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

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read