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Earthworks Laws/Permitting in Canada  RSS feed

 
Caleb Skinns
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Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
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Does anyone have experience with earthworks in Canada?

I'm specifically wondering about building large ponds and swales much like Geoff was talking about in this video.

I'm really hoping someone has already research this stuff as it will save me a ton of time.

Did you have any issues?
Are there areas in Canada that are better/more lenient than others?
If it's strict, are you better off asking forgiveness than permission?

Thanks
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I don't know anything about Canadian Provincial laws, but I would imagine that just like the state laws in U.S., they would vary a lot from prov. to prov. Here in the states, they can even vary from county to county, both in content, and enforcement (here in the wet, rainy west of Washington, the enforcement is much less than in the semi-arid east).

I do know of cases where individuals were allowed to go 'beyond' what the state allowed by getting permits from conservation agencies on the grounds that the project would benefit the local wildlife. At least here in the states, if the area involved is classified as a 'wetlands', it is almost impossible to get a permit for anything without first proving that it will benefit the habitat of the wetland.

A huge limitation in most of our western states, with their strict water rights laws, is anything that would affect the waters that 'belong' to somebody downstream.

Hopefully, somebody with experience in CA can point you towards your goals.

 
Caleb Skinns
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Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
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John Polk wrote:I don't know anything about Canadian Provincial laws, but I would imagine that just like the state laws in U.S., they would vary a lot from prov. to prov. Here in the states, they can even vary from county to county, both in content, and enforcement (here in the wet, rainy west of Washington, the enforcement is much less than in the semi-arid east).

I do know of cases where individuals were allowed to go 'beyond' what the state allowed by getting permits from conservation agencies on the grounds that the project would benefit the local wildlife. At least here in the states, if the area involved is classified as a 'wetlands', it is almost impossible to get a permit for anything without first proving that it will benefit the habitat of the wetland.

A huge limitation in most of our western states, with their strict water rights laws, is anything that would affect the waters that 'belong' to somebody downstream.

Hopefully, somebody with experience in CA can point you towards your goals.



Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought of using the conservation angle. I know that diverting water can be a huge no no here, but I'm wondering if the same amount of water leaves your property, is that a problem. Also, I'm wondering if I were to build a dam with no stream filling it, just rain water...well no creek I should say, if that would be a problem if it was connected to other ponds with swales and small streams or pipes like Sepp has...
 
Barry Fitzgerald
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Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
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Hi Cal,
The answers you are looking for will be found in your local and provincial laws. Here in Ontario, I would have to deal with Municipal Site Alteration Bylaws, The Ministry of Natural Resources and regional conservation authorities for the right to take more than 50,000 litres of water in a day(which could happen on a rainy day) plus source water protection for any run off or ground water. It also depend on who you are, a little guy with no political pull has a problem but a corporation with connections can do almost anything.
For the most part ,enforcement is complaint driven but if you bring attention to yourself you could be in for real big problems.
 
Cj Sloane
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There is another hitch I haven't heard anyone mention - insurance.
I did notice an addendum on my policy about man-made ponds not being covered. It made me wonder if they're seeing more earthworks.
 
Caleb Skinns
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Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
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Barry Fitzgerald wrote:Hi Cal,
The answers you are looking for will be found in your local and provincial laws. Here in Ontario, I would have to deal with Municipal Site Alteration Bylaws, The Ministry of Natural Resources and regional conservation authorities for the right to take more than 50,000 litres of water in a day(which could happen on a rainy day) plus source water protection for any run off or ground water. It also depend on who you are, a little guy with no political pull has a problem but a corporation with connections can do almost anything.
For the most part ,enforcement is complaint driven but if you bring attention to yourself you could be in for real big problems.


This is why I need to find land which isn't visible from the road.
 
Caleb Skinns
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Cj Verde wrote:There is another hitch I haven't heard anyone mention - insurance.
I did notice an addendum on my policy about man-made ponds not being covered. It made me wonder if they're seeing more earthworks.


I didn't know about that either. Thanks.
 
Cj Sloane
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Cal Skins wrote:
This is why I need to find land which isn't visible from the road.


I'm not visible from the road, but I'm not sure what good that does anymore. On googeEarth I can see my cows and electric fencing:
GoogleEarth shot></a>
 
Paul Ewing
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Location: Boyd, Texas
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Cj Verde wrote:
Cal Skins wrote:
This is why I need to find land which isn't visible from the road.


I'm not visible from the road, but I'm not sure what good that does anymore. On googeEarth I can see my cows and electric fencing:


Yeah in the US they are really stepping up the use of drones for checking on infractions and my local small county tax office uses Google Earth to find and measure improvements on properties so they can tax them. They found a hay barn in the back of our place this way even though it is 1500+ feet from the nearest road and behind a hill and trees.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Too bad one can not put a no trespassing sign in front of the google earth cameras. LOL. The crazy gall of the google thing was really apparent in Vancouver, Canada, where I saw on numerous occasions, google vehicles with a boom (like what would be used to lift a worker to the top of a power pole for servicing), and on the end of the boom was this round thing with dozens of cameras, and it extended up over ten foot hedges and photographed into people's back yards. If that's not invasion of privacy, I don't know what is? But somehow they get away with that, and upload all that into their satellite program so that you can get all the angles of the addresses. They must either have no conscience, or no concept of what freedom really is.

I would definately check on the laws, Cal, especially if you have any indication that the local authorities, municipal or provincial, are going to be a pain in the ass.
 
Len Ovens
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I am thinking that there are good words to use when you talk about earth works and bad words. I think "water" is generally a bad word, but "leveling" is a good word. "Terracing" as a land erosion control technique is good too. Providing drainage to the waters "natural course" is fine too. Erosion control requires slowing the water down... a by product of that is that it tends to stay in the land more. The mention of individuals vs. large corporations is not just money, they have lawyers who's sole job is to play with words and to make what the company wants to do sound good (thats all any lawyer does if you think about it). The individual can do the same thing. Water falling from the sky should not be talked about as a resource, but as a problem. Solutions to the problem should not create other problems. The individual needs to be very careful in defining these problems in words the powers like to hear. Adding a water feature is bad, putting a sough in so my cows have water is ok. (and most cow water holes are pretty ugly) The word "access" can be another word that can be used as it allows filling in small valleys where there appears to be no water or stream. This is not a dam, but a road... preferably unimproved, just enough to get the tractor across. Water may collect, thats the "problem" I call this water feature by incompetence.

 
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
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