This article is intended to assist our members in managing dock repair and maintenance activities this year. It is especially critical for semi-waterfront owners not to trigger the “replacement dock” status. Semi-waterfront owners can continually maintain their docks as existing non-conforming following these rules. If the “replacement dock” status is triggered, the CSRD will not able to approve a development permit as provincial tenure is required and will not be forthcoming. Owners may face Bylaw enforcement that could lead to forcible dock removal.
If waterfront owners without provincial tenure trigger the “replacement dock” status, then a condition of getting CSRD approval starts with getting provincial tenure and you might not get a dock as big as you already have. A second filter will be the CSRD who ask the Board to decide if an oversize dock (greater than 24 m2) will get approved. At this time the province is not taking enforcement action on untenured docks.
If waterfront owners with provincial tenure trigger the “replacement dock” status, it will be relatively easy to get a development permit as long as the size of the dock doesn’t change.
The Sections of the CSRD Area C and Area F Development Permit rules read “Docks and swimming platforms will be considered replacement docks and replacement swimming platforms if more than 75% of the materials will be replaced in a 3 year period.”
The CSRD has not determined how the 75% is determined. In theory, the % replacement could be determined by cost, upward facing surface area, weight, or volumes of materials.
SWOA recommends that owners consider how defining % replacement best suits their individual needs and prepare the argument before you start work. Bylaw enforcement is complaint driven so the first contact with the CSRD will likely be a Bylaw Enforcement person showing up at your door.
Here’s a couple of examples:
- An owner has 3 – 10’ sections of dock that need replacement. Replace 2 of the sections (67%) in year one and the final section in year four (33%).
- An owner has a dock with a timber deck and steel pipe flotation. If the pipes are 2’ in diameter and the dock is 10’ x 40’ you can replace 100% of the decking considering the volume of materials. The volume of the decking would be around 50 ft3 and the volume of the pipe would be 250 ft3. Therefore the % replaced is 17%.