One of the key planning tools used by the MRCA in the protection and management of our water and land resources is through the review and regulation of development proposals. Although the focus of this program is on the protection of lives and property from flooding and erosion, it also ensures the environmental, social and economic well-being of the watershed.
Ontario Regulation 165/06, the Conservation Authority’ Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alteration to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation, is the main piece of legislation uses to regulate activity on or near hazard lands. It requires anyone wishing to develop their land near a stream, river, lake or wetland to obtain a permit from the Conservation Authority. These activities include:
- Placing or removing fill
- Constructing or renovating a residence, garage or accessory structure
- Diverting, widening or deepening a watercourse
Under the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law the MRCA reviews and comments on severances, minor variances, rezoning, development proposals.
Through the Fisheries Act the Conservation Authority has a Level One Agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to review and comment on minor works near or in water. These activities include:
- Construction of docks
- Installation of minor shoreline erosion protection structures
If you are proposing to work in or near water, contact the MRCA for information on to how to obtain permission. You will be required to submit a description of your project including structure size, location, materials to be used and when you want to build. If the undertaking falls outside the DFO Agreement, the application will be forwarded to the Regional DFO office. There is no fee for this service at the present time.
For more information on what you must do when working in or near water, visit the DFO website at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/habitat/habitat-eng.htm . They also have a number of useful Activity Fact Sheets at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/regions/central/pub/factsheets-feuilletsinfos-on/index-eng.htm .
In conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Authority has some responsibilities under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act for activities in and near water. The Authority should be contacted to see if your proposal, including water crossings, stream diversions or shoreline alterations, is subject to the legislation.