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Regulations proposed to maintain property, riverbank slope integrity

For immediate release: October 29, 2019 - 10:59am
CY19-816

For the safety and protection of residents and homeowners on the east riverbank, new regulations are being proposed to support continued development of riverbank areas.  The City has identified two zones on the east bank with existing ground conditions that may experience slope instability to be regulated on a go-forward basis.  

“The regulations provide options for owners to continue development within the area while maintaining, to the extent possible, the integrity of the riverbank,” says Kara Fagnou, Director of Building Standards.  “Meanwhile the City continues to monitor the east and west riverbank slopes for slope instability.”  

Fagnou says historical studies, recent geological assessments and a review of slope management practices from across Canada have been used to develop the proposed regulations. The regulations she says are intended to provide consistency and a clear process to support development in the two zones. 

The proposed regulations are outlined in an Administration report to the Municipal Planning Commission which meets today, Tuesday, October 29.  The regulations provide a clear process for the development of new structures, changes to existing structures and site work.  Examples of development are minor projects such as decks and garages, and major projects including houses, retaining walls, and swimming pools.   

Owners will be required to hire a geotechnical engineer to prepare a geotechnical report to support their building and development permit application. Geotechnical reports are already required for subdividing and rezoning property on the east riverbank and the proposed regulations will help to make requirements consistent throughout the area.

Owners will need to review the recommendations with their geotechnical expert, including costs of development, to understand the impacts of developing their property both for themselves and for the surrounding area.  

Following the Municipal Planning Commission meeting the regulations are expected to proceed to the Public Hearing meeting of City Council on November 18.

A map of the Riverbank Slope Overlay District can be viewed here.

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