council of the day heard the original application in 2001, it was asked to approve a shared moorage facility with 32 boat lifts.

A compromise was eventually reached in which the South Bay Strata was granted a licence to construct and operate a moorage facility for 28 boat slips and nine boat lifts.

Since then, development permit waivers have been issued for installation of five more boat lifts, bringing the total to 14.

At present, Land Use Management Director Shelley Gambacort says 21 boat lifts are currently operational.

Councillor Graeme James says council at the time made a compromise, which is why they are where they are today.

"Throughout the document I found that the word compromise came up, and I'll say it again, that word means to me that nobody gets what they want," James told council.

"Because council at the time made a compromise, it's coming back to haunt us now."

James says it would be a travesty for a lone person to say you can have a dock but you can't have a lift.

"The situation on that dock calls for boat lifts. The area where that dock is located calls for boat lifts from storms and whatnot."

He says to tell one person they can have a boat lift and someone else they can't, in this instance, is not right.

Councillor Andre Blanleil says he believes what is there now is better than what it could have been.

"What is there today is better than nine individuals having nine wharfs with the possibility of two or three boats on each wharf," says Blanleil.

"Certainly that visibility from the Fipke's house or anyone else on Eldorado Court would be drastically worse than it is today."

Blanleil adds that not having lifts in that open water area could have drastic consequences.

"It's just a matter of time before we have another big storm and boats get bashed and gas gets into the lake and everything else gets torn apart. The reality is there is no wind protection there whatsoever."

Mayor Sharon Shepherd, who was a councillor during the original decision, says she believes the ultimate decision has to come down to safety.

"As long as they are not able to have a structure above the boat lift, I feel that it's an important aspect," says Shepherd.

"In the future, I would not support allowing a boat slip and not allowing a boat lift. I think they have to go hand in hand."

Council voted 5-3 in favour of the status quo with councillors Rule, Hodge and Reid voting against.


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