The addition of three parking stalls as part of Prestige Hotel marina proposal doesn’t address ongoing parking and safety issues, says Sooke Coun. Kevin Pearson.
Although he describes the proposal to add a fueling station and nine-vessel marina on the waterfront behind the hotel as a benefit to the community, the addition of three spots will not make a difference in terms of the existing parking issues, Pearson said.
“I’m pro-development and I think the marina will be good for the community, I would hope the Prestige addresses the ongoing parking issues,” he said.
“The increase in the past few years of the number of people using the adjacent public boat launch creates safety issues. I want to see the Prestige take a proactive approach (to a long-term solution) by exploring whether adjacent properties can be purchased if they become available.”
Tanya Stroinig, executive vice-president with Prestige Hotels & Resorts, said they have discussed parking issues with staff and council, and have been working hard to address parking issues by using shuttle services and securing overflow parking, especially during events.
“We are always open to any viable solution,” she said. “We can’t just go out and buy expensive property just to park on.”
Discussions on a marina work schedule will not commence before final approval. When asked about the possibility of more projects in the future, Stroinig said, “as a family-owned company, we look at opportunities, but there is nothing planned at this time.”
Mayor Maja Tait said she believed the three additional spots will help the parking situation.
“Hopefully we can address safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists by continuing to work with [the Transportation Ministry] for sidewalks,” she said, noting discussions are ongoing. Council also approved extending a lease for land being used for overflow parking, which has helped, she added.
“We recognize that the marina was part of the Prestige’s master plan from the beginning,” Tait said. “We hope to see an increase in visitors by water as a result, and wish they have success with their next endeavour.”
Sooke Council unanimously gave third reading to a proposal to add a nine-berth marina and fueling station to accommodate guests at the hotel at the regular meeting of council on July 23. Tait expects the proposal will be adopted at the next council meeting on Aug. 13.
The marina would also include a pick up and drop off zone for guests taking water tours or charters, as well as providing a fuel station float for the public. In a written clarification on its rezoning proposal dated July 18, The Prestige indicated that “there is no attention to specifically accommodate float planes” within the development proposal.