Municipal Boundaries

Res #: 5-09A
Number: 5
Year: 2009
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Matters Pertaining to SARM

WHEREAS the municipal boundaries end at the high water mark of a water body; and 

WHEREAS there is no authority to restrict access to the area between the high water mark and the real level of the water in the water body; and 

WHEREAS the access is being taken advantage of by individuals on quads, bikes and ATVs where lease land or privately held land adjacent to these water bodies exist; and 

WHEREAS the fences separate the land holdings adjacent to these water bodies, the authorities and municipalities have no way of restricting these uninvited individuals; and 

WHEREAS there is a significant liability problem in these areas for farmers and ranchers; and 

WHEREAS resort villages along water bodies have this same problem; 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Provincial Government attach this no-man’s-land between the high water mark and the water’s edge to the area within the municipal boundaries; and 

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the land owned/leased be extended from the high water mark to the edge of the water.

Response from Honourable Bill Hutchinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs:

When a water body is used to form the boundary between two rural municipalities, the boundary line is usually the left bank (the normal high water mark on the left as a person faces downstream).  In some cases, the boundary may be defined as the centre line of the water body.  If an RM is unsure of its boundary, Community Planning Branch will investigate the records and confirm the boundary for each municipality.

In all cases, a boundary divides two adjoining municipalities, and one or the other has jurisdiction over the area between the bank and shore (including jurisdiction over development and vehicles).