Development in and near floodplains is governed by the Floodplain Management Bylaw. The main purpose of the bylaw is to establish minimum flood construction levels and setbacks for buildings and structures in order to protect them from flood hazards.
Provincial Flood Hazard Land Use Management Guidelines
On January 1, 2018 the provincial government amended the Flood Hazard Land Use Management guidelines “provincial floodplain guidelines” to include sea level rise into the determination of building setbacks and flood construction levels in coastal areas. When a local government creates or updates a floodplain bylaw, it must consider the provincial floodplain guidelines.
Floodplain Management Bylaw Review
The Planning and Development Services Department is embarking on a review of the Floodplain Management Bylaw to make interim changes to ensure consistency with the amended provincial floodplain guidelines. Through the building permit authority (Section 56 of the Community Charter) and professional engineering practices, a property owner is already required to be consistent with the amended provincial floodplain guidelines. The purpose of updating the floodplain management bylaw is to provide clarity to land owners and developers on floodplain requirements in coastal areas.
The floodplain bylaw will require approval from the CVRD Board of Directors. The Local Government Act does not require public consultation for regulatory bylaws. The updates to the bylaw are technical in nature and will be modelled after the provincial floodplain guidelines, which limits the ability to make adjustments based on public feedback.
Project Next Steps
- Staff are preparing changes to the Floodplain Management Bylaw to take into account the amended provincial floodplain guidelines
- Staff will present the changes to the Electoral Areas Services Committee
The CVRD has secured a $500,000 grant through the National Disaster Mitigation Program for coastal flood mapping. The mapping is expected to be complete by March 2020. More information about the coastal flood mapping project can be found here. Once the mapping is available, it is anticipated that public consultation will be undertaken to discuss strategies to mitigate coastal flood risk in the CVRD.