By Meg Olson
The Point Roberts Marina Resort is touching base with the county and the community for feedback about their vision for the future of the marina properties.
On October 27 marina representatives met with county staff for a pre-application meeting. “This was an opportunity for the applicant to learn the rules and regulations that will apply to their project,” said county planner Amy Keenan. The technical review committee has prepared a list of findings that will guide the marina as it develops project applications.
Wayne Knowles, vice president of development for the marina, said he will now start reaching out to groups in the community to present their development plans and get their input.
The marina’s master plan, dated November 4, outlines ambitious and long-term plans for the 37-year-old facility, focusing on improvements to the 60-acre basin and new facilities on the 100 acres of upland property.
Improvements to the basin are already underway, replacing the old wooden docks with aluminum ones, improving fire protection and creating longer slips to meet demand. “There are more big boats now and those boaters want proper facilities,” Knowles said.
The first upland area slated for
improvements is the 6 acres to the south of the current marina building, which will focus on adding amenities. “There’s no reason for boaters to come here now because there’s really nothing to do,” Knowles said. A 12,000-square-foot proposed beach club would include a new restaurant, a gymnasium, a spa and a pool. Adjacent would be a café, an ice cream shop and a small grocery store. “Now there’s a reason to come here,” he said.
While financial analysis did not support the inclusion of a hotel, this phase of development might also include a small number of short-term rental units.
As development proceeds in phases around the marina, plans call for a new building housing marina offices and a new building for Westwind Marine at approximately the same site it is now.
As the market demands, small groupings of cottages would be built along the periphery of the basin while parking would move to the outside of the property closer to Simundson Drive and Marine Drive. Eventually a residential development on the west side of the marina across Marine Drive, including a recreational center, is proposed
Knowles pointed out that a large proportion of the property the marina owns is wetlands, and development is primarily feasible along the edges of the existing basin. A network of public trails is proposed for these areas. Public membership in the gym and spa is also being considered. “I want to invite the public to enjoy these facilities as much as possible,” Knowles said.
By spring, Knowles said they hope plans will have evolved to a point the marina and county staff can host an informal public meeting together to present the plan to the community at large.
“This is the very beginning of a long-term, big scope project,” Keenan said. “There will be lots of opportunities for public input.”