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General News · 17th November 2010
Cathy Squires
What is the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR)?
The RAR was enacted in accordance with the Fish Protection Act of British Columbia in July 2004 and implemented on March 31, 2005. The purpose of the RAR is to improve the protection of fish habitat by protecting the features, functions and conditions associated with the natural maintenance of stream health and productivity. The RAR focuses on streams supporting fish habitat where a ‘stream’ is defined as any watercourse that provides fish habitat and may include ponds, lakes, rivers, creeks and brooks as well as ditches, springs and wetlands that are connected by surface flow to such watercourses. The intent of the Regulation is to provide a ‘riparian assessment area’ around the stream defined as any area within 30.0 metres of a stream supporting fish habitat. A Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) conducts an assessment to ensure that development does not create harmful alteration, destruction or disruption (HADD) of natural features, functions and conditions that support fish life processes. On the basis of the riparian area assessment, the QEP can determine the extent of the required setback for development which is also referred to as ‘streamside protection and enhancement area’ (SPEA).

What is the Strathcona Regional District doing about RAR?
To comply with RAR, the Strathcona Regional District has drafted a proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment, “Bylaw No. 86, Cortes Island Zoning Bylaw, 2002, Amendment No. 24” to implement the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) on Cortes Island. This bylaw proposes to protect riparian areas by including references to the RAR and incorporating the triggers of the regulation and the requirements for residential, commercial or industrial development within 30.0 metres of a stream that supports fish habitat.

How may Bylaw No. 86 affect you?
The adoption of Bylaw No. 86 would require that residential, commercial and industrial development within 30.0 metres of a stream supporting fish habitat retain an RAR assessment by a QEP that determines a setback or streamside protection and enhancement area and that is submitted to the Ministry of Environment (MoE). The SRD is prohibited from authorizing development within a riparian assessment area until notification by MoE is received that an assessment report by a QEP has been filed addressing the proposed development activity.

Public hearings to consider Bylaw No. 86, in addition to both Bylaw No. 85, “Quadra Island Zoning Bylaw, 1990, Amendment No. 98 and Bylaw No. 88, “Desolation Sound Rural Land Use Bylaw, 1993, Amendment No. 9”, are scheduled as follows:

Date of Public Hearings: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Location of Public Hearings: Quadra Island Community Hall, 970 West Road, Quadra Island, BC
First Public Hearing to Commence at:7:00 p.m.
(subsequent public hearings for Bylaw No’s 85 and 88 to immediately follow)

To review copies of the proposed bylaws and to obtain additional information on the public hearing and requirements for submissions please visit the Strathcona Regional District website at www.strathconard.ca.

Inquiries should be directed to:

Aniko Nelson, Lead Planner
Strathcona Regional District
301 – 990 Cedar Street, Campbell River BC V9W 7Z8
Tel: 250-830-6700 1-877-830-2990
Fax: 250-830-6710
Web: www.strathconard.ca
Email: planningstrathconard.ca