Access layout for a body of water
can be complicated. Ask your practitioner or the District Development Technician
for assistance in placing access points.
Access spacing is 200 metres except in rural areas when the lots are
equal to or greater than 0.5 hectares in size. In such cases, the spacing
is 400 metres. This difference is reflected in the following criteria
where access is said to be either 200 or (400) metres.
If one or more waterfront lots is less than 0.5 hectares in size, the
200-metre rule applies to the whole waterfront in the subdivision.
If the layout of the proposed lots follows
the contour of the waterfront, the length of waterfront for determining number
and location of accesses is measured as a series of 15-metre traverse legs
along the waterfront.
If the layout does not follow the contour
of the waterfront, the length is measured along the general trend of the waterfront
as a series of 200-metre traverse legs.
If there is already an access in the vicinity
of the subdivision, the required access points should be located at 200 (400)-metre
intervals. If there is no access, the Ministry and the subdivider should choose
a suitable location for one in the land being subdivided. Other accesses may
then be located at 200 (400)-metre intervals.
The road allowance width for an access is
20 metres. The Approving Officer may reduce this if the waterfront is less
than 200 (400) metres long.
A remainder shown on a subdivision or reference
plan is considered as a lot. The Approving Officer must require access to
water at 200 (400)-metre intervals in the remainder.
Park dedication is unacceptable for access
to water. There must be public road dedication.
A ferry landing or bridgehead is not an access
to water unless it was originally dedicated by a subdivision or reference
Access to a body of water must be provided
and labelled as “road” on the subdivision plan, but it may not be required
to be constructed.
Section 76 of the Land Title Act authorizes
the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to grant relief from strict compliance to requirements for subdivisions providing
access to water. This authority extends to municipal and rural areas of the
province whether the Municipality, Regional District, Island Trust or Ministry
of Transportation and Infrastructure is the subdivision approving authority. The reason for this is that the water body or water course is considered to be a public resource.
Under certain conditions, the Provincial Approving
Officer may consider granting relief from the requirements regarding
access to a body of water. Partial relief is required in order to:
- Vary spacing of accesses from the strict 200 (400)-metre
- Consolidate up to three accesses into one where
This is done at the Preliminary Layout Approval
Varying of Spacing
The normal 200 (400)-metre spacing can be
varied freely to take into account topography, beach quality, and so on. However,
spacing should generally not exceed 300 (600) metres unless accesses are being
consolidated. The location of the access[es] to water should be representative of the entire waterfront (neither all cliff nor all beach).
Consolidation of Accesses
Consolidation of accesses may not be demanded,
but District staff may suggest it to the subdivider and recommend it to the
Provincial Approving Officer. The following guidelines
for consolidation apply:
- Normally no more than three accesses should be consolidated
into one. The width of each access to be consolidated is 20 metres before
consolidation, regardless of slope grade at the point where the access would
be if it were not consolidated.
- To calculate the number of accesses to be consolidated,
divide waterfront length by 200 (400) and round the answer to the next higher
- If accesses in adjoining properties are closer than
200 (400) metres to the boundary of the subdivision, reduce the waterfront
Example: A subdivision has a waterfront length of X metres.
The adjoining property has an access Y metres from the boundary of the subdivision,
where Y is less than 200 (400) metres. The number of accesses required is
This is known as the 200 or 400 Rule.
Calculate the consolidation width, multiply the number of accesses
by 20 metres. This width should be carried from the waterfront to the next
cross street or for 100 metres from the high water mark, whichever is less.
A consolidation must be located where the
waterfront's quality is comparable to that of the rest of the accessible waterfront.
The Provincial Approving Officer may consider
granting absolute relief from the requirements regarding access to a body
of water under any of the following conditions: