There are important things to know about the dock license requirements for your waterfront property.
Owning a home on Lake Okanagan has many perks, one of which is private moorage for your boat. If you own a waterfront home or are thinking of buying waterfront property, there are dock license requirements that must be met.
When purchasing a waterfront home, the current dock license is not transferrable. As a result, you must apply to have the license assigned once you take possession. Have your professional real estate agent ensure that dock meets necessary dock license requirements before buying a waterfront home. Furthermore, each waterfront community has different requirements.
If there is no dock and you would like to build a dock, there are some of the dock license requirements you need to be aware of before building.
Private mooring facilities are governed by the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. There are legal dock license requirements and approval process you must follow. The dock must be in compliance with by-laws and local zoning.
While the common term is a dock license, there are actually no licenses issued anymore. The term used now is either General Permission or Special Permission. (but for the sake of this article we will continue using the wording dock license)
If your dock meets the conditions and requirements outlined in the General Permission, you may be relinquished from having to submit an application.
Here you can Download the General Permission guidelines to see if you dock license requirements.
You will need specific permission in the following situations:
- Where general permissions are prohibited
- Stand-alone boat lift or permanent boat way
- Group moorage
Applying for a lease
Leases are typically a 20-year term. The annual leasing fee is $200.00 if the area is under 2 000 square meters. A higher fee will apply if the area is larger than 2 000 square meters.
Dock license requirements stipulate that all docks:
- Can not obstruct public access along the foreshore
- Only one dock is permitted for each property
- Must be in compliance with building regulations
- Must provide proof of insurance by the waterfront property owner
Additionally, all docks must not:
- Include covered structures
- Be used for non-moorage purposes
- Include solid core structures
- Result in harm to the natural habitat
Regional Considerations for dock license requirements
Areas along the Okanagan shoreline are categorized into color-coded zones. These are based on environmental sensitivity, from highest to lowest. These zones will determine what your dock license requirements and what type of dock you can build.
Black zone – Critical Habitat Value
Red Zone-High Value
Yellow-Moderate Habitat Value
No Colour-Low or Unknown Habitat Value
There is no new construction in Black Zones, only repairs to grandfathered docks.
In addition to the color zones, your dock license application will be assessed based on the risk level of negative impact on the environment. To find out what zone your waterfront property falls under visit the interactive government map. https://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/imap4m/
If you are a waterfront property owner looking to build a dock, or to modify your existing dock, contact the local Natural Resouce front counter at https://portal.nrs.gov.bc.ca/web/client/-/vern-1 . Here you can learn how you can meet the dock license requirements before your start.
Hire a Waterfront Specialist-Quincy Vrecko
Finally, if you are looking to buy a waterfront property in the Okanagan, work with a professional real estate agent. Above all, find a waterfront specialist that understands the complexity of a waterfront home purchase. Quincy Vrecko specializes in Waterfront homes in the Okanagan. Quincy can ensure the waterfront property you are purchase meets all dock license requirements so you can move in and enjoy your new home.