Brentwood Bay Management Plan & Moorage Registration
What is the Brentwood Bay Management Plan?
The District of Central Saanich has made application for a Licence of Occupation for Brentwood Bay from the Province of B.C. If granted this licence, the District will be overseeing the number and location of mooring buoys in the Bay. An area will also be designated where sewage cannot be dumped.
The changes were drafted in coordination with Tsartlip First Nation and are supported by other First Nations and were made with consideration of community feedback to enhance environmental and community well-being to the area. The proposed solutions are based on the successes of other jurisdictions, such as Bowen Island and Port Moody.
We will be implementing the plan in three phases:
1st Wave: Mooring Registration
If you own a mooring buoy in this area, we want to communicate with you and are asking you to register with the District if you wish to continue to keep your mooring buoy in the licence of occupation area. To register:
- Register your mooring buoy and vessel by filling out the registration form and submitting to the District by email or in person (please see Documents, above, for registration form)
2nd Wave: Mooring Application
For those whom have registered with the District, we will be contacting you when the Licence of Occupation is granted to complete your application.
3rd Wave: Mooring Leases
The final stage is to:
- Enter into an annual lease agreement with the District
- Pay an annual fee to cover the cost of regulating mooring (the program will be cost neutral).
- Ensure your mooring buoy and vessel are safe, seaworthy and in compliance with Federal and Provincial regulations
- Ensure the use of your vessel complies with applicable bylaws, including the restrictions related to floating storage units and docks
The District is making application for a Licence of Occupation over an area of Brentwood Bay to address community concerns about a number of issues in the Bay. The main concerns are derelict and abandoned boats (in prior years the area has been cleaned up, but due to the lack of regulatory oversight, the Bay fills up again), sewage/garbage, vessels numbers and speed. The Licence of Occupation, if issued by the Province, will give the District the authority to regulate the number and placement of moorage buoys in the area under Licence, and allows the District to get out ahead of potential problems while manageable.
Management of the Bay does not transfer the responsibility of Provincial and Federal governments to the District in terms of recovering sunken vessels or any of their other responsibilities. Instead, it grants us the ability to manage Brentwood Bay to ensure all residents (on water and on land), as well as visitors, can enjoy the Bay. The intention is to make progress on existing issues and lessen the likelihood of new issues. We encourage ongoing communication and input from community members.
Best estimates are that there are currently approximately 80 boats attached to mooring buoys. There are approximately 40 buoys without boats currently attached. And there are approximately 15 vessels with individuals living aboard. These numbers increase in the summer months.
The process of regulating speed in the Bay is through an application process to Transport Canada, it is established under Practices and Procedures for Public Ports, Canada Marine Act.
Vessels owners on the moorings require Protection and Indemnity (essentially third party liability) insurance, to ensure that the District or other parties don't bear the cost of something that results from uninsured vessel being in the licenced area. The insurance is for the liability to other vessels and docks, not for the replacement of vessels.
The cost of such insurance could be verified by calling an agent. Protection and Indemnity insurance is available from a number of brokers and insurance agencies and the cost depends on your vessel's size and condition. Household insurance does not cover this risk. Proof of a holding tank and pump out will be required.
Many of the marinas have limited occupancy, however the mooring fees being proposed are less than a third of what moorage would cost in the local marinas.
To manage the bay, the District is hiring a company or non-profit agency to register boaters and monitor the bay. The fees being collected are to pay for this third party and see the management of the bay be self funding and cost-neutral to the District and tax payers.
No, the District does not assume other levels of government responsibilities. The Federal and Provincial agencies maintain their responsibilities. The Licence of Occupation gives the District the right to regulate and restrict the number and placement of mooring buoys in the area.
The District does not want to displace anyone. The reports to Council are clear in stating individuals currently living on their boat in the bay are recommended for first priority for moorings buoys. This is a key point: if liveaboards have insurance, pay the lease fee, have holding tanks (already required by federal law) and pump vessels, then liveaboards are in fact granted initial priority for a buoy and are not discouraged in any way.
We are trying to reduce the fees to as minimal as possible; the fees collected for management of the Bay must be and will be used only to pay for the cost of the regulatory service. The District will not make any revenue from managing the Bay.
We will continue to involve those who live on their boats in discussions about the Bay. During the community consultation this past summer, we engaged multiple stakeholders, including on board dwellers. The working group included over 30 participants and at least 11 participants are believed to live on their boat (six specifically signed in stating they were liveaboards). Two representatives of the BC Nautical Residents Association also attended. All meetings of the working group were open to the public and participation was open to drop-ins (this was designed to remove any barriers to participation).
- The working group included over 30 participants and at least 11 participants are believed to be liveaboards (six specifically signed in stating they were liveaboards).
- The discussion of the Management Plan commenced at the meeting of September 27 and liveaboards were invited and have attended every subsequent meeting. Two representatives of the BC Nautical Residents Association also attended. All meetings of the working group were open to the public and participation was open to drop-ins (this was designed to remove any barriers to participation).
- An open house was held in Brentwood Bay on August 22, 2017 with approximately 50 people in attendance.
- A survey was conducted with approximately 300 responses.
- District Council, as well as district staff, have been and remain accessible to all stakeholders on this issue. Council meetings are open to the public and videos of the meetings are posted online.
- Regular updates were posted to the engagement website (PlaceSpeak) dedicated to hearing from the community on Brentwood Bay; it was viewed close to 3,000 times.
- All members of the community are encouraged to participate in the on going conversation.
Survey findings (highlights):
- One of the strongest messages heard from the Tsartlip First Nations community was the desire to use the harbour as a food source. The Bay is currently closed to harvesting due to contamination.
- Sewage discharge and garbage from vessels moored and operating within the area was recognized as the most significant concern for the community. 90% of respondents support the Saanich Inlet being a 'no sewage dump zone' and 89% support strict enforcement of the required holding tank law.
- Abandoned and sunken vessels were the next highest concern, followed by the accumulation of too many vessels and navigating the crowded waters safely.
- There is support for regulating the number of buoys in Brentwood Bay, with 78% agreement, 18% neutral and 4% is disagreement. 37% of respondents believe that acceptable, affordable moorage currently exists in Brentwood Bay, 14% disagree and 49% neutral on the question. 80% of respondents support dedicated moorage being available for visiting boaters in Brentwood Bay. It is known that moorage is not always available.
- There is a high concern about unlicensed and possibly uninsured vessels (84%).
- Navigational channels are a concern for 69% of the survey respondents.
The expense of having a contractor oversee the Licence of Occupation area of Brentwood Bay will be covered by the fees charged for moorage. The mooring buoys are privately owned, so there is no cost to the district to replace them. There is no cost to the Licence of Occupation is a 'nominal rate moorage', which means the District cannot make money on it. The general taxpayer will not be paying anything once the service is set up. (In our 2018 budget we have listed the expense of managing the Bay, that expense will be covered by the revenue of the moorage program. Please note the mooring fees being proposed are less than a third of what moorage would cost in the local marinas.)