The owner of the Beachcomber Marina has plans to extend the breakwater and increase the size of the mooring berths at the marina. — Michael Briones photo

Group of Nanoose Bay area residents opposed to marina expansion

Application would extend breakwater, add berths

A group of residents in the Nanoose Bay area is rallying to oppose a plan to allow further expansion of the Beachcomber Marina.

Ian Barnes, the owner of the marina, extended the breakwater and added 20 more berths in 2017. Barnes now has a pending application to the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources to amend an existing licence to allow him to extend the breakwater and more docks and boats.

Barnes indicated on his application that the extension is necessary to ensure present and future docks and boats are protected against inclement weather from all directions. He also pointed out the impact to the community, environment and to residents near the marina would be minimal.

Friends of Nanoose Bay, the group against the marina project, have submitted letters to the ministry opposing Barnes’s application.

RELATED: Beachcomber Marina phase one in Nanoose Bay almost done

Beachcomber resident Nick Schulson, who is leading the group, said a major concern is the potential environmental damage the extension of the breakwater and increased docks would cause.

“Both would affect an ecologically fragile reef area teeming with marine life, and put a provincially registered salmon habitat eel grass meadow in the bay at great risk from altered current flow and disruptive marine traffic,” said Schulson.

Barnes presented to the ministry a biological survey of the bay from a consultant he hired; residents feel the survey covered only from the marina to the mouth of the bay.

The area of the proposed expansion, which is under the jurisdiction of the RDN, is zoned for recreation use and will need to be rezoned for commercial use. If approved, Schulson, believes that development plans would block marine access to one of the few beaches in the area.

RELATED: Beachcomber Marina owner to meet with Nanoose Bay chief

Barnes doesn’t believe the the proposed breakwater extension would greatly impact environment particularly the eel grass in the area.

“Very few in the community would see it (extension),” said Barnes. “It’s right at the end of the existing breakwater and it is only going to serve to further protect the bay beach use further down the bay and also the eel gras bed. To be quite honest, the breakwater is approximately 700 feet from the eel grass bed and I don’t see how it can in anyway affect negatively the eel grass bed.”

Barnes was hoping to start construction of this project now but has deferred it to next year as he doesn’t expect the ministry to make its decision soon regarding his application.

Schulson also said the facility is private with signs prohibiting public access, excluding community members from even launching a small boat. He said this is against Nanoose Bay’s Official Community Plan that states “residents have placed the highest value on the protection of the natural environment — including watercourses, green spaces, viewscapes, beach accesses, and sensitive ecosystems.”

Barnes said it has always been private marina but he does allow public boats to moor there but only on a limited scale.

“You don’t have to be a member of the strata or a member of the immediate Beachcomber area to moor your boat here,” said Barnes. “It’s public in that respect. I do limit the moorage to annual only and I do limit the usage of the ramp because it used to be a total gong show here. I only sell 20 annual passes and obviously to local boaters.”

The immediate neighbourhood was given notification of his plan. Barnes said that his application requires him to do that and also indicated that he is open to discussing what the plans are with the residents.

Schulson said comments on the application can be made until June 16 to the ministry at File No. 1412124.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

WATCH: Jordan now a key member on staff at Parksville business

Disability Awareness Month celebrated around province

RDN wants to play role in Ballenas track upgrade

Bringing dilapidated facility up to standard could cost close to $1M

Qualicum Beach joins in on global climate strike

Participants urge government to adequately address climate crisis

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

Parksville-area thieves target catalytic converters

RCMP: ‘We’re getting the same thing in terms of theft of gas’

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Most Read