The Cowichan Valley Regional District recently removed an illegal gazebo that was constructed on the shoreline at Cowichan Lake.
Development in riparian areas, land located close to streams, lakes and other watercourses, is prohibited in B.C. to protect these fragile ecosystems.
The CVRD regularly receives complaints about unauthorized development in riparian areas and pursues enforcement when violations occurs.
CVRD chairman Jon Lefebure said landowners are encouraged to protect and enhance riparian areas and to contact the district regarding permit requirements prior to undertaking any construction or land alteration.
“The CVRD takes unlawful development within riparian areas, and other environmentally sensitive areas, seriously,” he said.
“Enforcement staff from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ministry of Environment and Forests Lands, Natural Resource Operations and CVRD worked together to have this structure removed and the bylaw enforced. Residents are reminded to speak with our land-use staff prior to development on properties close to waterways to ensure they comply with applicable bylaws.”
Lefebure said the CVRD encourages residents to report any intrusions into environmentally sensitive areas.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment,” he said.