At the July 11, 2022 Council meeting, Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3796, 2022 was given third reading and adopted. The Amendment Bylaw adds Great Blue Heron Nest Trees to the Bald Eagle Nest Tree Development Permit Area and improves the guidelines.

Project History

November 2021: The City held two virtual meetings and an online survey to gather feedback on proposed amendments to two Development Permit Areas in the Official Community Plan (Hazard Conditions for steep slopes, and Great Blue Heron nest trees).

March 2022: A virtual Engagement session took place.

April 2022: The proposed amendments were provided to First Nations for their consideration.

May 2022: The City’s Environmental Advisory Committee reviewed and endorsed the proposed amendments arising from the 2022 engagement process. Please refer to the SUMMARY OF KEY CHANGES. Council provided first and second reading to the OCP Amendment Bylaw and directed staff to schedule a Public Hearing.

June 2022: A Public Hearing was held for the updated Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw.

July 2022: Council provided third reading and adopted the Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw.  

Summary of Key Changes

Development
Permit Section
Rationale for Revision Original Version followed
by Revised Version 

5 General Environmental Development Permit Area

General Exemptions  3) Environmental Restoration
 Environmental restoration and clean up may require the use of heavy equipment (soil movement, grading and significant garbage removal are a few examples) and this comes with additional risk. As such, professional oversight is required

No original version

New section added:

If heavy equipment is necessary for the restoration, a detailed environmental management plan prepared by a Qualified Environmental Professional to the satisfaction of the City is required

5 General Environmental Development Permit Area

General Exemptions  4) Preliminary Geotechnical Investigation
Geotechnical investigations are often needed to inform technical reports required for Development Permit submission. Currently, these works regularly occur without any oversight by a Qualified Environmental Professional in sensitive habitat zones. The proposed wording would require professional oversight.  No original version

New section added:

Initial geotechnical investigation and evaluation in steep slope and environmentally sensitive development permit areas is exempt from the Development Permit process provided that the works are overseen by a Qualified Environmental Professional under the guidance of an Environmental Management Plan and to the satisfaction of the City
6 Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron Nest Tree Development Permit Area
Exemptions
Some older heron nest records, especially from non-City sources, have insufficient data and it may not be possible to determine the specific species of tree or the specific property where the nesting occurred

No original version

New section added:

A development permit is not required if a QEP certifies in writing that there is insufficient information for an historic Great Blue Heron nest tree to be located  

6 Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron Nest Tree Development Permit Area

Development Permit Guidelines 2) xi)

 Qualified Environmental Professionals must be given the authority to stop work if they observe that environmental regulations are not being adhered to

Original version:

Clarify that the Qualified Environmental Professional must take written notes and the monitor has the power to stop construction activity if nesting is disrupted by development activities

New section added (to end of the original sentence above:

or if the construction activity contravenes local, provincial or federal environmental regulations

FAQs - Updated May 2022

FAQs - Proposed amendments-OCP-Great Blue Heron Nest Trees

  • Q: How are Great Blue Heron and Bald Eagle nest trees defined?

  • Q: How are Great Blue Heron and Bald Eagle nest trees regulated?

  • Q: How do I find out if my property is near a Great Blue Heron or Bald Eagle nest tree?

  • Q: Why is the City proposing updates to the regulations and adding Great Blue Heron nest trees?

  • Q: What are the changes being proposed?

  • Q: Do the proposed changes secure future, recruitment nest tree habitat?

  • Q: What activities trigger the Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron Nest Tree Development Permit process?

  • Q: What is the process if I want to restore habitat in a Bald Eagle or Great Blue Heron Nest Tree Development Permit Area?

  • Q: What should I do if I think I might need a Development Permit?

  • Q: How do I comment on, or ask questions about, the proposed changes?

  • Q: How are residents being informed about the proposed changes?

  • Q: How much does a Development Permit cost?

  • Q: How do I apply for a Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron Nest Tree Development Permit?

  • Q: Are there any consequences to disregarding the Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron Nest Tree Development Permit Area guidelines and exemptions?

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