HCA Regulation & Permits
Click the link below to visit HCA's Regulated Area Map Tool:
Quick facts on HCA Development, Interference with Wetlands, and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation 161/06
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.
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 your property is regulated, you will require written approval from the Conservation Authority before proceeding with any of the following projects:
- Site grading, temporary or permanent placing, dumping or removal of any material originating on the site or elsewhere (including disposal of unwanted material)
- Construction, reconstruction, erection or placing of a building or structure of any kind (including additions, accessory structures or replacement of existing buildings, installation of swimming pools, decks, retaining walls, etc.)
- Any change to a building or structure that would have the effect of altering the use or potential use of the building or structure, increasing the size of the building or structure or increasing the number of dwelling units in the building or structure
- Alteration of a watercourse (including channelizations, retaining walls, revetments, bridges, culverts, docks, erosion protection measures). NOTE: alteration means to straighten, change, divert or interfere in any way.
If you are unsure whether the regulation applies to your property, please contact the Conservation Authority to view maps and discuss your situation.
Darren Kenny, Watershed Officer
905-525-2181 ext. 131
Please note that changes to the Federal Fisheries Act effective November 25, 2013 have changed Conservation Authorities' responsibilities under the Act. For a fact sheet on these changes, please click here.
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.
If you are unsure whether or not your property falls within a HCA Regulated Area, or whether your proposal requires an HCA permit, you are encouraged to contact our office for information and guidance.
Helpful Links and Documents
- Map your property
- General Permit Application
- Lake Ontario Shoreline Permit Application
- 2019 Planning and Regulation Fee Schedule
- HCA Regulation 161/06
- Erosion and Sediment Control Guideline for Urban Construction
- HCA Planning and Regulation Policies and Guidelines
- Policies and Procedures for Plan Review and Permitting Activities
- Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Hamilton and HCA
- Agricultural Guide to Conservation Authority Regulation