The green areas denote crown land where camping is allowed for up to two weeks. The white areas are within municipal boundaries where camping will be banned other than in the four designated campgrounds once rezoning takes place. The pink areas are municipal property while the salmon-coloured area to the right of Highway 37 is the 500 metre buffer zone.

The green areas denote crown land where camping is allowed for up to two weeks. The white areas are within municipal boundaries where camping will be banned other than in the four designated campgrounds once rezoning takes place. The pink areas are municipal property while the salmon-coloured area to the right of Highway 37 is the 500 metre buffer zone.

Draft bylaw banning riverbank camping gets first reading

Free camping outside the municipality will continue to be available.

The draft bylaw to ban riverbank camping had its first reading in District of Kitimat council chambers on Monday night.

In addition, Monday, April 16, has been set as the date for a public hearing to receive comment on the bylaw, titled Riverbank Camping Bylaw No. 1917 of 2018.

Following the public hearing and revisions to the bylaw, it will receive a second and third reading in council, whereupon it could be adopted and implemented by the district.

The first reading of the bylaw follows a February 26 council meeting in which council gave DoK staff the go-ahead to draft the bylaw.

“The Province of British Columbia allows municipalities to regulate camping on Crown Land within municipal boundaries; and it is possible to restrict access to Crown Land by measures placed on municipal land (e.g. a gate),” reads the proposed bylaw.

“Free camping outside the municipality will continue to be available.

“Camping has been defined as a land use, and an area where this use is prohibited on both public and private land has been defined. This is presented as a zoning amendment bylaw; a public hearing will be required.”

The bylaw will make it illegal to camp within the district’s boundaries outside of the four designated camping areas, two run by the DoK and two that are licensed as camp grounds. Camping will still be allowed on un-alienated provincial crown land in the forestry zone, 500 metres or more east of Highway 37, west of the CN rail track and north of the district lot 6071.

The proposed ban on the riverbank was one of the recommendations made by the DoK’s Riverbank Camping Committee, which unanimously agreed that one of the recommendations to council be that council “approve no camping on the riverbank within municipal boundaries”.

The committee was established to look into riverbank camping following the flooding of the riverbank which necessitated the rescue of a number of campers along the river.

DoK Community Planning and Development director Gwendolyn Sewell and Leisure Services director Martin Gould fielded questions from the councillors relating to the draft bylaw in the council meeting.

Sewell, answering a question from councillor Mario Feldhoff, said while the general policy was for B.C. citizens to be able to camp on crown land for up to two weeks, there is a restriction on that which allows the municipality to step in and regulate use of crown land located within municipal boundaries.

“We have chosen to do that but only with respect to the river corridor and around the town site,” said Sewell.

She stressed that it was important to note that this Bylaw No. 1917 is a zoning bylaw, which only allows for camping in areas that are designated for camping.

“That means that camping will not be a permitted use in industrial land or any other zone where that land use is not specifically permitted,” said Sewell. “It’s quite more restrictive than it was previously because we have taken a zoning approach.”

She added that the bylaw would not apply to land within First Nations reserves.

Gould added that the Rio Tinto representative on the Riverbank Camping Committee had indicated that Rio Tinto would support whatever the DoK chose to do with regards to access to the river bank via Rio Tinto property.

Councillor Larry Walker expressed concern that the bylaw wouldn’t be passed in time for the 2018 camping season, another of the Camping Committee’s recommendations.

DoK chief administrative office Warren Waycheshen while it was possible for the bylaw to move through the public hearing and the second and third reading before the camping season, it might encounter obstacles that would see it delayed.

“It is theoretically possible to move through these steps before summer 2018. However, the bylaw may not be adopted if strong and reasonable objections are expressed at the public hearing,” said Waycheshen.

He said, however, that the bylaw could theoretically receive a second and third reading on April 16 at the regular 7.30 p.m.council meeting following the public hearing, which is scheduled in council chambers for 6.30 p.m.

“Potentially this bylaw could be adopted on April 16,” said Waycheshen. “Although Kitimat Council has initiated this bylaw change, each councillor must maintain an open mind until the public hearing is closed.”


Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read