You will likely recall from previous Newsletters that the province made big changes to dock rules in January. SWOA is in favour of these changes, however the CSRD indicated that they would be requesting that the Province designate Shuswap and Mara as ‘application only’ areas, effectively negating the changes by the Province and instead carrying on with Bylaw 900.
We believe that it’s important to be out in front of this issue, so on May 2nd SWOA wrote to the Honorable Minister Steve Thomson, stating “ We are concerned with the CSRD’s request to designate Shuswap and Mara lakes as application-only areas. It is our understanding that if the province grants this designation all docks will require a specific permission from MFLNR. This will be a significant step backward. It will be a return to onerous application processes, a return to increased staff times, a return to frustrated dock owners and a return to less compliance. All of this even if the proposed or existing docks have a low risk of impact.
We ask that you not designate Shuswap and Mara lakes as application-only areas and that you encourage the CSRD to adopt the provincial regulations in Bylaw 900.”
The Minister’s office replied to SWOA’s May 2nd letter, saying that “I am forwarding your concerns to our ministry’s Crown land management team as the statutory decision makers, should the Columbia Shuswap Regional District make such a request.”
We hope that in addressing this issue in a timely manner that we will be heard. SWOA will continue to support what appear to be reasonable and responsible dock regulation as proposed by the Province, without the excessive and expensive application processes that we have experienced with the current CSRD bylaw.
As an aside, we also noted in the letter to Minister Thomson that SWOA represents a large and growing number of property owners, as we believe this will be a factor in issues such as this. A number of you also wrote individual letters, which we believe will also make a difference – thank you!