Is Sunriver Estates in Sooke a Strata?

Sunriver Estates in Sooke has many different home designs, including this Riverstone plan.

This is a question I get all the time from people who are interested in buying a home in Sooke’s popular Sunriver Estates subdivision.

The answer is no, Sunriver is not a strata. There are no councils, meetings, minutes, or strata fees. Each detached home in the development is a fee simple title, which is the same as most other detached homes in British Columbia. However, there is a townhouse complex at Sunriver, which is a strata with the usual implications thereof.

What Sunriver is, is a planned community, meaning that you can’t simply purchase a lot and build whatever home you please on it. The developer at Sunriver has the exclusive rights to sell the lots, and will only do so with the purchase of a building contract to go with it. There are a number of different home designs to choose from, both single level and two-storey, and almost all the homes can have a basement built under them for an extra level.

 While Sunriver Estates in Sooke is not a strata, people often ask me about the “rules” for the community. A common rumour is that you’re not allowed to have a boat or RV in your driveway at Sunriver. This isn’t exactly accurate. All homes at Sunriver have a building scheme registered on title. A building scheme is a set of restrictions that a developer will register on the title to the lots to ensure a community that is uniform in appearance and neat and tidy. For example, it’s common for a developer that is selling only building lots to stipulate a minimum size for the homes or that mobile homes are not allowed.

Sunriver’s building scheme has a few stipulations about boats and RVs at Sunriver. Basically, they want them out of sight. Keep them in the back yard or screened behind a fence or lattice and you’ll have no problems. That being said, there is always the question of who enforces a building scheme, how they would do that, what the penalty would be for violation, and under what conditions would they enforce it, i.e., would it take a complaint from a neighbour?

Take a drive around Sunriver – you’ll see plenty of examples of boats and RVs in various states of compliance or non-compliance with the building scheme.

If you have any questions about Sunriver Estates, please take a moment to email me at, call me at 250-885-0512, or fill in my contact form – I’m always happy to help.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Published by Tim Ayres

Tim Ayres is a Sooke and Victoria BC REALTOR®, with Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty. Tim is actively involved in helping clients buying and selling real estate in the southern Vancouver Island region. Tim is an active member of the Victoria Real Estate Board and served seven years (2009-2015) as a director, including serving as President in 2014.

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