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Five more years to explore options in Oak Bay for Turkey Head

Renewed lease agreed to in July allows for fulsome exploration of longer-term approaches to the site
Oak Bay Marine Group will run the marina at Turkey Head (Spewhung) for five more years. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Oak Bay officially has five more years to talk about Turkey Head (Spewhung) with a renewed lease with Oak Bay Marine Group.

Oak Bay owns the land and has a lease with the province for the foreshore/aquatic area. Currently, the district leases the land and buildings and subleases the provincial areas to the Oak Bay Marine Group. The current lease expires at the end of 2022 and the new one kicks in 2023 through 2027.

“As we celebrate our 60 years being part of the Oak Bay community, we are pleased to have a new agreement with the District of Oak Bay,” Oak Bay Marine Group CEO Brook Castelsky said in a statement.

The five-year lease will allow for continued marina services at the site while also providing time for fulsome discussion of longer-term uses, with the aim of creating a lasting positive community legacy and nurturing a successful, long-term working relationship with neighbouring First Nations in the spirit and intent of Indigenous truth and reconciliation, according to a district release.

“I am pleased that Oak Bay Marine Group has agreed to provide valued marina services to the community over the next five years and welcome them as marina operators,” Mayor Kevin Murdoch said in the release. “I look forward to working with the next council, neighbouring First Nations, and the community to collaboratively explore and advance longer-term approaches to the site.”

RELATED: ‘Paved wasteland’: Debating the vision for Spewhung and Oak Bay Marina

In 2020, the district issued a request for proposals for a new 30-year lease at 1327 Beach Dr. and in early 2021, two proposals labelled Proponent A and Proponent 1 were put to the public for review. The district received more than 600 responses as well as input through emails and at a special committee meeting. Council selected what turned out to be Oak Bay Marine Group and entered negotiations last year. In July both organizations announced an agreement-in-principle on a five-year lease extension for operation of the Oak Bay Marina, saying the five-year extension will provide time for more fulsome exploration of longer-term approaches to the site to create a lasting positive community legacy.

Find the new lease at

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