They are all over lakefront properties—illegal docks, decks and other structures.
Now the Provincial Government is cracking down.
Doug and Brenda Elmore live in Kelowna’s McKinley Landing area.
Eleven years ago they built a small deck adjacent to their dock on crown land.
They admit they built it without permission.
They say they paid a small fine and no one said anything since.
But earlier this year when they were applying for their dock tenure renewal license they received notice from the Provincial Government that the adjoining deck is trespassing on crown land and must be removed.
The Elmores say they’re not the only ones who have made modifications to their waterfront property.
From McKinley Landing, where the Elmores live, to the beach front along Abbott street, there are illegal structures everywhere.
The difference in their case they say is that there is no real shoreline here and removing their small deck will not improve public access to the lake.
“In order to access this lakeshore, they have to access through private property, ours or the neighbors and there is nowhere to go. It is very rugged here. It is not diminishing public enjoyment of property and it will not improve our enjoyment of the property,” says Brenda Elmore.
The province also says the deck is on prime kokanee spawning ground but the couple hired a biologist who says the deck may actually enhance fish habitat with the shade it provides.
All the couple wants now is to apply for permission to occupy a piece of crown land but even that is not an option.
” I am confused why it could not be classed as anything else other than trespassing that I could not be granted permission. Apparently they are not processing applications for permission,” says Doug Elmore.
The Elmores have been given until October 31st to remove their deck.
Government has told them failure to comply can result in a 20-thousand dollar fine and 60 days of jail time.
The couple has filed an appeal and is now waiting to hear back.