Lake-Regulation re Shoreline Improvements

Rules and Regulations Regarding Shoreline Improvements

Planning to make any changes or improvements to your shoreline?

Please Check With The L.S.R.C.A. First!!!

This past summer a few lake shore owners ran into issues by performing shore line work without permits. The MLRA has held discussions with the L.S.R.C.A. (Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority) concerning these resident difficulties. The LSRCA was asked for a clarification of the rules and regulations regarding shoreline improvements.

Mr. Brian Kemp, Director-Conservation Lands and their Planning and Regulations team have put together an excellent factual primer on the reason for the regulation “Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses-Ontario Regulation 179/06”, how to apply for permits, and other FAQ’s.

If you are anticipating making any changes to your shoreline please read very carefully before proceeding. We don’t want you to proceed on an unapproved plan that may result in fines and/or the reversal of the hard work that you did, costing you even more money.

We might add that Mr. Brian Kemp and Councillor Phil Bannon were two of the key drivers in the execution of the Musselman’s Lake Stewardship Plan. Councillor Bannon has attended numerous meeting between the LSRCA and the residents and has been extremely helpful in mediating equitable solutions to residents’ issues. Mr. Brian Kemp has been extremely helpful to the MLRA. with explaining the policies and procedures of the LSRCA. He also serves as a terrific link and ‘voice of reason” between the MLRA and the LSRCA which is a valuable resource for us to have to open up clear lines of communications and dialogue.

Thank-you to both gentlemen for caring so much about our Lake and the Residents.

How To Comply With The “Development, Interference With Wetlands And Alterations To Shorelines And Watercourses-Ontario Regulation 179/06″

Why is the Regulation important?

All regions of Ontario have experienced flooding, erosion and slope failures. These are naturally occurring physical processes that have been continuously shaping and reshaping the earth for thousands of years. These processes represent a “hazard” when people and structures are located within areas directly impacted by these naturally occurring processes.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) administers a regulation made under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act known as the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation (Ontario Regulation 179/06). This regulation replaced the LSRCA’s Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways Regulation (Ontario Regulation 623/94) on May 4, 2006.

This regulation allows the LSRCA to ensure that development proposals have regard for natural hazard features in order to:

  • prevent loss of life;
  •  minimize property damage and social disruptions;
  •  reduce public and private expenditures related to emergency operations, evacuations and restoration;
  •  minimize the hazards associated with development in floodplains and areas which are susceptible to erosion, which in future years may require expensive protective measures.

When do I need to contact the LSRCA?

If you are planning to do any work near a lake, river, stream, steep slope or wetland, you may require approval from the LSRCA.

If you are unsure if this Regulation will affect your property, please contact LSRCA’s Administrative Office and ask to speak with one of their Environmental Planners. The LSRCA has maps that show the location of areas where permits are needed. These maps can be viewed at the Administration Office, the LSRCA website ( and at your local municipal office.

What activities or projects require a permit under the Regulation?
The following work requires permission in a regulated area:

  •  the construction, reconstruction, erection or placing of a building or structure of any kind;
  •   changes that would alter the use, or potential use, of a building or structure;
  •   increasing the size of a building or structure, or increasing the number of dwelling units in the building or structure;
  •   site grading;
  •   the temporary or permanent placing, dumping or removal of any material originating on the site or elsewhere;
  •   the straightening, changing or diverting or interfering with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream or watercourse; or
  •   changing or interfering with a wetland.

How do I apply for a permit?

Application forms can be obtained by contacting LSRCA’s Administration Office or can be downloaded from our website ( The business hours for the Administration Office are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Is there a fee?

Yes. Information about fees can be found on LSRCA’s website.
The processing fee must accompany the application form when it is submitted. LSRCA accepts cash, cheque and Visa.
Processing fees are nonrefundable.

Can I meet with LSRCA staff to discuss my proposal?

LSRCA staff would be pleased to meet with you. Please drop by their Customer Service Counter to discuss your proposal with staff.
Telephone and fax numbers are as follows:
Tel – 905 895-1281 or 1 800 465-0437
Fax – 905 853-5881

How does the application process work?

Once your application is received, LSRCA staff review the proposal to determine if the site for the proposed work is within an area which would be affected by flooding, erosion, unstable soils or dynamic beaches. This typically requires a site visit to the property. Additional information such as technical studies may be required, in order to proceed with the review of your proposal.

What if I am not the owner of the property?

If you are applying for a permit on behalf of the property owner, please submit the Landowner Authorization Form (included in the Application Package) and submit it with the completed application form.

How long is a permit valid?

Permits are valid for a maximum period of two years and cannot be renewed.

How long does the process take?

Generally, applications are processed within 30 days. This can vary depending upon the time of year and with the complexity of an application. Requests for additional information needed to process an application will result in longer processing times.

What happens if you don’t call?

Failure to obtain a permit is a violation of the Conservation Authorities Act. Conviction can result in fines up to $10,000.00.

You may also be required to restore and rehabilitate the site to its original condition.

Are other permits also needed?

Approval from the LSRCA does not replace the need to obtain other permits. You should also contact agencies such as MNR, MOE and your local municipality.

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