Land Use Regulations

Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses:
Regulation 161/06 under Ontario Regulation 97/04

Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses:
Regulation 161/06 under Ontario Regulation 97/04

Applications for permits under the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation 161/06 under Ontario Regulation 97/04

How does it affect you?

If you have a stream on your property or if your lot backs onto a ravine, wetland, steep slope or the Hamilton Harbour/Lake Ontario, you are probably affected. Construction and development in these areas are regulated to control changes to watercourses, floodplains, wetlands and steep slopes, in order to prevent flooding and erosion problems. They are also in place to conserve the environment and its associated natural features. A copy of the complete regulation is available from the HCA main office.

How do you know if your property is affected by this Regulation?

The types of land affected include:

  • Ravines, valleys, sections of the Niagara Escarpment and other steep slopes
  • Wetlands, including swamps, marshes, bogs, fens and ponds
  • Any river, creek, stream, flood plain or Dundas Valley land
  • Hamilton Harbour and Lake Ontario Shoreline
  • Adjacent lands to the above natural features

If you are unsure whether the regulation applies to your property, please contact the Conservation Authority to view maps and discuss your situation. Please contact:

Darren Kenny, Watershed Officer
905-525-2181 ext. 131

What does it mean if your property is located in a regulated area?

If your property is regulated, you will require written approval from the Conservation Authority before proceeding with any of the following projects:

  • Placing, removing or grading or re-grading or re-contouring fill of any kind from any source, including disposal of unwanted material.
  • Constructing any building or structure, including additions or replacement of existing buildings, installation of swimming pools, bridges, docks, retaining walls, etc.
  • Altering a watercourse (Definitions: alter is defined as to straighten, shorten, change, divert or interfere; waterway is defined as any river, lake, creek, stream, watercourse or wetland under the jurisdiction of the Hamilton Conservation Authority.)

How do you apply for a permit?

  • Call us. Application forms are available from our administrative office in Ancaster, or by e-mailing us. The application is also available here.
  • Submit your completed application form, accompanied by detailed drawings showing your proposal to the Watershed Planning and Engineering Division. Contact HCA staff before submitting your application in order to discuss your project.
  • All applications must be received at the Conservation Authority's administrative office at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled meeting. Applications are considered by the¬†Board of Directors¬†at meetings scheduled for the first Thursday of each month.
  • Once your application is received, Authority staff review it. They then inspect the property and discuss the proposal with you. Staff then prepare a report, with a recommendation, which is presented to the Board of Directors. Applications are approved on monthly basis by the Board of Directors. Process time is five days to four weeks depending on the time the permit application is received and complexity of the application.

Is there anything else you should know?

Development - or alteration of a watercourse or shoreline - within a regulated area without a Conservation Authority permit may result in prosecution under the Conservation Authorities Act. It is important to note that a permit from the Conservation Authority does not replace building permits or any other permits issued through municipal offices or other government agencies. By the same token, a municipal building permit does not replace the one required from the Conservation Authority.