North Saanich has given the owner of a floating structure off Lillian Hoffar park until April 28 to lift anchors.
“Be advised that this vessel is trespassing on the District of North Saanich property, 10563 McDonald Park Rd. (known as Lillian Hoffar Park),” reads the notice. “If you do not comply with this Notice to Remove, the vessel and contents will be discarded without further notice. All costs to remove and discard this vessel and contents will be at the owner’s expense.”
The municipality posed the notice in stepping up enforcement efforts after having encouraged voluntary compliance through signage posted in November 2020. “At this time, a number of boats still remain illegally moored,” said Meghan Mason, North Saanich’s manager of communication. “Accordingly, on April 6, District staff served notices to boat owners, notifying them that if the boats were not removed by April 28, vessels and contents would be discarded without further notice.”
Mason added that the Dead Boats Society with funding from federal government will remove any derelict boats in the foreshore area after April 28.
The floating structure consists of a handful of boats owned by Stewart Jackson and his son. Speaking to the Peninsula News Review in February 2020, Jackson said he and his wife had been living on the water for several years.
The presence of the boats has drawn complaints from nearby residents concerned about the loss of views and access to local beaches, as well as family members of Lillian Hoffar, the namesake of the park. The municipality owns the park and holds a foreshore lease for the adjacent waters.
“We feel that this area in the bay really belongs to the park, and it is not fair that he is being allowed to live there for free,” said Catherine Campbell, one of four grandchildren of Lillian and Henry Hoffar.
“He is not paying anything to the District of North Saanich. He is polluting the water. It is a dangerous condition,” added Joan Wilkening, Campbell’s cousin.
Stewart for his part had told the Peninsula News Review that he considers his living arrangements to be legal in expressing surprise that area residents have been concerned about his boats.
The Community Charter also gives municipalities the authority to regulate land covered by water up to 300 metres from the high water mark of municipal boundaries.
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