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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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Planning, ​Permits & Regulations

All regions of Ontario experience flooding, erosion and slope failures. These are naturally occurring processes that have been continuously shaping and reshaping the earth for thousands of years. These processes represent a "hazard" when people and structures are located within areas directly impacted by these naturally occurring processes.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) administers a regulation made under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act known as Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation (Ontario Regulation 179/06).

This regulation allows LSRCA to ensure that proposed developments have regard for natural features in order to:

  • prevent loss of life;
  • minimize property damage and social disruptions;
  • reduce public and private expenditures related to emergency operations, evacuations and restoration;
  • minimize the hazards associated with development in floodplains and areas which are susceptible to erosion, which in future years may require expensive protective measures.

How We Do It

Our work in regulating lands has several major components.

1. Regulation Permits

We ensure that development proposals have regard for natural hazard features and the natural environment, while conforming with our watershed development policies. We are authorized under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act to implement and enforce the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation (Ontario Regulation 179/06).

2. Plan Input and Review

We are responsible for representing the provincial interests with respect to natural hazards (examples include flooding, erosion and unstable ground) and natural features on applications circulated under the Planning Act. We are responsible for providing advice on the interpretation of the Provincial Policy Statement. We also have agreements with the Region of York, Durham, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and the County of Simcoe to provide comments on natural heritage features, which include significant woodlands, wetlands, environmentally sensitive areas, fish habitat, as well as rare, threatened and endangered species and their habitats.

3. Technical Assistance

Our engineering staff are available to regional and local municipalities within the watershed. Complementing our planning staff, they comment on the water management and natural hazard aspects of all planning applications. Our engineers clear conditions of approvals and issue permits where required. They are involved in preparing watershed plans, remedial strategies and stormwater management strategies and the design of capital work projects and major floodplain engineering studies. Our engineers design these projects, prepare tenders, and supervise the implementation and construction activities as required.

Key areas of expertise include: hydraulics and hydrology, planning input and review, regulations, data collection and computer modelling, remediation and restoration techniques, project design, tendering and supervision.

4. Watershed Development Policies / Guidelines

Recognizing that urbanization occurs within some limits and is ultimately limited by the capacity of the natural environment, our goal is to foster and consistently apply watershed development guidelines which protect the environmental integrity of our watershed.

Watershed Development Guidelines

5. Landowner Assistance

Our Landowner Environmental Assistance Program (LEAP) provides technical and financial support to private landowners in completing environmental projects designed to improve local surface and ground water quality, reduce soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat.

Learn more about LEAP

6. Flood Forecasting and Flood Control

We are responsible for issuing flood warnings to help reduce flood damages. We do this by: monitoring weather conditions and river flows issuing flood messages (advisories and warnings) to a variety of public service agencies through the media and this website controlling development in flood-prone areas to reduce potential property damages.

Learn more about Flood Forecasting