Environmental Planning programs and services
Conservation authorities have become the primary local agency to review and comment on development proposals pursuant to the Planning Act and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) mandate to manage the watershed's natural resources and to protect life and property. ABCA staff will provide comments to the applicant or appropriate agency for:
- Plans of subdivision
- Official plans
- Zoning bylaws
- Municipal drainage reports
- Environmental assessments
Applicants are advised of significant natural areas, flood plain lands, steep slopes, erosion rates, faulty septic systems (in portions of Middlesex County only), the need for stormwater control, buffer strips, and wildlife corridors linking existing natural areas.
The following examples show how useful environmental planning can be:
Mr. Smith submits an application to construct a house located within a 40-acre woodlot. Portions of the woodlot are located adjacent to a creek and have been designated as a provincially-significant wetland. The conservation authority requests an environmental review of the proposal which will ensure the following;
- That the house and septic system will not damage the woodlot, creek or wetland;
- That the wetland, that provides flood storage for downstream lands, will not be reduced or negatively impacted by the proposal;
- That the woodlot, and any adjacent adjoining woodlots, will not be damaged through unnecessary tree removal or other forestry related impacts;
- That the habitat of threatened and endangered species is not encroached upon or adversely affected.
A lawyer submits an enquiry to our office prior to her or his client's purchase of a lakeshore cottage. Our review indicates that the lot is subject to excessive rates of erosion, which may impact the building during the next 25-50 years - the client chooses not to pursue the acquisition.
A developer proposes to construct five residential building lots adjacent to a river. The conservation authority recommends that a stormwater management plan be completed to ensure that adjacent properties are not damaged due to increased runoff following construction. It is also determined that three of the lots are located within the flood plain. The buildings proposed for these lots are moved outside of the flood plain. Flood plain lands located adjacent to the river are reserved for the creation of a walkway and natural belt so that all residents can continue to enjoy the beauty of the river corridor.
Environmental planning includes comments on significant natural areas, flood plain lands, steep slopes, erosion rates, and faulty septic systems (in portions of Middlesex County only), the need for stormwater control, buffer strips, and wildlife corridors linking existing natural areas.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff provide comments applicants and appropriate agencies for such things as plans of subdivision; severances; official plans; zoning bylaws; municipal drainage reports; and environmental assessments.