All residential, commercial and industrial development must occur outside of the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas, which is established by the City’s Streamside Protection Bylaw. Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas are no disturbance areas that range in width from 5m to 30m for streams and 2-10m for ditches, measured from the top-of-bank. The width is dependent on fish presence, stream permanence, and vegetation category.
Please contact an Environmental Coordinator to determine the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Area for your watercourse. If the watercourse classification is unknown, the property owner can default to the most conservative classification or retain a Qualified Environmental Professional to undertake a Fish Habitat Assessment Report.
Streamside Protection Bylaw
All areas of human disturbance (including buildings, structures, paved parking areas, landscaped areas, etc.) that existed prior to the Streamside Protection Bylaw being adopted are grand-parented and can continue to be used as long as the type of disturbance doesn’t change and the area of disturbance is not extended/expanded. However, if new development is proposed, the new development will need to adhere to the setbacks as described above.
If the proposed development cannot avoid impacts to the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Area, a Development Permit or Development Variance Permit application will be required. A Development Permit or Development Variance Permit will require retaining one or more Qualified Professional to prepare reports to support the application (e.g. Fish Habitat Assessment Report, Arborist Report, Wildlife Habitat Assessment Report, etc.).
Staff support Development Permits or Development Variance Permits where the applicant demonstrates use of the mitigation hierarchy (1st avoid 2nd mitigate 3rd compensate) and where the NEDP Guidelines are followed.
It is recommended that the Qualified Environmental Professional follow the guidelines contained in the City’s document Developing Near Streams and Ravines, Appendices A (Technical Information), B (Setback Comparison Table), C (Signage), and D (Costing Sheet).
The SPB does not apply to agricultural land use and farming activities; however, senior government legislation and the Zoning Bylaw Floodproofing Provisions do apply.