Salmon Arm  

CSRD to vote on motion to give dock owners until June 30 to apply for permits or risk losing docks

Deadline for dock owners

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District could be getting ready to issue an ultimatum to Mara Lake dock owners who have so far refused to apply for dock permits.

Residents who own docks along the proposed rail trail lands have pushed for Sicamous Council to delay zoning the rail trail site due to discontent with the terms being offered with the dock permits.

The conflict escalated far enough that Sicamous Mayor Colleen Anderson issued a statement about reports that council members and residents on both sides of the issue had received threats and harassment.

The District of Sicamous successfully rezoned the rail trail properties at a public hearing on April 10, which allowed for construction on the trail to begin.

At the CSRD board of directors meeting on Thursday, May 16, the board will be voting on several motions related to the rail trail as recommended by the Shuswap North Okanagan Governance Advisory Committee.

One of the motions on the agenda states, “all individuals having a dock located adjacent to the rail trail lands along Mara Lake must be issued a Dock/Upland Permit from the Rail Trail Owner prior to June 30, 2024; or, have submitted an application and all required supporting information for a Dock/Upland Permit prior to June 30, 2024.”

The motion goes on to recommend a letter be sent to the Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship providing a list of dock owners who have not applied for a dock permit and requesting that the ministry remove the docks of owners who have not applied for upland consent.

Dock owners have previously complained about the terms of the permits, and in response, the conditions of the permits have been changed to address some of their concerns.

The dock permits are for a 10-year term with an option to renew. Permits can be transferred to a new property owner, and the annual fee for the year of 2023 has been waived.

The annual fee for a dock permit is $1,000.

So far, none of the Sicamous dock owners have submitted an application for a dock permit, according to the report.

The report from the governance advisory committee explained the provincial government is in charge of issuing permission for development on foreshore and aquatic crown land.

“Provincial ministry staff has now advised that, consistent with the Provincial Private Moorage Policy, it will not renew tenures or grant new tenures for private moorage facilities without the consent of the adjacent riparian landowner,” reads the report.

The report also added that as of April 12, 2024, staff from the ministry have requested to be informed of any docks that do not have upland owner consent.

The motion to add a deadline for Mara Lake Dock owners will be voted on by the board at the May 16 CSRD meeting in an unweighted corporate vote.

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