Skaha Marina developer files to meet next milestone

Trio Marine Group has met the next milestone in their contract with the City of Penticton.

Clean up has started at Skaha Marina

Clean up has started at Skaha Marina

Trio Marine Group has met the next milestone in their contract with the city, filing plans for the future development of Skaha Marina.

This filing deadline relates to the Skaha Marina agreement, not the second agreement to lease part of Skaha Lake park where Trio has proposed to build a commercial waterslide. Detailed plans for that development are due in March 2017.

(read more: Deadline extended one year for Trio Marine)

Still, Jakubeit hopes that the latest information from Trio will help address some of the public concerns over developing in the park.

“We are trying to bring this to some closure or provide some clarity instead of having another season of ambiguity and uncertainty,” said Jakubeit. “I think the expectation is, let’s put all the cards on the table and let’s update the community on intentions. This is an opportunity to gauge their resolve, whether they are going to continue as planned, modify or walk away.”

Jakubeit said council will have another opportunity to address the development issue when Trio Marine reaches their March deadline for filing detailed development plans, and shortly after, their financial guarantees.

Council approval of those plans, along with Trio providing proof of financing, and bond and some other provisions, is contingent on them meeting the goals set out in the original proposal council agreed to in 2015.

“There are some backdoors, but again it becomes a bit more complicated with the lawsuits that are pending,” said Jakubeit.

The issue has divided the city for more than a year, with two separate civil suits filed in B.C. Supreme court.

Nelson Meikle, who filed a civil suit on July 28 over the City of Penticton’s deal to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park to Trio Marine group, recently replied to the city’s Aug. 31 response to his suit.

Meikle delves into fine detail in the legal response he filed on Sept. 29, but there are several key claims relating to overall issues, including the city’s claim Meikle had no right to seek remedy in court regarding the proposed commercial development. Meikle points out that he has a direct interest in the land, as a user of both the park and marina, and his right of access to land dedicated as a public park.

The city also flatly denied Meikle’s description of the pond and stream issuing from it, calling it a storm retention pond.

“A portion of the original creek still remains, as it did under previous historical conditions, as a natural creek. This creek remains a fish spawning area to the present. This detention pond does not alter these characteristics,” wrote Meikle.

The city also says the park dedication bylaw, often referred to by opponents of the lease deal, allows for ancillary activities or uses, providing for “the leasing or licensing of all or part of the public parkland for uses related to or ancillary to the uses specified.”

Meikle’s response to that claim suggests that a waterslide complex doesn’t qualify as an ancillary park use.

“The waterpark constitutes a large, high, permanently constructed structure(s) being built on this park land. Historically, there has never been any such (or similar) development on this or any other park land to which this zoning bylaw applies,” wrote Meikle, noting that about 11 per cent of the city’s population have registered their opposition to the lease.