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Powell River Yacht Club enters waterfront plan

Boaters hope to share former barge terminal with coast guard
yacht club
YACHTERS PLAN: Powell River Yacht Club commodore Blake Hoffert recently presented a proposal to City of Powell River for usage of the former barge terminal property. Dave Brindle photo

Powell River Yacht Club took the lead on Tuesday, May 3, at City of Powell River's committee of the whole meeting when a representative presented a vision statement for development of the former barge terminal property.

According to Tor Birtig, Powell River director of infrastructure, several conversations with yacht club commodore Blake Hoffert have already taken place.

“It is obviously favourable anytime we’re improving the area,” said Birtig, noting the improvements that have already been made to the north and south harbours.

The barge terminal near the south harbour has not been enhanced, he said, adding there have been informal talks with the Canadian Coast Guard to also occupy the space.

“[Development] would entail demolition of a portion of the existing metal clad,” said Birtig. “At least one third of the building would be remaining plus the office site on the west end of that building.”

Any plans involving the coast guard would still allow for what the yacht club is proposing, according to Hoffert.

“They’re looking at the eastward third of that building and putting in a structure separate from it,” said Hoffert.

Hoffert believes the former barge area, located near the entrance to the sea walk, is big enough to accommodate more than one group’s interests.

“There’s still two thirds of the building and the small white building to the westward side, which hopefully we can contribute to,” said Hoffert.

According to its proposal presented to the city, the yacht club would utilize and improve the former terminal on behalf of other clubs, such as Powell River Outrigger Club Society and  Paddling for Life Club. The yacht club contribution to the plan would include financial input, repairs and restoration.

“This is an ideal location to develop and access a ramp for small boats, kayaks and canoes as the North Harbour ramp is frequently busy with large boats,” stated Hoffert in the proposal.

The proposal went on to request that the yacht club lease the site for three years at nominal cost and cover any insurance and power costs.

Birtig said he would like to see something move ahead for the property. “Whether it is in this form for the yacht club or some other enhancement,” he said, “we’re definitely looking for some improvements.”