• Irene Hildebrandt v. Regional Water Manager

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    Decision Date: March 18, 2005

    Panel: Don Cummings

    Keywords:  Water Act – ss. 9(1), 10, 39(1); changes in and about a stream; retaining wall; restoration

    Irene Hildebrandt appealed an order of the Assistant Manager, directing her to remove an unauthorized retaining wall from the foreshore of Okanagan Lake, and to restore the foreshore to its original condition.  Ms. Hildebrandt requested a reversal of the order.

    Construction of the wall took place below the lake’s natural boundary, and was in a “stream” as defined in the Water Act.  Accordingly, the Board found that Ms. Hildebrandt lacked the required licence to construct the wall, which must be obtained prior to making changes in and about a stream.  While the Board agreed that the wall, by itself, would have a minimal impact on the riparian environment, the Board found that the sum of numerous small intrusions could aggregate into a significant negative impact.  Therefore, the Board found that it was reasonable for the Assistant Manager, in exercising his authority under the Water Act, to order removal of the wall and restoration of the foreshore.  The Assistant Manager’s order was confirmed.

    Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.