aerial view of wetland

On July 4, 2022, Cataraqui Conservation began a public consultation process seeking feedback on proposed updates to the regulatory guidelines (‘Guidelines’) for implementing Ontario Regulation 148/06: Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses.

Over the past two weeks, staff have received public feedback and noted some confusion regarding these Guidelines and the review process. With this in mind, staff are offering further clarification of the process for all stakeholders within the watershed community.

For the last few years, Cataraqui Conservation has experienced a high volume of applications for in-water development activity (i.e., boat houses, docks, shoreline work) where applicants have needed clarification on interpreting the Guidelines and how they apply to property-specific challenges. In some cases, this has resulted in incomplete applications and delays in issuing permits.

To better serve the community and support the permit process, Cataraqui Conservation staff undertake a review of the Guidelines on a five-year cycle. The 2022 updates include proposed solutions to improve interpretation of the existing Guidelines, clarifications for how they will be applied, and minor changes to in-water work guidelines. The intended result is to have a more consistent application of the Guidelines, expedite permit processing, and streamline the process for the public and Cataraqui Conservation.

This consultation process is an opportunity to engage the watershed community directly. Therefore, staff have invited members of the public and a wide range of stakeholders, including our member municipalities, to submit comments and concerns on the recommended draft updates and improvements. The intent is a collaborative process to identify challenges, clarify expectations, and to further streamline reviews to make the process more effective and efficient for all.

Cataraqui Conservation’s planning and permitting team applies a solutions-based approach to implementing the Guidelines. Staff work collaboratively with the public to meet the needs of property owners, while also protecting people and property from the impacts of natural hazards; especially as these hazards become more frequent and damaging during extreme weather events.

The current public comment period closes on July 29, 2022. Once staff have reviewed comments from the July consultation period, a virtual, moderated engagement session will be hosted to facilitate further discussion. The online session will review the proposed updates and provide an overview of the input received from the public. At this session, staff will be available to answer and address specific concerns raised during the commenting period. The feedback received will be assessed and considered for revisions to the draft updates. This meeting will be scheduled in late August or early September. Details regarding the meeting will be advertised in advance and notice circulated to anyone who has provided feedback.

Please visit the Cataraqui Conservation website to view the public consultation page and comment form, Staff have also created a Regulation Update FAQ page to help clarify the intent of the updates.

Cataraqui Conservation staff and the Full Authority Board wish to thank those who have provided feedback thus far, and to those who will offer feedback until July 29th. We look forward to an ongoing, constructive discussion with all stakeholders and, a permit review process that works for everyone.