Mixed reaction to proposal

Stating his case: Blind Bay Resort owner Dan Baskill points out the advantages of a proposal to expand his development during a public hearing last Wednesday. - Barb Brouwer/Observer
Stating his case: Blind Bay Resort owner Dan Baskill points out the advantages of a proposal to expand his development during a public hearing last Wednesday.
— image credit: Barb Brouwer/Observer

The time for talking is over.

It will be up to Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors to decide the development course for Blind Bay Resort.

A capacity crowd of those for and against had an opportunity until the end of a public hearing last Wednesday to express their opinions and concerns.

The large collection of letters, emails, etc. will now be compiled, verified to make sure there is no duplication and presented in a report to the board in September by CSRD senior planner Dan Passmore.

Area C director Paul Demenok opened the meeting by advising the crowd that he is neither for nor against developer Dan Baskill’s plans for his resort on Blind Bay Road.

“I am officially neutral as I am going to be going into and coming out of the meeting,” he said. “I will take in all the opinions and data, and will do as much as possible to make sure decisions are based on facts…”

All other electoral area directors were in attendance to hear public sentiment first hand.

Following Demenok’s reminder that the Aug. 6 event was a public hearing, not a debate, Passmore read out amendments that will be needed for the development to proceed.

He noted that Baskill had further responded to concerns he had heard by agreeing to a restrictive covenant that would preclude the rental of water toys or pumping waste from boats.

Comments for and against seemed to be fairly balanced with those voting in favour of the development earning more enthusiastic applause.

Several people who have already bought into the resort – many of whom have visited the Shuswap for many years – supported the development for its design, amenities, cleanliness and operation.

Several others supported the development, adamant South Shuswap needs developments such as Blind Bay Resort in order to improve the economy so young families don’t have to leave the area.

Several people were OK with the development on the south side of Blind Bay Road but strongly opposed to the proposed 19 RV lots on the waterfront, which is currently zoned single-family.

Others opposed the development on the basis that the new official community plan adopted in March took eight years to complete and public input clearly opposed foreshore development.

Still others expressed concerns about the proposed length of the dock, increased boat activity in an already busy bay and deteriorating water quality.

Several longtime residents and visitors reported seeing steady deterioration over the years, and one complained that property values have deteriorated as a result.

But another longtime resident reported the resort’s state-of-the-art waste management system, which he said he has examined closely, will reduce the impact on the bay and blamed the worsening water conditions on a plethora of inefficient and leaking septic beds near the foreshore.


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