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British Columbia Crown Land Right-of-Way (3-BC-b)

Information current as of 2019
In British Columbia, a developer may need a Statutory Right-of-Way or Easement from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations (Ministry) to access Crown lands for public or private utility development including electric transmission lines. Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 40. Typically, the Ministry issues a Statutory Right-of-Way to authorize linear uses of Crown land for utility developments – including electric transmission. The Ministry may issue an Easement instead of a Right-of-Way where a designated dominant tenement precludes issuance of a Right-of-Way. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations – Land Use Operation Policy.


The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations administers the Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245. The Ministry may Crown grant or issue tenure for the use of provincial Crown land by lease; license of occupation, right-of-way and easement under the Land Act. British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure – Crown Land Tenure Webpage.



Crown Land Right-of-Way Process


3-BC-b.1 – Crown Land Tenure Application

The developer must submit a complete online British Columbia – Crown Land Tenure Application (Application) via the FrontCounter BC web portal. An Application will eventually include the written consent of any Crown lessee, or statutory right-of-way holder across whose tenure the development is to be built. Land Use Operation Policy at p. 8; Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 32.


3-BC-b.2 to 3-BC-b.4 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Ministry reviews the Application materials for administrative and technical completeness. If the Application complies with the Land Act and is accepted, the Ministry must publish the Application on a publicly accessible website. Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 32. The Ministry may also require the developer (applicant) to publish notice of the Application (advertise) in accordance with Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 33.

3-BC-b.5 – Review Crown Land Status

After acceptance of a complete Application, the Ministry staff review the Crown Land in question to determine the status or current use of the specific area to ensure the area is available for disposition under the Land Act and to identify any potential issues. Land Use Operation Policy at p. 8.

3-BC-b.6 – Comment on the Application

Referrals are provided to identified agencies who have an interest or rights on the application area. These agencies have 30 days from the time of notice of Application to provide comments, concerns or raise issues with respect to the proposed use. Additionally, any person may comment on the Application within a similar time period from the time of notice of the Application. Land Use Operation Policy at p. 8; Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 33.

3-BC-b.7 – Comment on the Application by First Nations

Applications are provided to First Nations who have aboriginal rights and or aboriginal interests in the application parcel area. First Nations are provided with a time period in which to provide comments, concerns or raise issues with respect to the proposed use. Land Use Operation Policy at p. 8; Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 33.

3-BC-b.8 to 3-BC-b.11 – Review Application Materials for Approval

The Ministry must review the Application for approval. The Ministry considers comments on the Application when making a determination. The Ministry notifies applicant (developer) of the decision in writing. If the Ministry approves the Application, the Ministry provides draft tenure documents to the applicant (developer) for identification of any required preconditions and ultimately signature. Land Use Operation Policy at p. 9. The developer must satisfy all pre-conditions before the Ministry will sign the Crown Land Tenure authorizing a Statutory Right-of-Way or an Easement.

3-BC-b.12 – Appeal of Administrative Decision (Optional)

A developer may petition for judicial review by the Supreme Court of British Columbia within 60 days of the decision by the Ministry. Administrative Tribunals Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 45, s. 57. The Court has discretion to review the petition or not. If the Court finds procedural unfairness, abuses of authority, or unreasonable findings, then it may invalidate the decision and/or remand the matter to the Ministry with instructions for a rehearing. Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 241, s. 5, 7. The Ministry may or may not reach a different decision upon rehearing the matter.


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Edit British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations
Manager of Policy and Lands Operations Support 778 698-7303 EnquiryBC@govabbazabbabcabbazabbaca Visit Website