I am following Summerland council’s latest wish to force a public hearing with great interest. This is regarding the proposed marina adjacent to our existing marina.
Normally a municipality wants developers to follow their zoning bylaw. In this case a developer has approval to construct a residential building on the site of the former cannery on the waterfront in lower town. The zoning of the water in this area allows for marinas.
The district already owns a marina in this area that extends halfway in front of this proposed housing development. The developer wishes to construct a small marina immediately adjacent to the existing marina for the use of their residents. This is permitted under the current zoning. Sounds fairly simple.
Council however has determined that developing in accordance with their zoning bylaw isn’t what they want – or maybe it is? Council has directed staff to draft a zoning bylaw amendment prohibiting construction of a marina in this area.
This doesn’t appear to be because they don’t want a marina. It is simply to force a public hearing where one is not required. The logic appears to be that if the public opposes this marina, council will pass the prohibitive bylaw.
If the public is OK with the proposed marina, then the bylaw will be abandoned.
This is pretty clearly an abuse of process.
Councils are supposed to develop an Official Community Plan which indicates the community’s wishes for future land use. The zoning bylaw then follows along with compatible zones so the development community can review the bylaws and know what is desired.
In this case, water zoning is relatively new and was duly considered by the public and council of the day.
Now developers cannot rely on this zoning. As soon as they make a request to develop accordingly, council is trying to shut the door.
Not because they don’t want a marina. It appears they don’t know.
This bylaw amendment is simply to force a public hearing on an issue where none is required. Very odd.
Let’s hope the bylaw is abandoned and the district doesn’t find itself in court for dealing in bad faith.
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