Why do we need Riverbank Development Regulations now?
The proposed regulations provide options for owners to continue development within the area while maintaining the integrity of the riverbank.
How will this impact me?
Impacts will vary depending on what Zone your property is located in and what type of development you are planning. If you are planning on new improvements to your property, the first step is to consult a geotechnical engineer licensed to practice in the province of Saskatchewan and obtain a geotechnical report.
If you are not planning improvements, the new requirements will not impact you; they apply on a go forward basis.
When will the new regulations be implemented?
The regulations will be recommended to City Council for implementation following public engagement with stakeholders and property owners.
What is required in a geotechnical report?
A geotechnical report is a tool used to communicate the site conditions, along with design and construction recommendations to an owner, building designer and contractor. Through a site investigation, specific information related to the subsurface soil, rock and water conditions are obtained and evaluated by a geotechnical engineer who provides design and construction recommendations for a proposed development.
For more information, refer to the Geotechnical Report Guidelines.
How much do geotechnical reports cost?
Costs associated with geotechnical reports vary on the complexity of the site conditions and the proposed type of development.
Based on discussions with the design industry, average costs for a geotechnical report will be approximately $20,000 depending on the complexity of the proposed development.
What is slope instability?
Sloping ground can become unstable if the gravitational forces acting on the mass of soil exceed the shear strength of the slope available at the base and within it. If this occurs, the mass of soil will move downslope.
What causes slope instability?
Three key factors contribute to slope instability:
- Geology - weak soil composition and strength;
- Geometry - steep sloped; and
- Groundwater - high groundwater levels.
What is a Factor of Safety?
Factor of Safety (FoS) is the measurement of the degree of stability of a slope. It is the ratio of forces resisting landsliding to the forces causing landsliding. For a slope to be considered stable, it must have a FoS of greater than 1.0.
A FoS of 1.5 is commonly used for slopes that support new buildings and additions incorporating livable space or site changes that incorporate the use of retaining walls. A FoS of 1.3 may be used for slopes that support minor developments such as garages and decks.
Why is the east riverbank unstable and the west riverbank is not?
The geology, geometry and groundwater conditions are different on the west riverbank than the east riverbank. The differing geology on either side of the river is the most critical factor, with the west side experiencing ground conditions favourable to slope stability and the east side having unfavorable conditions.
What can I do to manage the effects of slope instability on my land?
- Consult a geotechnical engineer licensed to practice in the province of Saskatchewan before conducting any work on your property, including a deck, retaining wall, site grading or landscaping;
- Construction of retaining walls and removal of soil can have adverse effects on the stability of a slope;
- Follow the recommendations provided by the geotechnical engineer; and
- Ensure your property is graded to drain, extending downspouts away from foundations and minimizing irrigation.
What should I do if I think my land is experiencing slope instability?
Contact a geotechnical engineer licensed to practice in the province of Saskatchewan.
Can I expect my property or resale value to be impacted?
The City cannot predict how the regulations may or may not affect property values but the regulations will facilitate residents to make changes to their properties. By providing clarity, it is hoped that property values will not be impacted.