The City of Victoria won an injuction in BC Supreme Court today allowing the City to remove illegally moored boats from the Gorge Waterway. Kendra Wong/Black Press

City of Victoria wins injunction allowing removal of derelict boats from Gorge

Long process began last year with City seeking legal relief to regulate waterway

Derelict vessels in the Gorge Waterway may soon become a thing of the past.

The BC Supreme Court ruled Monday that the City of Victoria has the authority to regulate the waterway. The decision follows a 2017 move by the City to seek an injunction requiring owners to remove their boats and docks that were illegally moored.

READ: Victoria headed to court to remove derelict boats from Gorge

“Today’s judgment confirms that the City’s zoning regulations for the Gorge Waterway do not intrude on federal jurisdiction over navigation and shipping, and that they represent a reasonable balance between the municipality’s role in regulating land use and boaters’ rights to occasionally anchor,” City solicitor Tom Zworski said in a statement.

The judgment also recognizes that the right to anchor does not extend to the permanent or semi-permanent occupation of public space for private purposes. Vessel and dock owners must remove their property from the Gorge Waterway by May 7.

“It is the City’s expectation that owners will respect the court order and comply with the deadline to remove their vessels and property from the area,” said Zworski.

In May 2016, changes were made to the City’s Zoning Regulation Bylaw to improve the management of the Gorge Waterway by limiting long-term mooring to a maximum of 48 hours and not more than 72 hours in a 30-day period.

As the City prepared to head to court over the issue last year, Mayor Lisa Helps said the matter had “been a long time coming and it’s taken a lot to get prepared for the court case. We feel like there’s a good chance of success, but you never know and it will be before the courts very soon.”

The changes allow the City to regulate the use of the Gorge for recreation without restrictions to navigation. The rules also prohibit live-aboard use and the storage of vessels, and address those vessels’ impacts on the marine environment and other residents.

The City is offering outreach services to those living aboard vessels that cannot be safely moved to help find alternative housing.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria immigrant centre’s refugee housing lands in Oak Bay

Partnership project officially announced for World Refugee Day

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Plans rejigged for new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre

Visitors to open house see plans for fitness facility, main pool with movable floor

Two people taken into custody after TD bank robbery

VicPD say an individual left the building with an undisclosed amount of cash

UPDATE: Search continuing for missing kayaker in East Sooke

A witness saw the man paddling out from the marina in a kayak

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

POLL: Do you have a family doctor?

“I don’t have a family doctor,” is an all too familiar phrase… Continue reading

Conservationists, industry react to fish farm provisions

New provincial regulations to take effect by 2022

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Marine trail planned for Discovery Islands

Agreements with First Nations vital for passage through traditional territories

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

Most Read