Over the years we have watched the rules around moorage in BC change drastically. From the documents and permissions required to the rules around building a dock, things rarely stay constant.
Moorage in BC is overseen by the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Their rules for private moorage for residential use are posted on their website. The gist of the rules as they stand now are that the Ministry allows for General Permission within certain guidelines. If your proposed dock and property fit within those guidelines, then you can follow the rules for General Permission and do not need to make an actual application to the Crown.
If for any reason the General Permission guidelines do not fit, then you will need to apply to the Crown for what may be either Specific Permission or possibly a lease. Specific Permissions do not have a required renewal date, while leases/licenses of occupation do.
General Permission is only for docks which will be in front of the dock owner's personal property, with no other property in between. In other words, the dock owner must also be the upland owner. We have seen this cause issues in places where the Crown has retained a strip of land in front of properties in remote locations, originally intended to be a common walkway or access when the land was first surveyed but then never developed or used as such.
When it comes to requesting a transfer of an existing license of occupation or Specific Permission for moorage, patience is required. The Ministry can take years to complete this process and there are no guarantees when dealing with a third party.
We would not be surprised if just as we all became comfortable and familiar with the current moorage rules they change again - seems to be the way.
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