a) Plan Input & Review
Under the Planning Act, Conservation Authorities are required to be circulated for their comments on development applications. This could include things such as an addition to a home, severing a lot, construction of a golf course, or developing a subdivision. The program involves working at various stages of development, in partnership with many people including landowners, developers, and municipal and county governments.
We also work in conjunction with provincial and federal offices such as the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Ministry of Environment. Working in cooperation with our municipal, and provincial partners to promote the wise and best use of land and water in the Grey Sauble watershed is a high priority.
Environmental planning promotes the concept of sustainable development by reviewing developments in a comprehensive fashion. When Grey Sauble Conservation reviews developments, it considers the following issues.
The Provincial Policy Statement Section 3.1 deals with natural hazards to public health and safety. Under an agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Grey Sauble Conservation comments on natural hazards when reviewing proposals. Download the “Understanding Natural Hazards” guide here.
- flood plains
- Great Lakes shoreline
- stream corridors
- steep slopes / erosion prone lands
- karst topography
- organic soils
Natural Heritage Issues
As an organization mandated under the Conservation Authorities Act, “to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources, other than gas, oil, coal and minerals the conservation of lands”, Grey Sauble Conservation is a natural partner in commenting on natural heritage within its jurisdiction.
- fish habitat
- significant wildlife habitat
- significant woodlands
- significant valleylands
- provincially significant wetlands
- threatened / endangered species and habitats
(Species at Risk )
- Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI’s)
- Planning Services to the Public
Landowners, realtors or lawyers may wish to know about hazard lands and/or natural heritage issues on a given property in order to assist in decision-making regarding safe development of a property. When a municipality has zoned portions of a property as Hazard or Environmental Protection, landowners may be referred to Grey Sauble Conservation for site assessment before obtaining a building permit.
Grey Sauble Conservation offers its services to landowners to help them meet provincial policy requirements pertaining to water and environmental protection. Planning staff, on request, research the hazards or natural heritage issues which may affect property development. Site visits can be arranged to discuss options with landowners. Fees may apply.
Municipal Planning Services
Grey Sauble Conservation provides technical information and advice to municipalities for their Official Plans, Zoning By-laws, Secondary Plans. This service promotes inclusion of Grey Sauble Conservation policies, the provincial policy statement concerning natural hazards, as well as natural heritage features and watershed management.
Sub-division proposals, zoning changes and other development proposals are approved by municipalities. Grey Sauble Conservation provides information and expertise to help the municipality and developer meet provincial policy requirements for natural hazards while providing for environmental protection. In conjunction with Ministry of Environment guidelines, the Authority also comments on Stormwater Management issues.
Grey Sauble Conservation has signed planning service agreements with its member municipalities to provide comments on natural heritage issues under the Provincial Policy Statement, in addition to natural hazards, as delegated by the Province of Ontario. The Authority’s watershed approach to planning helps ensure that the effects of land use on the environment, both upstream and downstream, are carefully considered.
b) Ontario Regulation 151/06
This regulation has been amended by Ontario Reg. 58/13, effective February 6, 2013.
Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act empowers Grey Sauble Conservation to establish regulations related to natural hazards and environmental protection.
- straightening, changing, diverting or interfering in any way with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream or watercourse or interfering in any way with a wetland.
- development adjacent or close to the shoreline of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay or inland lakes, in river or stream valleys, hazardous lands, wetlands or lands adjacent to wetlands
The intent of the permit process is to ensure that development and interference do not impact the control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches, pollution or the conservation of land. More specifically the intent of the regulation is to ensure that these activities do not worsen existing erosion or flooding hazards, that new hazards are not created and that new development is not at risk. In addition the regulation helps to maintain the natural features and ecological functions of river and stream valleys, shorelines, watercourses and wetlands.
Development as defined by the Conservation Act means:
- the construction, reconstruction, erection or placing of a building or structure of any kind
- any change to a building or structure that would have the effect of altering the use or potential use of the building or structure, increasing the size of the building or structure or increasing the number of dwelling units in the building or structure
- site grading
- the temporary or permanent placing, dumping or removal of any material, originating on the site or elsewhere
The lands to which the regulation applies are identified on maps that were produced in accordance with Provincial guidelines. The maps are available for review at the Grey Sauble Conservation office or at local municipal offices.
For any proposed project in or near river or stream valleys, the Lake Huron or Georgian Bay shoreline, the shore of an inland lake, a watercourse or a wetland, please contact Grey Sauble Conservation prior to commencing work to determine if a permit is required.
Note: O.Reg.151/06 has been amended by O.Reg.58/13 under the Conservation Authorities Act.Download O.Reg.151/06 Download O.Reg.58/13