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Tensions simmer over Tie Lake dock

RDEK votes to decline support for a private dock at Tie Lake, while the final decision rests with a provincial ministry.

The application for a private dock out at Tie Lake was a hot topic at the Regional District of East Kootenay board meeting last week.

A group of five families—the Tie Five Society—has applied to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to build a 13-metre dock into the lake. The area in question is a parcel of land half a kilometre southeast of the Tie Lake Regional Park.

As part of the ministry's application process, the RDEK is given a referral with the option to sanction or decline approval for the project, which is considered when the ministry makes their decision.

It's the second application the Tie Five Society has made to put a dock on the lake, and for the second time, the RDEK did not lend support for the project.

However, that could change in the future, according to board chair Rob Gay, who noted that the board is about to embark on a community plan which will provide an opportunity for broader feedback from Tie Lake residents.

"What our decision has to be on is, is this appropriate land use? And so, we would like to go out to the community, so that's what we're going to do," Gay said. "We agreed at last month's meeting we would start a new Official Community Plan (OCP) for the area and there's some frustration from that group because it's probably going to take us over a year to complete that plan, but we will have a fuller discussion from the community.

"So our recommendation to the Ministry of Forests, who make the decision, all we do is get a referral, but our referral is to say we do not support it at this time, pending the completion of our plan, so we haven't said no, we just need to have a fuller understanding of what the community at large would like to see."

The proposal stems from desire of the Tie Five Society to have access to the lake and a place to moor their boats. The dock would be constructed off a parcel of land designated for public lake access which is owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

A previous application from the same group in 2014 was not supported by the RDEK. That proposal was for a multi berth dock with space for up to five boats, with the structure extending approximately 13 metres into the lake with a surface area of roughly 43 sq. m. The current proposal cuts the surface area roughly in half.

During committee meetings last Thursday, there were delegations both in favour and against the proposed dock. Gay adds that the consultation through the OCP will allow the whole community to be heard on the issue.

"We don't know if we've got the full public, because there are hundreds of residences there, so we're getting a snapshot of it," he said. "But certainly during our planning meeting yesterday, we were very much working to keeping this as a—is this the right land use decision as opposed to neighbour-vs-neighbour."

Gay didn't discount the possibility of a dock being built there in the future under as an RDEK project.

"Because of that land, we as the Regional District could choose to put in a public dock that everybody could use, that these folks could park their boats at, but there'd be no exclusivity, so there's other options around it, but again, that'd be explored at a public meeting," Gay said.


Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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