Guide to Construction/Alteration of Private Dock/Structure

A Department of National Defence (DND) Licence of Occupation, with a fixed term, generally of five years, is required for any private use of the federal Crown land, within Esquimalt Harbour.  A Licence of Occupation does not convey rights to Crown land.  Rather, it conveys permission, to an applicant, to use Crown land as stated in the Licence of Occupation.  Permission is sought, by application, to the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority.

The Minister (or delegate) can cancel a Licence of Occupation, at any time, without restriction.  Notice of cancellation should be given as far as possible in advance (e.g. 12 months); however, it is recognized, that in some circumstances, less notice time may be given.  A Licence of Occupation does not mean that this same licence will be automatically renewed.

How to Apply for a Licence of Occupation

An applicant contemplating the installation or construction of a dock, that will occupy federal Crown land, is to send an application to the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority, using the Application for Licence of Occupation form.  This application form outlines the general dimensions, intended use, and proposed location of the installation.

It is recommended that the applicant pre-advise the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority of the intention to apply for a Licence of Occupation by letter or by e-mail.

Documentation Requirements

Application for Licence of Occupation form
This form is available at: Application for Licence of Occupation form.pdf
Document Distribution:  Original - to Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority

Authorization Letter from the Municipality
This is arranged by DND, after the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority conducts an initial feasibility review, to consider adverse operational impacts, utilizing documentation provided by the applicant.  On approval, the proposal will be forwarded to the municipality for consideration under the appropriate governance structure.

Esquimalt Harbour Small Project Environmental Screening Report
In order to document and understand the environmental impacts of the proposed project, the applicant must complete the form titled Small Project Environmental Screening Report.  The proponent must provide sufficient detail to document and describe the project components, project schedule, details of the physical description of the site, and proposed activities, including details about how impacts will be mitigated.

Send a final draft copy of this form to the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority.  The document will be evaluated for completeness and to ensure that sufficient information has been provided to DND so that a determination under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (2012) can be made.  Should the document be satisfactory, it will be signed by DND and returned to the proponent for final signature.  However, should the document lack details or be incomplete, it will be returned to the proponent for additional information.  The proponent will complete the necessary changes and forward the document back to the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority for additional review.  The final document that contains all signatures will be provided to DND.  This form is available at Esquimalt Harbour – Small Project Environmental Screening Report

Document Distribution:  Finalized Document – to Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority

Navigation Protection Program
Copy of all correspondence with Transport Canada, including the Navigation Protection Act (NPA) Notice to the Minister or a statement confirming that your work meets the assessment criteria for the class of works established by the Minor Works Order for Docks and Boathouses.  As such, under the NPA, the work may proceed without a Notice to the Minister as long as it complies with the legal requirements.  For additional information, including the Notice and assessment criteria of the Minor Works Order, please visit:  http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs-621.html

Document Distribution:  Original - to Transport Canada / Copy - to Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority

Fisheries Protection Program
If you are planning an activity near water, certain legal requirements may apply under the federal Fisheries Act.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has developed a process to help you comply with these requirements.  Please consult the Projects Near Water website for information:  http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/reviews-revues/index-eng.html

Note:  There have been recent amendments to the Fisheries Act and as such the form entitled Project Review and Application Form (PRAF) is no longer being used.  The new form to request a project review by DFO is titled Request for Review.

Document Distribution:  Original - to Fisheries Protection Program / Copy of all correspondence with DFO - to Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority

Insurance
Documentation showing that the applicant will be able to obtain personal liability insurance of two million dollars (subject to change).  This liability insurance is to be maintained for the duration of the Licence of Occupation.  The applicant must also provide a Certificate of Insurance showing Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada as an additional named insured.

Document Distribution:  Copy - to Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority

The completed application is to be mailed to the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority.

Contact Information

Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority
Building 262 Dockyard
Queen’s Harbour Master
Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt
PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Victoria BC  V9A 7N2

Tel:  250-363-4950 / 250-363-7584
E-mail:  POESBEHMA@forces.gc.ca
Esquimalt Harbour Website:  www.esquimaltharbour.ca

Licence of Occupation Fees

Rates are $250/year for permissible, conforming applications.  Permissible, non-conforming applications would be reviewed and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Upon approval, an invoice will be sent to the applicant.  The applicant has the option of paying annually for their licence or to make full payment for the entire term.

Approval

With the Licence of Occupation in hand, the applicant can then take steps to undertake the approved work.  No modification of this approved work is permitted without prior consent of the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority.  Work must be completed within a year of the start date of the licence.

Definitions

Applicant is the owner of the dock, as well as the owner of the upland property, in which the dock is connected to.

Dock means a structure used for the purpose of mooring boats and for providing pedestrian access to and from the moored boats, and consists of a structure connected to the upland by a walkway ramp.

Federal Crown Land means land below the average high tide water mark, extending offshore within the recognized boundaries of Esquimalt Harbour, and administrated by the Esquimalt Harbour Management Authority.

Foreshore means that land in the tidal areas lying between the average high tide mark and the average low tide mark.

Group Moorage Facility means a non-commercial multi-berth dock similar to a private moorage facility but for the personal use of a group or association of residents from the surrounding community.

Permissible, Non-Conforming means permissible by established authorities but not in compliance with prescribed guidelines.

Private Moorage Facility means a dock that is permanently affixed to federal Crown land and any ancillary structures, such as a boat lift and anchor lines.  It is for the personal and private use of the applicant.

Riparian Rights means certain rights, which run with an upland property, include access to and from the water, protection of the property from erosion, ownership of naturally accreted material, and use of water of undiminished flow and quality for domestic purposes.

Upland means land that is above the foreshore.