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Riverbanks, shorelines and wetlands

Riverbanks shrubs for 2015 (Download the pdf)

MRC 2014 Report - Riverbanks

 

CHAPTER 17 PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Section 1 Provision governing the protection of shorelines and littoral zones

1 Waterways subject to provisions

The provisions governing the protection of shorelines and littoral zones apply to all intermittent or constant watercourses, including those which have been created or altered by human intervention, except:

  1. Public thoroughfare
  2. Party ditch as defined in article 1002 of the Civil Code of Quebec
  3. Drainage ditch which satisfies the following requirements;
    1. Used only for draining and irrigation;
    2. Exists only due to human intervention;
    3. The basin surface area of which is less than 100 hectares;

The portion of a watercourse which is used as a ditch is also considered a watercourse under this bylaw.

2 Provisions governing lakeshores and riverbanks

All structures, undertakings and works are prohibited on lakeshores and riverbanks, except for :

  1. the maintenance, repair and demolition of existing structures and undertakings used for purposes other than municipal, commercial, industrial, public or public access purposes;
  2. structures, undertakings and works for municipal, commercial, industrial, public or public access purposes, including their maintenance, repair and demolition, if an authorization must be obtained under the Environment Quality Act;
  3. the construction or enlargement of a main building for purposes other than municipal, commercial, industrial, public or public access purposes, provided that:
    1. the size of the lot does not allow for the construction or enlargement of the main building once the buffer strip has been established, and the construction or enlargement cannot reasonably take place elsewhere on the land;
    2. the lot was subdivided before the coming into force of the first applicable municipal by-law that prohibits construction on the lakeshore or riverbank;
    3. the lot is not located in a high-risk erosion or landslide area identified in the land use planning and development plan ;
    4. a buffer strip of a minimum of five metres is maintained in its current state, or preferably returned to its former natural state.
  4. the construction or erection of a subordinate structure or an appurtenance such as a garage, shed or pool is possible on the part of a lakeshore or riverbank that is no longer in its natural state, provided that;
    1. the size of the lot does not allow for the construction or erection of the subordinate structure or appurtenance once the buffer strip has been established;
    2. the lot was subdivided before the coming into force of the first applicable municipal by-law that prohibits construction on the lakeshore or riverbank;
    3. its former natural state;
    4. the subordinate structure or appurtenance is sited without excavation or fill.
  5. the following vegetation-related undertakings and works;
    1. forest management activities subject to the Forest Act and its regulations;
    2. sanitation cutting;
    3. harvesting of 50 % of stems 10 centimetres or more in diameter, provided that at least 50 % of the forest cover is maintained in private woodlots used for forestry or agricultural purposes;
    4. felling required for an authorized structure or undertaking;
    5. felling required to create a 5-metre-wide access to a body of water whose shore or bank has a slope of less than 30 %;
    6. pruning and trimming required to create a 5-metre-wide view window if the slope of the lakeshore or riverbank is greater than 30 %, or to create a trail or stairs giving access to the body of water;
    7. for the purpose of restoring permanent and sustainable vegetation cover, the seeding or planting of plants, trees or shrubs, and the related work involved;
    8. all methods used to harvest herbaceous vegetation if the slope of the lakeshore or riverbank is less than 30 %, and only on the top of the bank if the slope is greater than 30%;
  6. cultivation of soil for agricultural purposes provided that a strip of vegetation at least 3 metres wide, measured from the high-water mark, is preserved and, where there is a bank and the top of the bank is less than 3 metres from the high-water mark, provided that the width of the strip of vegetation to be preserved is a minimum of 1 metre wide at the top of the bank;
  7. the following undertakings and works;
    1. installation of fencing;
    2. installation or creation of outlets for sub-surface and surface drainage systems and pumping stations;
    3. creation of water crossings for fording, culverts and bridges and the related access roads;
    4. aquaculture facilities;
    5. septic installations that conform to the regulation concerning waste water disposal systems for isolated dwellings made under the Environment Quality Act;
    6. where the slope, soil type and site conditions prevent the restoration of vegetation cover and the return of a lakeshore or riverbank to its natural state, undertakings or works to stabilize the soil using vegetation or mechanical means such as riprap, gabions or retaining walls. Preference should be given to the technique most likely to promote the eventual establishment of natural plant growth;
    7. private wells;
    8. reconstruction or widening of an existing road, including farm and forest roads;
    9. undertakings and works required for the structures, undertakings and works authorized in littoral zones under this by-law;
    10. forest management activities subject to the Forest Act and its regulation pertaining to standards of forest management for forests in the domain of the State.

3 Provisions governing littoral zones

All structures, undertakings and works are prohibited in littoral zones, except for:

  1. wharves, shelters or docks on pilings or made of floating platforms;
  2. creation of water crossings for fording, culverts and bridges;
  3. aquaculture facilities;
  4. water intakes;
  5. creation for agricultural purposes of inlet or diversion channels for the catchment of water in cases where an authorization must be obtained under the Environment Quality Act for the creation of such canals;
  6. encroachment on the littoral zone that is required for works authorized on the lakeshores or riverbanks;
  7. cleanup and maintenance in watercourses, without disturbing the bed, carried out by a municipal authority pursuant to the powers and duties assigned to them by law;
  8. structures, undertakings and works for municipal, commercial, industrial, public or public access purposes, including their maintenance, repair and demolition, for which an authorization must be obtained under the Environment Quality Act (R.S.Q., c. Q-2), the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife (R.S.Q., c. C-61.1), the Watercourses Act (R.S.Q., c. R-13) or any other statute;
  9. maintenance, repair and demolition of existing structures and works that are not used for municipal, industrial, commercial, public or public access purposes.

Section 2 Provisions governing natural constraints

1. Provisions governing an ecological conservation zone

The provision of this article apply to an ecological conservation zone identified in the zoning plan found in appendix “B”

Within the ecological conservation zone the following undertakings, structures and works are prohibited:

  1. New roads
  2. New sewer networks;
  3. New septic tanks and leeching fields;
  4. New principal and accessory buildings, except for farm buildings on land already being farmed;
  5. Fill and excavation operations;
  6. Construction of new major networks;
  7. Tree felling except for partial removal up to 30% of stems of 10 cm or more, from November 1 to April 1.

In cases where a situation threatens public or the environment’s security, certain works are permitted and must comply whit the requirement under the Environment Quality Act and its regulations.
In cases where work is needed to allow the drainage of farmland located in an ecological conservation zone, draining work can be performed. This work, however, must cause as little damage to wildlife and the plant life as possible.

2. Provisions governing wetlands

The provision of this article apply to a wetland zone identified in the zoning plan found in appendix “B”

The following are prohibited in wetland zones:

  1. All structures and non-flood proofed works;
  2. Fill and excavation works other than those required to flood proof authorized structures and works.

The following authorized works must comply with the following flood proofing standards:

  1. no opening (window, base window, door, garage, etc.) may be lower than the 100 year flood elevation;
  2. no ground floor is allowed at a level that is lower than the level of the 100 year flood elevation;
  3. no concrete block foundation (or its equivalent) may be lower than the 100 year flood elevation;
  4. drains must have a non-return valve;
  5. for any structure or part of a structure built below the 100 year flood level, a study must show the structure’s resistance to flooding and must include calculations relating to:
    1. waterproof;
    2. structural stability;
    3. reinforcement necessary;
    4. seepage water pumping capacity;
    5. resistance of the concrete to compression and tension;
  6. The filling of land should be restricted to protecting the area immediately around the structure or undertaking concerned and should not extend to entire landsite.

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