Central Saanich council and the lands, parks and housing ministry expressed serious reservations Monday about a marina proposed for Saanichton Bay.
Council said at its regular meeting that the application by Saanichton Marina Ltd. should be given “no further consideration,” and that “after considerable study of the plans, council continues to have reservations in respect to the application.”
And the special projects branch of the lands, parks and housing ministry said in a letter to Mayor David Hill that the proposed 400-berth project “is so located as to interfere with the common law riparian rights” of the Tsawout Indian band, which “would have a legitimate objection to the application.”
The special projects branch also said, regarding the company’s application to lease crown lands in Saanichton Bay, that “the applicant proposed to place a fill in the bay immediately north of Sandhill Creek for a parking lot. If this creek supports a fish population, the fill may be inimical to the better interests of the fish.”
Council said it had five reservations against the project.
In a letter to the lands, parks and housing ministry’s district land manager in Nanaimo, it said these reservations were:
“The James Douglas Treaty and the effect of the marina on the rights of the native people granted by the treaty.
“Littoral or riparian rights in the determination of access rights.
“Fisheries–effects of the fill area on fish spawning, and shellfish areas at the mouth of Sandhill Creek, together with the effect of the proposed breakwater on the bay area. These are matters which require investigation by appropriate authorities.
“Dialogue–the lack of communication and constructive co-operation between the applicant and the native people.
“Zoning–parking area on foreshore may not be in accordance with the intent and regulations of municipal zoning bylaw No. 465. Council finds, therefore, that the applications in their present form be given no further consideration.”
Twawout band manager Vic Underwood said Monday in an interview that council’s five reservations “fall in line with what we have stated before.”
Underwood said “We are opposed to any marina on the bay and we will not negotiate with the company. We have nothing to gain from a marina, and everything to lose.”
In 1968, he said, the band itself proposed a marina but later rejected the concept because it would have threatened the band’s resources.