By Alison Gardner
After seven years of effort to gain permission from three levels of government to build a marina exclusively for megayachts, the Victoria International Marina (VIM) in Victoria, British Columbia, received a final blessing in early October to proceed with its marina.
Both Transport Canada and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans have said the marina construction may proceed subject to several environmental protection recommendations that will ensure marine life is protected and habitat is improved over the course of development.
“The project has already received municipal and provincial approvals, so these new federal approvals are significant milestones in the process,” said Larry Halgren, a Pacific Coast marina veteran with more than 35 years experience in the industry. He recently joined VIM as project team leader.
The marina project has been the subject of years of analysis and examination by environmental and navigation specialists from government and the private sector. In 2010, the original 52-slip design received Transport Canada navigation and environmental approvals.
However, in September 2011, when the city subsequently down-zoned the waterlot where the marina docks are to be located, the developers reduced the size of the marina to 29 slips to conform with the new zoning.
As a result, VIM was required to resubmit the application to federal authorities for a new navigable waters permit within the harbor.
Construction of the megayacht marina is expected to begin in mid-2013 with completion in time for the 2014 Pacific Coast yachting season.
Victoria-based Alison Gardner is a travel journalist and editor of Travel with a Challenge web magazine, www.travelwithachallenge.com, a resource for mature travelers featuring ecological, educational, cultural, and volunteer vacations worldwide. Comments on this story are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.