Zoning amendments to allow docks underway

Canal Flats council has agreed in principle to water zoning changes that will set defined limits on how many docks can be built

Canal Flats council has agreed in principle to water zoning changes that will set defined limits on how many docks can be built in front of the Painted Ridge and Eagle’s Nest developments in the north end of the village.

While the roughly 30 waterfront lots (in the WR-1 zone) would be allowed one dock per property, the approximately 40 properties that lie “one row back” in those developments would be granted one boat space per four lots. This resulted in two proposed new water zones: WR-1A – PR, which would allow five boats on a dock for “one row back” properties in Painted Ridge, and WR-1A – EN, which would allow three boats on a dock for “one row back” properties in Eagles Nest.

Those numbers are based off a Regional District of East Kootenay standard that allows for one boat space for every four properties, explained Coun. Marie Delorme, who has undertaken extensive research on what other Columbia Lake communities have been allowing in terms of dock spaces.

“I think we can be very specific in our bylaw about which community has which number (of moorage spaces), because we only have two lakefront communities in our jurisdiction,” she said at the Canal Flats council meeting on January 25th.

Public access laneways for the “one row back” properties will have to be established in order for the proposed zonings to work, and Coun. Karl Sterzer noted part of lot 1 or lot 11 in Painted Ridge is slated to have a right of way set aside for making a public access.

Coun. Delorme noted the language in the water zoning bylaw (Bylaw 45) makes it clear  that public access would allow for foreshore access to the shore from the water, but would not make it OK for boat owners to moor overnight in such an area.

After mulling over the language around dock sizes — which included a proposed maximum width of 1.8 metres wide and total area of 45 square metres — council agreed to strike out any specifics around dock width restrictions. Delorme noted dock length could be an issue if council was to use a 45-metre squared zoning standard, as there is significant depth fluctuation in Columbia Lake that could require dock extensions at certain times of the year to be able to moor a boat.

“If we need to amend the bylaw because someone says their boat is scraping the bottom of the lake, we’ll deal with it at that time,” she added.

Council also considered what kind of boat lifts to allow, generally agreeing that boat lifts which are mounted on a dock are preferred, rather than lifts that involve rails on the lake bed or being mounted on the lake bed.

At present, there are about 12 unauthorized docks in the area under consideration, a problem that’s been pointed out to council by Painted Ridge developer Mike Vernon, owner of 391043 Alberta Ltd.

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