Gorge Waterway Proposed Zoning Amendment

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the community meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Victoria West Community Centre to learn more and provide feedback about the proposed zoning amendment for the Gorge Waterway.

The City of Victoria is proposing changes to the management of the Gorge Waterway to enhance the use of the Selkirk Water for recreation, to prohibit residential use and the storage of vessels, and address the negative impacts that unregulated marine activities are having on the marine environment and Victoria residents.

Having received a Licence of Occupation [PDF - 4.5 MB] in fall 2015 to further establish its management authority over the Gorge Waterway, the City had initially aimed to prohibit all anchoring in this area, however a full ban on anchoring was recently tested by a BC Court of Appeal in West Kelowna.

The decision suggests that a municipal bylaw that does not allow for some anchoring may be viewed as interfering with federal jurisdiction over navigation and shipping.

Proposed Zoning Amendment

The proposed zoning amendment that was presented at the meeting for feedback was: "To allow anchoring for a period of up to 48 hours, but not exceeding 72 total hours in a 30-day period." 

The community meeting presentation is available below:

Environment Assessment Underway

The City is undertaking an environmental assessment in this area to identify potential adverse affects on human and ecological health. The results of this work will provide the technical basis to inform policy and practices for ongoing proactive management in the Waterway. This will include potential options to mitigate and/or avoid adverse impacts from vessels.

Next Steps

Feedback from meeting participants and emails that were sent to bsikstrom@victoria.ca by the end May 6, 2016 informed the zoning bylaw amendment that was presented to City Council for consideration at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

Public Hearing
The community will have an opportunity to provide feedback to City Council on the proposed zoning amendment at a public hearing on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at
6:30 p.m. at City Hall