Land Use Planning & Regulations
Regulation Permit Application Form
CA Operational Guidelines
If you wish to speak to our technical staff, please call to arrange an appointment - 519-354-7310.
Plan Input and Review and Regulation Program under the Conservation Authorities Act
The health and economic well being of an area requires planning to avoid or, at least minimize, natural or man-made environmental disasters. Now, more than ever, proper planning is necessary to identify potential hazards before complications arise. The Conservation Authority’s Plan Input and Review Program equates to an insurance policy against these significant expenses in terms of both dollars and loss of life.
In order to support this program, the LTVCA has accumulated a significant collection of flood and other related mapping. The Conservation Authority reviews municipal documents and policies on a regular basis to provide a uniform planning direction throughout the watershed for upstream and downstream residents to protect lives and property. This helps to prevent increased flooding from modifications to floodplains and decreased flood storage capacity from wetland loss.
This program can be of great importance to developers and private individuals who may not be aware of these potential hazards. Municipal documents reviewed include: official plans and amendments, comprehensive zoning bylaws and amendments, minor variances, severances, property clearances, drainage reports, lawyer and general inquiries and plans of subdivision.
Development, Interference of Wetlands and Alteration to Watercourses Regulation
Under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act a Conservation Authority may make regulations within their jurisdiction. In order to bring consistency across areas under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Authorities in Ontario, the Province enacted Ontario Regulation 94/04 and within two years all Conservation Authority Regulations had to comply. On May 4, 2006 the Development, Interference of Wetlands and Alteration to Watercourses Regulation for the LTVCA was enacted. More can be read about this transition at the bottom of this page.
The current LTVCA regulation can be found at;
LTVCA Regulations Brochure
Areas Regulated by Ontario Regulation 152/06
Essentially all of the following areas are regulated by O.R. 152/06
- Areas adjacent or close to the shoreline of the Lakes Erie and St. Clair that are affected by flooding, erosion or dynamic beaches
- Areas within and adjacent to rivers or stream valleys
- Areas that are subject to the hazards of flooding and erosion
- Areas within and adjacent to wetlands
- Other areas that Minister of Natural Resources may designated
Within the LTVCA this amounts to approximately 650 square kilometres or 20% of our jurisdiction. The following maps (depending on what size of file you wish to see) depict in general the areas affected by the Regulation.
LTVCA Regulated Areas
The jurisdiction of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority divided into 128 maps which are displayed in the index map. The digital size of each of the maps vary from 2 to 20 megabits of memory depending on the information on the maps. As such, maps are not available on this website, please contact the Administration Office to obtain them.
In order to provide clarity in the implementation of the Regulation the Conservation Authority has also developed Operational Guidelines. These are guidelines that Conservation Authority staff use in reviewing applications under the Regulation.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Project Reviews
The Conservation Authority also undertakes the review of proposed projects for the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). This review looks at the proposed works in watercourses and their effect on fish habitat as it relates to the Federal Fisheries Act. We undertake a “Level Two” review for the DFO. Level Two status means that, the Conservation Authority conducts the initial assessment of the project to identify any impacts on fish habitat. If an impact is foreseen as a result of the proposal the matter is referred to DFO. With Level Two status the Conservation Authority can also determine how the proponent can mitigate any impacts. The application form for proposed DFO related projects can be obtained here.
For more information contact:
Jason Wintermute - Water Management Supervisor/GIS Specialist, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority -Tel: 519-354-7310 Ext. 227, Fax:519-352-3435
Valerie Towsley - Resource Technician, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority -Tel: 519-354-7310 -Ext. 226, Fax:519-352-3435
Background to the Enactment of Ontario Regulation 97/04 Development, Interference with Wetlands & Alteration to Shorelines & Watercourses
One of the first actions the Conservation Authority took after its formation was the implementation of Fill, Construction and Alteration of Waterways Regulations under the Conservation Authorities' Act. Regulations exist to prevent the loss of life. After many years of successful implementation, in the mid 1990’s, these Regulations were reviewed as part of the Ontario Government’s Red Tape Reduction initiative. This review resulted in a number of changes to the regulatory framework. One significant change involves the replacement of existing regulations for individual Conservation Authorities with one Generic Regulation for all Conservation Authorities. This amended regulation is referred to as the Ontario Regulation 97/04 - Development, Interference of Wetlands and Alteration to Watercourses Regulation.
This Regulation incorporated many of the same items found in the Conservation Authorities historical Flood, Fill and Alteration to Waterways Regulation like the requirement to floodproof new structures in floodprone areas and regulating the alterations to natural watercourses. However, it also added the review of proposed development and alterations to areas within and adjacent to wetlands and areas adjacent to the shoreline of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system. More background to this Regulation can be found here.
After enactment of Ontario Regulation 97/04 in May of 2004 each Conservation Authority was required to produce the technical information to comply with the regulation, prepare mapping, undertake a public information program and pass peer review. The purpose of the public information program was to advise its local constituency of the adoption of the new regulation. This was to ensure that the public understood that the changes were a result of legislative amendments of the Provincial government. The intention of the public information program was to educate the public regarding the definition of lands to which the regulation applies; and inform municipal staff, development interests, landowners and other interested stakeholders regarding the new areas of regulation application and the process for review of the regulation.
After the successful completion of each of these steps, Ontario Regulation 152/06 – The Development, Interference of Wetlands and Alteration to Watercourses Regulation for the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority was enacted on May 4, 2006.
Background Items Relating to Enactment of Ontario Regulation 97/04
- Changes were required as a result of recommendations from the Red Tape Commission. Since 1995, under the auspices of the Red Tape Reduction Act, the Red Tape Commission was responsible for streamlining provincial government acts and regulations. A key focus of the Commission was to bring clarity and consistency to existing legislation and eliminate regulations that are no longer needed. While the Commission had a focus on making it easier to do business in the province, a primary objective is also to maintain legislation that protects public health, safety and the environment. The Red Tape Commission process identified a need to make amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act. These amendments were subsequently tabled and the process of public consultation culminated with the enactment of amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act in 1997. The development of the Generic Regulation and the development of local regulations to implement the Generic Regulation were direct requirements of the amended Conservation Authorities Act.
- This Generic Regulation was not a new piece of legislation. It was an amendment of existing regulations. The Conservation Authorities Act was originally created in 1946 in response to watershed management issues and the recognition that these and other natural resource initiatives were best managed on a watershed basis. Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways regulations were subsequently developed for all Conservation Authorities in Ontario. There were 39 regulations in place. Many of these regulations had been in place since the 1960s and were last amended in 1990. The Generic Regulation was designed to achieve consistency province-wide in the Regulation of Development, Interference of Wetlands and Alteration to Watercourses.
- This regulation, made under the Conservation Authorities Act, complements implementation activities related to the Planning Act. For example, the Provincial Policy Statement (1997) provided land use planning policy guidance on matters related to natural hazards. The Provincial Policy Statement is referenced when a Planning Act Application such as a severance, a subdivision plan or a comprehensive official plan amendment is considered. Using the guidance provided by the Provincial Policy Statement, natural hazards are identified in the planning process and appropriate restrictions can be implemented. In cases where a Planning Act Application is not required, the Provincial Policy Statement cannot be applied and, in these cases, the Province’s natural hazard management program can be implemented though the Conservation Authorities Act. In this way, the Planning Act is a tool to proactively identify and regulate hazards while the Conservation Authorities Act can regulate activities in those cases where municipal plans have not been updated and in those cases where the municipal plan may allow the activity subject to certain requirements which can be addressed through the Conservation Authorities Act approval process.
- This regulation is a key tool in allowing Conservation Authorities to prevent loss of life and property due to flooding and erosion, to prevent pollution and to conserve and enhance natural resources. This regulation prevents or restricts development in areas where in the opinion of the Authority, the control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches or pollution or the conservation of land may be affected by the development.
- An approval process and powers were provided to Conservation Authorities in order to enforce the Regulation. Conservation Authorities have the ability to:
a) Prohibit, regulate or require permission for straightening, changing, diverting or interfering in any way with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream, watercourse or changing or interfering with a wetland.
b) Prohibit or regulate or require permission for development if the control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches or pollution or the conservation of land may be affected by the development.