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

BC Supreme CourtCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

Saanich’s autumn full-moon lantern celebration shifts to drive-thru

Harvest Moon event takes place Sept. 26 in Gordon Head

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Resumption of At-Sea Observer Prgrogram delayed

Emergency Electronic Monitoring Program still in place for groundfish trawl Option A vessels

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Most Read