West Coast Trail 2017

Don't get me wrong Salt Spring is a great place to live but the West Coast Trail (WCT) is the ultimate rugged west coast hiking trail.  Salt Spring is basically on the lee side of the mountains on Vancouver island and in a rain shadow.  We do not get the massive amount of rain that they get on the outer edge of North America.  The West Coast trail is 75 km of rugged, gnarly trail put in over 100 … [Read more...]

Mount Sullivan hike on Salt Spring

Mount Sullivan is probably one of the least known peaks on Salt Spring.  Most know Mt Maxwell or Mt Erkine but not many know about Mount Sullivan.  It is one of the better hikes on Salt Spring and it's almost all on park land.  The hike starts at the parking area of Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park and heads south across the valley.  One of the first places to see is the first nations monuments that … [Read more...]

Buyer Beware Landmark court Ruling

The headlines were in the media about a month ago and this is something that keeps me up at night.  Especially this CRA to recover from the buyers the capital gains tax.  The other thing to note is this is just part of the trend of the federal goverment to bring in more taxes.  They are also going to be going after those that seem to claim various principal residences.  Here is the article from … [Read more...]

Discover, Decide and Disclose

Caveat Emptor is a Latin phrase that translates to "let the buyer beware"  but the sellers do not get off that easy in BC they still need to disclose Latent defects and the listing REALTOR® has to do pre-listing due diligence and make sure material latent defects are disclosed. Disclosure standards for the seller and the listing REALTOR®.  Are they different?  Yes they are because the sellers … [Read more...]

Candidate for Regional Director CREA

I'm running for the position of board member Regional Director for BC for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Below is my official platform after edits suggested by CREA lawyers. My name is Scott Simmons. I’m a REALTOR® on Salt Spring Island BC. If you go to the REALTOR.ca site and put in Salt Spring Island BC on the “find a REALTOR®” tab you will not find me. Even though I have been … [Read more...]

Water Sustainability Act or new tax grab?

Staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) was on Salt Spring 18 Jan 2017 explaining the new Water Sustainability Act (WSA).  The WSA came into effect on the 29 Feb 2016.  The big changes that effect people on Salt Spring is the new licencing of ground water (well water).  The new licences will "run with the land" and basically be attached to the lot.  The … [Read more...]

CRD sewer and solid waste

The nuts and bolts of local goverment are really the non glamours basics of water, sewer and garbage (solid waste).   The CRD is the local service provider for Salt Spring.  On the night of 24 Nov 2016 Russ Smith Senior Manager, Environmental Resource Management for the CRD put on a waste presentation.  Here is a copy of the slide show for his presentation. Not covered during the … [Read more...]

Do I need a building permit?

I get this question all the time. Do you need a building permit to do a small reno on your Salt Spring home? Yes.  You will need a permit for basically any work on your home.  From the CRD office here is the official line; You will need a building permit whey you; A building permit is required before commencing: Site excavation or blasting Construction, repairing or altering a … [Read more...]

The haunted house! Do you need Ghostbusters?

This is something that comes up more that one would think on Salt Spring.  Over the last decade we have had more that few stigmatized homes come on the market.  One murder/suicide home and more than a few haunted homes.   This is a grey area of the law because how do you determine if the home is haunted it's so subjective.  It's not as if one can just call up the local Ghostbusters and have them … [Read more...]

Incorporation – A Third Option: Self-governance with contracted services

This was just posted on the Salt Spring exchange in 4 parts.  I have permission from John Gauld the author to publish this document on my Salt Spring web site;   SSI is known as a community that questions conventional practices and is creative and innovative in its response to community challenges. Perhaps the up-coming incorporation question is an opportunity for islanders to think … [Read more...]

Thinking of Buying raw Salt Spring land?

The other day I had coffee with Erin Bettger-Phillips from Island Saving and ask her to write up a little note that would explain why someone would go there for a mortgage on Salt Spring Island especially if one is thinking of buying land on Salt Spring. Here is her note; The difference a local perspective makes in Salt Spring’s real estate market Erin Bettger-Phillips Like any unique … [Read more...]

If you want a dock you will need a Foreshore Lease

A what? A Foreshore Leases.  What is a foreshore lease? and why do I need one if I want to put in a dock in front of my Salt Spring waterfront home? Here is the definition; Crown foreshore is, in basic terms, all land covered by either saltwater or freshwater. Almost all foreshore in British Columbia is owned by the province and can be tenured by way of Licence of Occupation, Lease, or … [Read more...]

The Property Disclosure Statement in BC

What is a PDS (property disclosure statement) and why you should anyone buying or selling Salt Spring real estate care.  If you are selling think of the PDS as your trusted friend.  Just like a trusted friend you can and should tell all to the PDS.   The PDS will be there with you if you get into a sticky situation selling.  If you have never seen one here is an actual PDS, please note there is no … [Read more...]

Salt Spring Incorporation News

Salt Spring Island is in the middle of an incorporation study.  Basically the study will look at the pros and cons of Salt Spring going from and unincorporated area into a municipality.   Here is a copy of the Preliminary report; 2015-10-30 SSI Incorporation Study Preliminary Report FINAL Today I went to the open house and taped the presentation for you, here it is; Nov … [Read more...]

Easements and Gazette roads

Had the pleasure of having Wayne from Edmonton over the other day out looking at land on Salt Spring and the conversation turned to Gazette roads and or easements.   It's an odd topic but one that comes up when buying a large rural lot.  One never really knows what they are getting unit one does a little digging.  The first thing you must know is a gazette road will not show up on a title search. … [Read more...]

Boat camping in Gulf Islands British Columbia

My son Keith and I just made it home after action packed 4 days / 3 nights of exploring and touring the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.  We took basic camping gear and our trusty small 14 foot Caribe RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with a Yamaha 60 hp motor on it.  I grew up on the west coast where my father had worked as a mariner on the steam ships going from Vancouver to Prince Rupert and all … [Read more...]

Waterfront properties things to know

The latest issue of Legally speaking by the (BCREA)  British Columbia Real Estate Association is worth a read if you are looking at waterfront on Salt Spring Island. WHAT'S UP (WITH THE) DOCK? Waterfront properties with private docks are looking attractive at this time of the year, particularly with the weather we've been enjoying this summer. Licensees involved in the sale of such properties … [Read more...]

the Heritage Conservation Act

This article was just published by the BCREA and is worth reading if you are looking at buying on Salt Spring. The key is that these sites might not be registered on title. A simple title search might not guarantee there is not an archaeological site on the property. DEALING WITH HERITAGE SITES How many licensees are aware that the Heritage Conservation Act (HCA),1 which replaced the … [Read more...]

Jasper Gem rocks on Salt Spring Island

I have always been a bit of a rockhound and always wanted to find the Jasper outcrop on Salt Spring Island.   Travel writer Rich Hudson gives an excellent account of finding the Jasper deposit on Salt Spring.  Rick Hudson - travel writer and author pdf  Here is the link to his site.  The location of the 100m by 10m seam is not easy to find everyone seems to give vague locations.  So I would hate … [Read more...]

Perfect day for a hike

I have been planning to hike both Mt Tuam trails for a while and since I had to drive my son to work for 8am I thought today would be the day.  The weather this winter has been so mild that I knew there would be little to no snow up on top of Mt Tuam.  Here is the trail map I downloaded for the trip;  Mt Tuam.  By the time I found the trail head it was 9am.  Glad I left home early, with one little … [Read more...]