City contemplates private moorage

City council is considering creating a new property zone in order to accommodate construction of a private boat moorage facility in the Painter-Barclay area.

The applicant wants to lease an area of Discovery Passage to build a ramp and boat lift platform behind their property on Discovery Drive.

As part of the Crown lease process, the applicant needs to confirm that the proposed use matches the city’s zoning for that particular property. Matthew Fitzgerald, city planner, said as it stands now, that is impossible.

“The proposed Crown lease area is zoned PA-2. This zone does not permit the proposed moorage facility necessitating this rezoning application,” Fitzgerald said. “Complicating the proposal is the fact that nowhere in the city’s zoning bylaw is a private moorage facility a permitted use for properties adjacent to Discovery Passage.”

Fitzgerald said the city does have provisions for commercial marinas but they differ from private moorage facilities.

The solution?

Staff have developed a brand-new zone, called Public Areas Three (PA-3) that, if adopted, will regulate the use of private moorings going forward.

At its April 11 meeting, council gave first and second reading to a bylaw amendment to create the zone and directed staff to schedule a public hearing.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield said he was surprised to read in a staff report to council concerning the project that the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP) does not contemplate land use regulations within Discovery Passage.

The OCP does, however, designate Discovery Passage as within the Foreshore Development Permit area, which requires that all development be within 30 metres of the high watermark.

Fitzgerald added that the applicant in this case has already applied for the Foreshore Development Permit. Fitzgerald said it’s expected there will be little disturbance to the foreshore and slope above the beach.