Join Date: May 2001
Location: Quait Bay, 10 NM outside of Tofino, BC
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Re: Float Homes in British Columbia Bays
To legally set up a float home in any of the coastal waters of BC, you have to get a lease from the Ministry of Lands. That lease allows you to shore tie and set up seafloor anchors. Seperate permits are required (theoretically) if you want to take your fresh water from a river/stream/spring on shore, and another permit if you want to use said river/stream/spring to make electricity.
A residential lease costs $500 per year (last I checked) and to get one can be a giant pain as all offical stakeholders (the government term) are asked for input. This would certainly include the Parks section of the ministtry, and may also include the local First Nations band if the area is some that has been claimed as traditional, and is in dispute.
The BC Government is quite good at enforcing the lease and will force squatters off - even sending in tow boats to remove said building float at the owners expense, seizing said floathome and can auction it off.
If you have a concern about a specific float home, get the exact location and then inquire/complain to the Ministry of Lands. They are the people who can actually do something about illegal residences in our bays.
Note, though, that there are also quite a number of commercial water leases around, and many of those leases allow buildings/houses to be on them. They are also through BC Lands.
And in BC, just because you have water front property does not mean you can have even a dock....ya gotta get a water lease.
living aboard S/V Gandalf III in those BC Bays