The Conservation Authorities Act enables Conservation Authorities to undertake programs to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources throughout the watershed. A significant component of this work is the protection of public health and safety and minimizing property damage from risk associated with natural hazards.
Conservation Ontario, on behalf of Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, has a memorandum of understanding with the Ministries of Natural Resources and Forestry and Municipal Affairs and Housing whereby Conservation Authorities have delegated responsibilities for the management of natural hazards (floodplains, hazardous slopes, unstable soils and erosion). In keeping with this responsibility, RVCA provides comments to our municipalities on Planning Act applications and other development related applications from several perspectives; watershed based resource management, planning advisory service, technical advisory service and regulatory responsibilities. RVCA provides planning and technical advice to assist our municipalities in fulfilling their responsibilities as defined in their official plans and the Provincial Policy Statement with respect to water resources, natural hazards and, where requested to do so, natural heritage features. We also assist our municipalities and landowners with the coordination of planning and regulatory requirements under the “Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation (Ontario Regulation 174/06).
Planning applications circulated to the RVCA typically include:
- Official plans and official plan amendments
- Zoning by-laws and zoning by-law amendments
- Plans of subdivision and condominium
- Site plan control
- Applications for consent (severances and lot line adjustments)
- Minor variances
- Lifting of reserves
- Part lot control
Development related reviews undertaken by the RVCA also includes proposals under the:
- Environmental Assessment Act and equivalent process under the Planning Act
- Aggregate Resources Act
- Ontario Water Resources Act
The planning services RVCA provides are defined in memorandums of agreement with the City of Ottawa and our upper tier counties (County of Lanark, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville). The agreements are joint agreements between RVCA, the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, South Nation Conservation Authority and the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority where a municipality’s boundary includes more than one Conservation Authority’s watershed. There have been changes to related legislation and other memorandums with senior levels of government since these agreements were formalized and some sections are no longer applicable. In particular, memorandums of agreement between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and RVCA are no longer in place.
Memorandums of agreement: