Environmentally Sensitive Area Development Permits

Frequently Asked Questions - Wasa ESA Development Permit Area Guidelines

The Wasa and Area Official Community Plan (OCP) was adopted in April 2014. The proposed Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) development permit guidelines are proposed as an update to the existing Wasa and Area Official Community Plan.  Below you will find the ‘Important Links’ heading, which has links to the draft ESA guidelines and documents that are related to the context and implementation of the draft ESA development permit guidelines.

Important Links:

What is a Development Permit Area?

A development permit is a land use management tool that ensures proposed developments comply with objectives and policies in an Official Community Plan. The Local Government Act establishes what development permits can be used for.  In the case of environmentally sensitive areas, the purpose of the development permit is protection of the natural environment, its ecosystems and biological diversity.

What is an Environmentally Sensitive Area?

It is an area that because of its unique characteristics plays a critical role in supporting productive and diverse plant and animal populations.

When would a development permit for environmentally sensitive areas be required?

The proposed development permit area has three triggers which would require a landowner to apply for a development permit:

1. Subdivision of land creating one or more vacant parcels when any portion of the parcel under application is located within an environmentally sensitive area;
2. Construction, addition or alteration of a building, structure or fencing within an environmentally sensitive area; or
3. Alteration of land, including removal of vegetation or site grading within an environmentally sensitive area.

There are sixteen possible exemptions to requiring a development permit that may apply.  The following activities are examples of when a development permit is not required:

Internal alterations to buildings and structures;
Reconstruction, renovation or repair of buildings or structures which increase the development footprint by less than 25%;
Yard maintenance such as mowing lawns, trimming trees and bushes;
Normal farm practices;
Drilling a drinking water well or installing a septic system (this exemption doesn’t apply in wetland or riparian ecosystems).

Are the Wasa Lake and Cameron Pond shorelines affected by the proposed  Environmentally Sensitive Area Development Permit Area?

No. The Wasa and Area OCP already includes a development permit area for Wasa Lake and Cameron Pond Shoreline. The proposed environmentally sensitive area mapping does not identify lands on the Wasa Lake Shoreline or Cameron Pond, with the exception of Wasa Lake Park on the west side of the lake.

If there is a development permit area located on my property how will that affect:

If construction, addition or alternations to a building, structure or fencing is proposed within an environmentally sensitive area, you will be required to apply for a development permit. You will not require a development permit for interior renovations or alterations or exterior renovations or additions which increase the buildings footprint by less than 25%.

When the parcel under application contains an environmentally sensitive area, a development permit will be required if one or more new vacant parcels is being created. If the application solely involves a parcel line adjustment and no part of the new parcel line is within an environmentally sensitive area, a development permit is not required.

Normal agricultural practices, as defined in the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act or designated as farm use within the Agricultural Land Commission Act and Regulations, do not require an environmentally sensitive area development permit.


Last edited: Thu, June 29, 2017 - 3:08:07