Looking down from the swimming poll at the Whiskey POint Resort to the BC Ferry terminal

Whiskey Point application to add a 90 seat meeting room sent back to SRD Board

The Whiskey Point Resort overlooks the ferry terminal at Quathiaski Cove, on Quadra Island. It’s driveway comes off a road that is often choked with Quadra and Cortes Island residents, as well as tourists, waiting to board the ferry. Never-the-less plans to add a 90 seat meeting room appeared to be moving forward, before it was brought before the Electoral Areas Services Committee (EASC) last June

Looking from the proposed addition towards the Ferry terminal – courtesy SRD staff report

That SRD staff report states, “the planned development is being carried out in accordance with existing zoning regulations, including parking and signage, there are no zoning bylaw amendments being sought.” 

They recommended that the Quadra Island development’s permit be approved upon the receipt of a performance bond of a little over $12,000. 

That was last Spring.

At the most recent EASC meeting, on February 9th, the resort’s proposal was sent back to the Strathcona Regional District Board with a recommendation that this application be referred back to the owner, Mr. Doo Yun Park, with the request that he thoroughly and comprehensively meet the Land Application Plan (LAP) policies and then bring it back to EASC for consideration.  

That was the third time EASC has sent Mr Park’s proposal back.

Regional Director Jim Abram explained: 

“A 90 seat Convention center is a new development. It should have been considered to be a rezoning to something like public assembly, or one of our other zones that we have and change the zone rather than try and squeak it into a development permit situation.”

“This is not a small matter. This is a huge matter in the development of the mixed use, waterfront, whatever you said, the title was for that particular area.  This area is the cornerstone gateway to Quadra Island, and it is extremely deficient in providing for the growth and the use of Quadra Island by members of Quadra and Cortes.”

Location of the resort in relationship to the BC Ferry terminal – adapted from Google Maps by Roy L Hales

“Cortes Island residents have to use that  ferry too. And you know, they have to deal with those traffic snarls at that intersection. So those kinds of things are definitely pertinent for both directors, myself and Noba, and definitely pertinent to the majority of Quadra Islanders,” said Abram. “Everybody uses that intersection at some point. Some every day, some once in a while, but it’s not something we can just gloss over and say it doesn’t count.”

SRD senior manager Aniko Nelson said,” What we’re doing today is we are considering a development permit for a use that is already permitted within the Cove. We are looking to approve the form and character of the approved development, the policies that are outlined within.”  

Chief administrative officer David Leitch added, “Staff have already acknowledged in reports and to the applicant that it meets all DP guidelines and policies. So we will not be responding to the applicant that it does not meet.” 

He never-the-less did agree to faithfully pass on EASC’s recommendation to the Board. 

Jim Abram referred to another document, the local Land Application Plan, and pointed to four areas where the proposed addition is a problem: 

  1. The LAP states developments like this need an entrance that does not enter onto a main road, but the resort’s driveway enters onto an intersection that already has a traffic problem. After the hybrid e-Ferries arrive this Spring, there could be as many as 150-200 vehicles an hour passing along it. 
  2. The convention centre does not appear to have sufficient parking, which means some guests would use the already overstretched Cove area.   
  3. Even staff admit that the proposed addition is only 50% compliant with this area’s plan for a walkable community with an early 1900’s style development featuring boardwalks, piers out over the water and buildings with shops on the ground level and year-round rental housing space above. Abram said the use of dormers might have helped the new development fit in; the proposed Whiskey Point addition would be a wall of glass windows.
  4. There are already problem’s with runoff from the Whiskey Point Resort’s long paved driveway. When it rains, traces of deleterious substances like oil and gas are being channeled into one of the few remaining salmon and trout bearing creeks on Quadra Island.

Corporate Services Manager Thomas Yates said, “ we will faithfully to the best of our ability take whatever motion has passed today,  from the electoral level services committee to the board as a recommendation to the board and   on this particular motion, I believe that only the participants in the planning service would have a vote as to whether to follow through.”

The three other three regional directors, Noba Anderson, Brenda Leigh and Gerald Whalley, all supported Abram.

So Whiskey Point’s application will now pass to the SRD Board where, as only EASC directors vote on electoral area matters, the same four directors will decide whether to follow their recommendation. 

This post wsa originally published on Feb 23 and republished Feb 26 as part of the Saturday Round-up.

Top image credit: Looking down from the Whiskey Point Resort’s swimming pool to the ferry terminal at Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island by Gord Webster via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) 

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