August 07, 2013 - 12:50 PM
WEST KELOWNA - A Supreme Court justice has decided the District of West Kelowna had the legal right to remove houseboats moored in Gellatly Bay.
Back in July of 2010 the district decided a number of houseboats were breaching the recreational zoning of Gellatly Bay, giving houseboat owners notice to move elsewhere.
The issue came to light when West Kelowna residents complained about 13 houseboats stationed in the bay.
After its incorporation West Kelowna introduced a zoning policy in 2009 permitting only recreational uses of the waters backing onto district property. And following a 2010 agreement with Westbank First Nation, the district obtained a License of Operation from the province to enforce the zoning policy.
One houseboat owner protested the zoning regulation, launching a civil dispute against the district.
But just yesterday Kelowna Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames ruled it was within the district's legal rights to remove the boats. Temporary moorage will still be allowed so long as it's tied to recreational use of the waters.
In a press release Mayor Doug Findlater said the decision was welcome news.
"My fellow council members and I heard loud and clear from our residents that we needed to protect and preserve our precious Gellatly Bay and ensure appropriate use of its waters. West Kelowna residents wanted the informal floating sub-division that we had five years ago removed, and this decision has backed our legal methods for doing so,” he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013