Five-Mile beach is again subject to a proposed private moorage which has locals worried about beach access.

Private moorage issue resurfaces — residents worried about beach access

A proposed controversial private moorage at Five-Mile beach has again worried residents about lost access to the popular recreation site.

A proposed controversial private moorage at Five-Mile beach has again worried residents about lost access to the popular recreation site.

Last week, residents Mark and Jane Adreychuck filed an application to build a dock across crown land at their Five-Mile property. A similar application was made in early 2013 which sent locals into an uproar.

The Andreychucks, who reside in Alberta and use their North Shore property as a vacation home, put plans on hiatus — until now.

Last week, Jane told the Star residents shouldn’t worry. Their plan has been modified “having nothing to do with the beach. It’s in the water on the edge of the spit,” she says.

“It’s totally changed from the original plan due to concerns the government had,” she says.

Residents are still worried that any structure at the site will impact one of the last remaining public-access beaches on the North Shore. Five-Mile beach, also referred to as Willow Point, features a curved sandbar extending into Kootenay Lake. Within that curve exists a natural wading pool and swimming area for children making the beach popular with families.

Sally Cavanaugh a former long-time North Shore resident and one of over 350 members of the Facebook group Friends of Willow Point/5-Mile Beach says this is more than a dock issue.

“Our focus in Nelson and area must be on community and environment or we are at risk of losing everything Nelson stands for, bit by bit,” she says. “Until recently, the history of Five-Mile beach has reflected community-mindedness, people sharing the common goal of maintaining a clean and healthy lake area for all to enjoy.”

For Cavanaugh, who now lives in Nelson, and many others who have previously spoken out in opposition to the application, stewardship on the part of the proponents is lacking. Jody Leila Howard agrees.

“To even contemplate building a structure that serves only one family out of all of us here in Nelson — a structure that would introduce more pollutants and obstructions than already exist in this particular beach area at present — is to interfere with the righteous stewardship of the lake,” she says.

Beach access is a hot issue with access to popular spots such as Willow Point and Six Mile being challenged. The RDCK is currently working toward addressing the concern that local government likens to the Pulpit Rock access problem. Director Ron Mickel previously said he wants to see continued use of these areas by the public.

He could not be reached for further comment on the matter as it reoccurs.

The homeowners have submitted their application to the province, and advertised in local media, which opens up the issue to 30 days of public comment. Comments will be received at Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural resource Operations regional office in Cranbrook at FrontCounter BC, 1902 Theatre Road, Cranbrook, BC V1C 7G1 or by email to AuthorizingAgency.Cranbrook@gov.bc.ca until November 22.