Beach Access Inventory

Beach Access Inventory and Management Strategy

There are 124 beach accesses in the electoral areas between the Oyster River and Mud Bay. Over the past few years, the public has become increasingly concerned about encroachment into beach access rights-of-way by neighbouring properties and the lack of signage to identify the location of these foreshore accesses. Immediate neighbours are concerned about noise and littering along unmaintained beach accesses and along the foreshore.

To start addressing these concerns, the CVRD hired Morgan Consulting to inventory all beach accesses between the Oyster River and Mud Bay and make recommendations with respect to their management.   The inventory and recommendations were presented to the public for review at three open houses in June 2011.  Corrections were made to the original inventory based on the comments received. CVRD Beach Access Management Strategy [PDF - 4.1 MB] 

The revised inventory is posted below. Staff also presented a five year preliminary work plan to the regional district board.  The preliminary work plan was adopted at the August 30, 2011 board meeting and was finalized together with the budget in early 2012.

View the Beach Access Inventory

June 2011 Public Open Houses and Online Survey

In June 2011, the Comox Valley Regional District hosted three public open houses to hear public views on the proposed management strategy for beach accesses and priorities for beach accesses that require signage or other improvements. Residents were also invited to fill out an online survey on their priorities for improving Comox Valley's beach accesses. About 120 people attended the open houses and 137 filled out the survey.

Responses to the survey shows that the majority of respondents wish to see public access rights to the waterfront protected and wish to see accesses signed for easier recognition.

Demand for trail upgrades was not very strong. Apart from a lack of signage, most beach accesses that are open to the public seem to be working as they are. A significant number of respondents wanted to see a trail within currently undeveloped beach accesses to open them up for public use. Residents generally supported four of the five priorities for immediate improvements identified by Morgan Consulting but wanted more accesses signed than recommended by Morgan Consulting. See the beach access survey compilation of results [PDF - 485 KB] for public comments received.

Based on public feedback received, and site visits of the accesses identified for immediate improvement, staff recommended a preliminary five year work plan [PDF - 93 KB] to the regional district board. The work plan was adopted at the August 30, 2011 board meeting. It identifies four beach accesses for improvement and 29 for signage. The CVRD makes every effort to consult with local residents prior to installing signs at specific beach access locations to ensure the signs are supported and to reduce potential vandalism.

Regional District Board Support

The beach access inventory and management strategy were presented to the electoral areas services committee at their March 14, 2011 meeting.  At their March 29, 2011 meeting, the regional district board directed staff to develop a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) with respect to management of public beach accesses.

The board also directed staff to consult with the public and develop a preliminary work plan for improving beach accesses.  The work plan was confirmed in March 2012 with the adoption of the 2012 budget.

For the CVRD staff reports on beach access and resolutions adopted by the regional district board, view:

August 30, 2011 regional district board minutes  [PDF - 49 KB]
August 5, 2011 staff report beach access public consultation outcomes & work plan [PDF - 895 KB]
March 7, 2011 staff report: beach access inventory and management strategy    [PDF - 206 KB]