Membership Support Needed
Is 10 feet by 32 feet a large enough dock for Shuswap and Mara Lake? Is it safe in a storm?
You have an opportunity to advise our local government (CSRD) on changes needed to dock regulations on our lake. The survey must be completed by October 12, 2018. The CSRD has provided two links and we have provided some background for your consideration.
The CSRD link for more information is here. There are many documents so if you look at just one we recommend the last on the list – EAD Report April 4, 2017
Here is the link for the survey. It is short and does leave room for your comments which we hope you will take advantage of.
In January of 2017 the Province changed the Private Moorage regulations and now the local CSRD Bylaw 900 does not match the Provincial regulations.
The Province has written regulations that make allowances for seasonal changes in lake levels. Rather than specify a size of dock these new regulations talk about a limit on how far your dock can extend into the lake from the natural boundary marking high water. There are special requirements for areas that are designated ‘application only’ but for the most part these new regulations will protect the lake and make complying with the rules easier and more reasonable. A check sheet for the Provincial general permissions can be found here:
Currently our local Bylaw 900 uses the old Provincial standard of allowing General Permission for a 24 square meter dock. The SWOA Board feels this size, which works out to about 10 x 26 feet, is too small to be safe on our lake. The CSRD staff is not recommending the Directors accept the Provincial regulations but suggest a small increase in dock size to 32 square meters. The SWOA Board feels strongly that this is still too small for many boats and locations on our lakes.
A short dock can mean a long, narrow walkway that is difficult for use by elderly or physically challenged persons and a short dock is dangerous for access during storms and high waves. Also, the new Search and Rescue boat on our lake is 12 meters (40 feet) and a larger dock is safer for patient transfer. The CSRD would consider larger docks by applying to the Board for special consideration but this takes time from our Directors as well as for the application process including increased cost. The Directors have asked for more information and that is what the survey is about.
SWOA is suggesting that our membership participate in the survey and we are recommending that the CSRD follow the provincial general permissions for docks. This would streamline the dock registration process, put the onus on the provincial government for enforcement including costs and have a province wide standard for docks that is flexible for different waterfront situations. The CSRD Directors have more important issues to spend their time on.
We feel the Province’s decision to allow general permission for docks if “the outermost extent of the dock must not be more than a distance of 60m (196.9 ft) from the present natural boundary” is safe and reasonable. The regulations also state where on your shoreline you need to position your dock and to some degree this will determine how large your dock can be for your specific location but otherwise the regulations do not talk about total square meters/surface area allowed.
Again, the SWOA Board encourages you to participate in the survey (link here) and very strongly recommend that the CSRD follow the provincial government guidelines for docks or at least allow 10x50 foot docks without further application to the Board. The more surveys we can submit the better the chance we have of influencing the amendments to By-law 900. Remember the survey must be in by October 12, 2018.
We appreciate your help with this, and your membership in our organization.