Trustees going to legal opinion for Silva Bay owner’s request

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, May 1 2018

The question of whether Silva Bay Marina will be able to operate a food and drink establishment this summer on the Silva Bay dock will be going out for a legal opinion.

After the April 20 Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting, Trustees passed a resolution-without-motion stating that “the Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee request staff to obtain a legal opinion on the applicable siting and use provisions for the Silva Bay Marine Resort and potential legal non-conforming uses, buildings and structures on the existing dock, in relation to Building Permit Referral GB-BP-2018.1.”

Trustee Heather O’Sullivan said this past week that “given the unique nature of the Silva Bay property, the LTC has chosen to request advice from our legal counsel. While the legal advice we receive will be protected by solicitor-client privilege, the applicant will be advised if the advice results in any changes to the Islands Trust building permit referral response.”

Mark Sager, Silva Bay Resort owner, and Gaetan Brousseau, operator of Silva Bay Restaurant and Grill last summer, both requested at the April 20 meeting that the Trustees approve the dock for use as a temporary location while they go through the proper channels with the Trust and Regional District of Nanaimo to rebuild the lower pub.

The plan for the main building, destroyed by fire on October 5 of 2017, is to have it disposed of and not replaced.

The Trustees and Trust staff explained that there is no current form of Temporary Use Permit in the Gabriola bylaws which could be used to approve the request. Every TUP is written for specific things like short-term vacation rentals.

Both Island Health and the liquor inspector have approved of the plan if Silva Bay is given permission to operate on the lower dock.

Sager said, “Gaetan has a commercial kitchen for preparation on the island that he’s made arrangement for.”

The washroom building has space for freezers and fridges and other necessary equipment.

“We can keep everything cold there. They’ll prepare everything in a proper commercial kitchen - he has it mapped out - it is totally doable.”

The website for Silva Bay - - states the pub will be re-opening “in Spring 2018 in a brand new building over the water! Check back for updates.”