’50 in 50′ Series: Flood Plain Regulations – Working Around Waterways Requires a Permit (1989)


Lower Trent Conservation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! To commemorate this milestone occasion, we have released our ’50 in 50′ historical blog series. This special series features 50 articles highlighting some of the achievements, milestones and events of the past 50 years. We hope you enjoy them!

Starting in 1989, permits were required from Lower Trent Conservation for anyone wanting to place fill, construct or renovate any building or structure, or alter a watercourse in areas regulated by the Conservation Authority. These regulated areas included watercourses, their flood plains, and a setback.

Lower Trent Conservation received Provincial approval for its Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways Regulation (Ontario Regulation 194/89), under Section 28 of the Conservation Authority’s Act in March 1989. The new three-part regulation enabled the Conservation Authority to ensure that new development would not increase the threat of flooding or erosion along the region’s waterways.

22_Cramahe shoreline at Lakeport_2010.JPG
Cramahe shoreline at Lakeport (2010)

A big change came about in 2006. The Province approved Ontario Regulation 163/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation). This new regulation, which is still in force today, replaced the 1989 regulations and applied to an expanded area including wetlands and the Lake Ontario shoreline. It provides the Conservation Authority with better tools to minimize flooding and erosion damage, and to conserve and enhance natural resources.

Over the years, many applications were reviewed, and most approved. Staff have always worked with applicants to help them modify their plans so that permits can be issued with no impact to the flood plain, or upstream and downstream neighbours.

LTC staff performing a site inspection (2014)

Permit applications are reviewed by Lower Trent Conservation’s expert team of staff (experienced in water resources, engineering, biology, ecology, and municipal planning) using digital flood plain and wetland mapping, studies and reports, and through on-site inspections of the property and proposal. Sometimes, applicants are asked to complete other surveys or studies to ensure that flooding and erosion will not be aggravated, and that wetlands will not be impacted. The number of approvals have increased from 49 applications in 1989 to 250 applications in 2017, keeping our staff very busy.

People planning a project near a watercourse, shoreline, or wetland may need a permit from the Conservation Authority. Landowners should check out the screening map on our website at www.LTC.on.ca to help determine if they are in a regulated area. They may also use our Property Inquiry Service at www.LTC.on.ca/planning/pi/ for further information. Charges can be laid for unauthorized work. So please, call before you dig!

Shoreline property site visit

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