Bayside Marina in Skyline received unanimous approval Monday to replace the marina’s 43 creosoted pilings and concrete floating docks.
The Anacortes City Council said the result will be a marina that is better for the environment. Creosoted wood pilings will be replaced by galvanized steel pilings, and the floating docks will be replaced by pre-manufactured floating docks, made by Marine Floats Corp. of Tacoma, that will be grated so sunlight can reach the sea floor.
Tess Cooper of the city Planning Department said the new marina will have the same “footprint” but with new, more environmentally friendly materials. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must also approve the project, she said.
Bayside Marina is privately owned and located just inside the mouth of Flounder Bay.
Neighbors expressed concern about noise and vibration from the removal of the old pilings and driving of the new ones. Jerry Rutledge of Bayside East Condominiums said the condos are only 50 feet from the sea wall of the marina project. He said he was concerned about noise and potential foundation damage from the vibration.
“We as residents do have a concern,” Rutledge said. “The duration of the project and the hours are a concern to us, We enjoy living there, and we appreciate whatever the contractor can do to provide us with the quiet enjoyment of our homes and our surroundings.”
Tabitha Simonetti, environmental permitting specialist at Marine Floats Corp., said piling removal and installation will take about two weeks. While the permit will allow work to be performed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., she said the company works daylight hours so its boats aren’t in the water after dark.
Of the vibratory hammer used to remove and drive pilings, she said: “We’ve never had reports of any damage happening to buildings nearby. It will be regular construction hours, and we do our best to mitigate the sounds. The majority of the vibrations will be contained in the water.”
The work must be done sometime between Aug. 18 and Feb. 15 to minimize impacts on migrating fish. Noise cannot exceed levels set by state law, and the project must comply with federal laws protecting water, endangered species and marine mammals.
The project was the subject of a neighborhood meeting in August, and the city Planning Commission hosted a public hearing on Feb. 10. Cooper said city staff recommended approval.
Council member Matt Miller recommended that the developer keep neighbors apprised of the project date and times, and Council member Ryan Walters suggested that the city code on hours that construction work can take place be amended in the future.
But they also agreed with Council member Carolyn Moulton that the improvements will be “an ecological gain.”
“I appreciate that this project is the exact same square footage and a complete like-for-like replacement of the existing structure and will be far more environmentally sound,” she said.