View Royal residents living on Esquimalt Lagoon approached town council on Monday with a petition signed by 145 waterfront property owners.
The newly formed Waterfront Association of View Royal is concerned over riparian rights, dock regulations and communication from the city.
“We do not support or recognize any special rights by the Town of View Royal to restrict or define the use below the natural boundary of the sea,” founder Dawn McCooey said, describing the petition. “When it restricts private enjoyment of the waterfront … it’s getting a little ridiculous.”
The issue initially came up as View Royal set out to develop a position on dock guidelines for recommendation to the Department of National Defense, which regulates the lagoon. DND is beginning the process of addressing non-compling docks and getting property owners to bring them up to regulation.
The focus of the association has developed from there.
“It’s beyond docks. We’re really talking more about the bigger issues of raparian rights,” McCooey said.
Mark Sager, a lawyer and the former mayor of West Vancouver, presented the petition to council.
Sager’s brother who owns waterfront property in View Royal. Council received the petition without discussion.
“We’re looking at the fairness of these kinds of restrictions on waterfront property owners, the same rules do not apply to other properties,” McCooey said.
Communication is the other issue. McCooey and the others want the town to be better at getting information to waterfront property owners, with more notice for open houses and faster responses from the town.
“That’s really the core of the issue,” McCooey said. “The starting point is that they need to communicate. Of course, they’re saying they have and they are and they do, but there’s 145 signatures saying they don’t think that’s the case.”