In early February, the Municipality of Oak Bay posted notices on all dinghies along the shore that the dinghies were ‘unlawfully occupying public property’ and would be confiscated by February 23rd if not removed. BCNRA directors contacted municipal staff, including the city manager and bylaw officer. As a result of these consultations, municipal staff are aware that as long as the dinghies are below the high water mark, the municipality will not remove them.
Another recent issue concerning dinghies in Oak Bay involved Oak Bay Marina staff confiscating a few dinghies anchored near the shore in an area the Marina claims is part of their water lease. The Marina stated that in order to get their dinghies back, owners would have to pay a fine of $1.50/foot/day. The police were called and the dinghies were returned. Police indicated that if owners wanted to take the issue further, it would be a civil matter.
Two of the BCNRA directors approached Oak Bay Marina management about the incident and were essentially told to leave and if any dinghies were left in the vicinity, the Marina would confiscate them as well. On consultation with the municipal engineer, it was confirmed that the area in question is not part of Oak Bay Marina’s lease.
If anyone has a problem with the Oak Bay Marina taking their dinghies, phone the Oak Bay Police and email the BCNRA directors.
We would like to work through this issue with the Marina.