At one time to have a legally conforming dock required a foreshore lease or license of occupation. Then Specific Permission came into place, which allowed for an owner to register a dock once and not have to worry about renewing a lease or license. As of January 2017 the government has created what is known as General Permission, which would now apply to some property owners requiring docks. This authorization is handled by the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The BC Government information page on private moorage can be found here. All of these types of moorage authorization are still available, depending on the type of moorage required and other criteria (use of moorage, location, etc).
General Permission requires no application or fee to the government. There are certain requirements that are expected to be met when a dock is put in place, for example where the dock is placed and the size of the dock. Those are laid out clearly in the pdf document at this link: General Permission.
There are certain areas where General Permission cannot be used, including most of the south-eastern portion of Vancouver Island (and all the southern Gulf Islands). There are other criteria that would also make a location not qualify for General Permission, which can be found here.
There are occasions where a property owner may have moorage that is not connected to their property (for instance some inland property owners on small islands may have moorage at the end of a common access road or in front of another property) and in this case they would also need a different type of permission.
Sourcing out this type of information and knowing what is happening in the world of remote, recreational, waterfront properties is just part of what we do here at the BCO office.
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