I have a 100 ft pier that has been charged $800 Bz per year to maintain the permit. I did not dredge to install the pier as it was placed to take advantage of the natural depth of the water and growth of the seaweed. I realize that not all new piers are lucky enough to have mother nature's cooperation.
However, people that dredged to put in their piers spent thousands to dredge. When the sea gets rough the sand has to be moved again and again. Where ever dredging occurs the impact of this work is felt by the reef, the neighbours to the north and to the south. Why would somebody feel that he NEEDS a pier and therefore he is willing to spend the money on his needs - but all around him be damned! Why should others, and especially our environment suffer due to the actions of others with no form of protection and repayment for the damage that then occurs. We all know that once on neighbour puts in a seawall the next neighbour in line has to do so in order to protect his beach erosion, and that goes on and on down the line... The people that were forced to put in a seawall because of his neighbours action didn't get reimbursed and has now passed his problem on to the next guy in line.
Some of our neighbouring properies dredged so significantly that we have new high wave action and currents. I am concerned about what will happen when we get some real high seas again. But who pays for the damage when the neighbours receive serious erosion? Not the guy that did the dredging and put in his seawall!
We have a few geotubes installed on the island that you could walk over and have no idea what is under your feet. They can be intergrated into the environment in a manner that prevents them from being seen and yet in a manner that truly protects the shoreline. The sand that is put into these tubes does not have to be dredged. The tubes can be buried along the shoreline and the sand displaced to bury the tube is the sand that can be used to fill the tube.
For the rates to go up by 50 - 100% overnight is a little outrageous. I would think that a one time Big Fee might be assessed on pier applications, and then a more manageable annual fee be levied. Just like the tax on property transfer and ownership. We pay a one time big stamp duty on the transfer of land/condos etc and then a smaller more manageable fee each year.
The ideas that that Town council are putting up are understandable but there are some steps they might want to take first.
There is no legislation governing piers. Therefore there cannot be any "illegal" piers. We have some rough guidelines that the town tends to follow and sometimes the guidelines are enforced and sometimes they are not.
Step one would be to make a legal statutory instrument governing piers - then everybody would know the rules and regulations and would be required to comply.
The only reason I put my pier in was because there are no rules regulating the piers. I couldn't "make" a neighbour "let" me use his pier, nor would I want to. Who would maintain the pier? Who would provide security, lighting, electrical and water hookups? Would somebody be constantly parking in my spot each time I decided to go out? If we had community piers that were operated co-operatively the beach front would be more attractive, the existing piers would be well maintained and secure and everybody would be able to enjoy the seashore. The rates could be standardized and regulated.
Yes, it all sounds like too many laws, rules and taxes, but when a community grows so exponetially rules have to be laid down or chaos will conquer.
Is there a logical and affordable solution to this problem?