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You’ve secured a location, completed your business plan, and gathered the funds you’ll need for the project. Now that it’s finally time to execute your dream plans to build a commercial dock or marina, you should know that you’ll need to secure your building permits first.

Here’s an in-depth look at what to expect.

Step 1: Check with a professional commercial dock builder

The permitting process can be lengthy and cumbersome. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it’s important to reach out to a professional who can help you navigate those unfamiliar waters and make sure all the necessary permits and applications are in place before the build begins. For a nominal fee, some dock builders will even complete these applications on your behalf.

Step 2: Start the paperwork

Commercial Application

A commercial application is required for the following projects:

  • Marina, a group moorage facility with commercial activity
  • Private group moorage facility with more than three boat slips
  • Strata title or condo moorage facility with more than three boat slips
Single Mast Boat lifts installed at Boucherie Beach Resort by Shoreline

If you don’t need a boat dock of this size, you can apply for a residential permit. You can find more information about permits in our previous blog article entitled: Dock Permits 101: What You Need to Know.

If you fall into any of the commercial application category, you’ll need to complete the following applications:

  • License of Occupation
  • Section 11, Change Approval
  • Transport Canada
  • Department of Fisheries
  • Archelogy Branch

Required Reports

In addition to these applications, there will also be several reports required before the permit can be issued. The required reports include:

Archaeological Impact Assessment – required where potential conflicts have been identified between archaeological resources and proposed development.

Environmental Impact Assessment – evaluations the likely environmental impacts of the proposed build, considering beneficial and adverse inter-related socio-economic, cultural, and human-health impacts.

Mussel Survey – required for all moderate and high-risk activities within certain colour zones to determine if Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussels are present, and if so, there may be a need for mitigative measures.

Bathymetry – a study needed to determine if the waterbed is suitable for building upon.

Engineered Drawings – drawings of the build must be designed or directed by a professional engineer as per the provincial Engineers and Geoscientists Act.

Geotechnical Engineer – A piledriving analysis must be performed on the proposed project to determine internal pile forces, pile motions and external forces.

Hydrotechnical Assessment – required to summarize sit conditions (water levels, waves, currents, sediment characteristics, etc.) and asses impacts of the build. The assessment must be prepared by a professional with costal engineering and/or marine works design designation.

Building a commercial dock in the Okanagan requires proper planning - Shoreline Pile Driving

Step 3: Wait for approval

Once all the reports have been provided and the applications have been filed, it’s time to wait. Permits can sometimes take up to 140 days to secure, especially if additional reports or studies are requested. At Shoreline, we encourage our clients to get the permit process started as soon as the design has been finalized to delay unnecessary delays.