Buying Real Estate: A Guide to Building and Developing on the Lot within the Oak Street Canal Flood Plain

Do you have plans to build on a lot within the Oak Street canal flood plain? If so, you must acquire a permit for any proposed development as pertaining to the Conservation Authorities Act. Permits must be acquired under any of the following conditions after buying real estate in this area:

  • The construction, reconstruction, erection, or placement of a building of any type.
  • Making changes to any building or structure that would affect or alter its potential use.
  • Increasing the size of a building or increasing the number of units within the structure.
  • Grading any site along the flood plain.
  • Permanently or temporarily placing, dumping, or removing any material that originated on the site.

When you propose the addition, demolition of, or rebuilding of a building within the Oak Street canal flood plain, you must also adhere to a minor addition policy. Structures that fall under this policy include any additions that do not increase the number of dwelling units within the building or any addition that does not include a basement.

Ground floor additions that account for 50% or less of the original habitable ground floor area or additional storeys that do not exceed the original habitable ground floor area also fall under the minor addition policy.

Development or Redevelopment
If you want to develop or redevelop on the Oak Street canal area after buying real estate here, you may be limited due to the natural hazard features present. Any proposed building should be completely reviewed by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) staff during the permit process. Depending on the proposal, more information may be required, and NVCA may need additional reports, studies, and information to make a final decision.

Purchasing a Property
When someone plans on buying real estate in the Oak Street canal area, we suggest submitting an application as the “applicant/agent” along with the consent of the current owner. If approved, the permit then would be granted to the new owner. This will allow ample time for NVCA’s staff to provide feedback on the proposed development before the applicant fully purchases the property.

We also encourage you to consult with the Town of Collingwood Planning and Building department staff to go over any zoning restrictions, which may apply to the specific parcel and zoning approval. If you’d like help or clarification  on any of this, or if you’d like to fill out a permit application, the Chris Keleher Team has you covered. We’re happy to help!

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