bblcity-thumb1Discussion on the Boulder Bay Park took up a large part of last night’s nearly five hour meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake. As agendized on the Consent Calendar, Council was to potentially approve authorization to advertise for bids for the completion of phase 2 of the park, given the recent receipt of a $350,000 grant that would cover amenities such as restrooms, landscaping, picnic pavilion, a boat launching ramp and a fishing pier. Before taking public comment, from marina owners concerned about the City‘s foray into commercial marina operation and neighbors concerned about new landscaping obstructing their views of Boulder Bay, City Manager Jeff Mathieu explained, “It would be limited to non-motorized vessels, and [Boulder Bay Park] would not include any concessions or boat rentals. All launching would be for non-motorized vessels.” Given concerns of kayak and canoe launching into Big Bear Lake at the site due to the threat of the Quagga Mussel, Council deliberated over whether or not to include the launch; however, as City Engineer David Lawrence pointed out, the grant is void if the park is not implemented as drafted. The Municipal Water District’s General Manager Scott Heule was called upon to address the Quagga issue, and he reiterated what Greg Boll, owner of Big Bear Marina, and Loren Hafen, owner of Holloways and North Shore Landing, had said: If a marina is not manned by a certified Quagga Mussel inspector, access to the launch area must be blocked. (For what it’s worth, the City applied for the grant prior to this year’s Quagga requirements. The City is also seeking a marina permit from the MWD, an issue that was held for further discussion at MWD’s June 4 meeting.) As it stands with MWD, the agency that oversees the lake, once a permit is issued, it cannot be expanded upon; as Heule pointed out last night, “The impact on the lake could be reduced, but never increased.” Still, the City has no intention of operating a marina, but did want to allow improved lake access for non-motorized vessels and those who wish to fish. All told, Council opted to hold on a decision with regard to the authorization of bids until their next meeting; in the meantime, City staff will meet with the MWD again. And, should phase 2 of the Boulder Bay Park be realized, City Engineer Lawrence emphasized that views will be protected: “We moved the plants around to protect those views. We addressed tree location, specifically from the road’s edge, and the condos.” Councilmember Liz Harris expressed her frustration with the stall in progress and noted that once the park is completed, it will serve to benefit locals, visitors and neighboring Boulder Bay businesses—or, in her words, “I think it is going to be one of the stars in our Big Bear crown.”