Private Moorage Dock Requirements in the Okanagan

When you consider acquiring lakefront property, there are a few things to keep in mind before assuming ownership. For one, beach and water (foreshore) fronting the property is owned by the Province and must be kept open for public use. The owner must ensure that public access along the shore is maintained. And the boundary of waterfront property extends to, and changes with, the natural boundary or high watermark.

If there is a private dock on the property, a few additional things must be considered:

Dock licenses are not transferred with the purchase of the property.

Before you buy, you should ensure the dock is authorized and licensed, and meets design and land tenure requirements.

As there is no guarantee that an existing dock will still be compliant, this may result in the owner needing to modify the existing dock.

If an existing dock is not authorized, the upland owner will be required to apply for a Specific Permission. It may be denied if the property fronts critical Kokanee spawning habitat and may be required to be removed at the owner’s expense.

The dock owner may be required to obtain approval from Transport Canada if the structure extends into navigable waters.

Riparian rights do not include moorage. (Lake front property ownership does not automatically entitle you to build a dock)

. The new property owner must apply to have the license assigned once the purchase is complete.

For more information, please go to: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/land_tenures/documents/policies/private_moorage.pdf

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