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This is my favourite residential island in the southern Gulf Islands, because the residents have managed to keep the island very rural, quiet, and clean. The "roads" are just dirt tracks, the properties are tidy and set apart, and the landscape is just gorgeous!

Wetland park on Ruxton Island, British ColumbiaEven though the island is subdivided into privately owned lots, there are a lot of public accesses to beautiful rocky beaches and bays. There is also a park in the middle of Ruxton Island (image shown here) that consists of a large, open wetland with a funky trail meandering along its north side. There are community wells (non-potable) with pumps throughout the island.

Bylaws have prevented the large-scale construction of docks around this 240-acre island, which means that most residents must anchor (and/or tie to a mooring buoy they install) in one of the sheltered spots around the island and use a dinghy or other small craft to get to shore. The population is small enough that nobody seems to mind if your little boat remains pulled up on the beach above the tideline while you're on the island. 

Ruxton is directly across the water (5km) from Cedar and Yellow Point, just south of Nanaimo. It's part of a chain of islands which also includes Mudge and Decourcy Islands (Ruxton is the smallest of these).

I can help with your Ruxton Island sale or purchase! Contact me and I'll make it all happen.

Properties for Sale on Ruxton Island

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Ruxton Island Land Use Bylaws

Here is an UNOFFICIAL breakdown of SOME of the bylaws affecting Ruxton Island. These are just my personal notes based on a reading of the Thetis Associated Islands Land Use Bylaw document from 2014. You MUST make your own inquiries with the Islands Trust, rather than relying on my notes in any way and for whatever purpose.

All land properties on Ruxton Island are zoned Residential 1 (R1). Permitted uses include full-time residential (one dwelling per lot), and accessory uses, buildings and structures, including home occupations other than commercial visitor accommodation (but as shown below, commercial visitor accommodation IS allowed within the main residence subject to certain limitations).

Building

"Every applicant for a development variance permit must provide a plan signed by a B.C. Land Surveyor showing the location on the lot of all existing and proposed buildings and structures in relation to lot and zone boundaries, watercourses, and the sea, and in relation to other buildings on the lot, unless the Local Trust Committee determines that the provision of such a plan is not reasonably necessary to establish whether the proposed buildings and structures comply with the siting requirements of this or any other Bylaw."

  • 15% maximum lot coverage. Maximum 1 boat ramp, maximum 1 platform.
  • Maximum 9m building height (6m for accessory buildings, 1m for platforms).
  • Walkways and stairs sited within 10 meters of the natural boundary of the sea or sited within 1.5 meters of the natural boundary of the sea as measured on the vertical plane must be no wider than 1.5 meters and must not have any steps or portion of walkway floor more than 1.5 meters above the ground.

You have to include space on your lot for any vehicles you intend to use for accessing the lot (i.e., no parking anything including golf carts or boat trailers on the roadway).

Use/Density

No subdivision may result in the creation of a parcel of less than 1 hectare (2.47 acres).

A building or structure accessory to a dwelling may not be used as a residence but may be used as a sleeping cabin.

The following may be constructed prior to the construction of a residence: Boathouses, utility sheds, one accessory building for storage of building materials and personal effects, steps/structures accessory to and supporting a permitted docks. Any OTHER accessory building or structure can only be built if there is a permit issued for the main residence.

You can't keep or store a boat over 7m long on your property.

Operating a vacation rental is permitted but only within the principle residence (i.e., you can't have a separate building used for AirBnB), no more than 2 bedrooms may be used to accommodate guests, and not more than 4 guests may be accommodated at any time.

See Section 3.6 of the bylaws for home occupation regulations.

Setbacks

No building or structure shall be sited within 5m of a lot line.

No building (including septic facilities) can be within 10m of the natural boundary of the ocean (on a horizontal plane), or within 1.5 meters vertically, or within 30m of the natural boundary of any natural watercourse, wetland, or source of water supply.

Setback rules don't apply to fences and utility sheds, or to stairs or a pathway or a (5 square meter maximum) platform for accessing the water. Eaves, steps, chimneys, cornices, balconies, decks etc. may project into the setback area (see sec. 3.3(5)).

Fences: Within building setback areas, fences can't be more than 2m high. Deer fencing/netting is not subject to this rule.

Utilities

The following are permitted everywhere (for supplying the lot only, not for resale etc.):

  • Water supply facilities
  • Solar collectors and wind turbines (but not on the water; see also sec. 3.3(6) and 3.4(2) re: turbines)
  • Ocean geo-thermal loop exchange systems (requires permits from provincial/federal authorities)
  • Sewage disposal facilities, including outhouses, for which all required filings have been made in accordance with the Sewerage System Regulation under the Public Health Act.

Moorage Facilities

Permitted: Mooring buoys, for mooring a private vessel accessory to the residential use of an upland lot. In other words, docks are not permitted (some were constructed before a loophole was closed).

  • No breakwaters may be constructed.
  • Swimfloats can’t be used for moorage and can’t be sited where they will rest on the ocean floor at low tide.
  • You can't moor a boat and live on it – except while you are building a home.
  • No part of a boat ramp sited within 10 metres of the natural boundary of the sea or within 1.5 metres of the natural boundary of the sea as measured on the vertical plane may be more than .5 meters above the ground.

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