Dock Regulation Review
New Dock Regulations: Okanagan Basin Lakes Zone
Following an extensive public engagement process, on January 7, 2021 the RDOS Board approved amendments to the Electoral Area Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaws for lakes within the Okanagan water basin. The policies and zoning regulations now apply to all aspects of Okanagan, Osoyoos, Skaha, and Vaseux Lakes and their foreshores within the RDOS’s jurisdiction (Electoral Areas “A”, “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, and “I”).
The Basin Lakes designation serves to maintain opportunities on the major lakes in the Valley for community and visitor use, while also helping protect environmental qualities of the lakes and existing community infrastructure such as water intakes.
Please note that all moorage proposals still require Provincial permission through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). For more information, please visit the Province’s webpage on Land Use – Private Moorage or visit FrontCounterBC@gov.bc.ca.
Objectives of the bylaw include:
- Maintain opportunities for responsible water-based recreation on the lakes, including small-scale docks and swimming platforms associated with adjacent residential use.
- Minimize the potential negative impacts of intensive water-based uses, by ensuring that the RDOS Board has an opportunity to review and assess commercial, marina and group moorage applications on a case-by-case basis.
The zoning regulations for permitted docks generally align with the Provincial General Permission for the Use of Crown Land for Private Moorage. Typically, most private residential-based docks, swimming platforms, moorage buoys, and boat launches will not require the RDOS Board’s approval, as long as they meet the conditions of the bylaw, such as:
- proposal is for one dock, one boat ramp, or one standalone boatlift per upland parcel;
- proposal is for one standalone swimming platform per upland parcel;
- must be adjacent to an upland parcel that is zoned to permit a single detached dwelling;
- dock can be up to 42.0 metres into the lake from the upland parcel;
- can be up to 1.5 metres wide, with a platform up to 3.0 metres wide (swimming platform can be up to 10.0 m2 in total area);
- dock can have a maximum of four (4) boat moorage areas; and
- cannot impede pedestrian access along the foreshore.
Opportunities For Shared Neighbour Docks:
A new single dock or swimming platform could be installed along a side property line (as projected into the lake) and shared between neighbouring properties - provided they are authorized by the Province and meet local bylaws. The intent of Shared Neighbour Docks is promote opportunities that will reduce the total number of docks and swimming platforms constructed on our lakes over time, and reducing the environmental impacts of water-based recreation, while providing cost-sharing opportunities for property owners.
Intensive Uses Requiring Board Approval:
More intensive proposals that do not meet all of the bylaw’s conditions are subject to the Board’s review through a Site Specific Rezoning process. This provides an opportunity for the Board and RDOS administration to review any proposals that do not conform to the requirements, such as group moorage, commercial docks, marinas, and float plane moorage on a case-by-case basis.
The supporting OCP policy amendments list a number of criteria that could be used in such a review, including:
- location of any existing community infrastructure such as water intakes, sewer lines and underground cables;
- presence of environmental and riparian values, such as fish habitat, as identified by a habitat assessment;
- compatibility with, and proximity to adjacent land uses; and
- intensity of the use (e.g. number of berths or inclusion of non-moorage structures).
Electoral Area “F”:
In the case of Electoral Area “F” Zoning Bylaw, the proposed Zoning Bylaw has replaced the existing regulations related to docks and marinas, and also pulled any existing zones that extended over the lake back to the shoreline.
It should be noted that previously existing docks or moorage which had been approved by the Province prior to January 7, 2021 are considered legally non-conforming.
Amendment Bylaw Status
|Draft Documents||Public Consultation||Regional District Board Consideration|
Draft Amendment Bylaws:
Public Q&A Sessions
There will be three optional Public Q&A Sessions to choose from
You can connect with us using your computer or telephone.
Date: Thursday, July 30, 2020
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Time: 9:00 am
Instructions on participating in and attending
Planning & Development Committee:
Bylaw Introduction (1st & 2nd reading):