Streamside Development Permit Areas

The City’s Official Community Plan and associated bylaws establish Development Permit Areas for Streamside Protection and Enhancement. The City's approach to streamside protection has been designed to meet Provincial regulations to protect fish habitat in an urban environment, while providing certainty for home owners and developers.

The purpose of the Streamside Protection DPA is to ensure that development does not negatively impact watercourse environments and, where such impacts are unavoidable, to ensure that development does not result in a net loss of productive fish habitat.


Riparian Areas

Riparian areas are the zones of vegetated habitat adjacent to a watercourse. They provide shade, nutrients, woody debris and other natural features and functions that provide habitat for fish. Naturally functioning riparian habitat is essential for ensuring healthy fish populations and it is an important component of a sustainable community.


Fish-bearing Streams in the City

The City of North Vancouver is fortunate to have some of the few remaining salmon bearing streams in Metro Vancouver. Mackay Creek on the western City/District boundary supports populations of coho salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead, and historically also had significant numbers of pink and chum salmon. Mosquito Creek and its tributaries Thain, Wagg and Mission Creeks provide habitat for coho, cutthroat, and steelhead. Keith Creek, which flows through the northeast portion of the City, has resident populations of cutthroat trout, but also supports coho and steelhead near it's confluence with Lynn Creek in the District of North Vancouver. Lynn Creek, on the eastern City/District boundary, is home to coho, chum, chinook and pink salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden char.


Federal and Provincial Regulations

The Province of British Columbia has enacted legislation to protect fish habitat from residential, commercial and industrial development throughout the Lower Mainland. Since 2006, local governments have been required to use their powers under Part 26 of the Local Government Act to protect fish habitat from development and to respond to the Provincial Riparian Area Regulations and the City's Development Permits for Streamside Protection and Enhancement address these requirements of provincial legislation. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has provided its support for the City's approach. Links to relevant federal and provincial websites are listed below.


Development Permits for Streamside Protection and Enhancement

This process requires that a property owner with property located within the Development Permit Area for Streamside Protection and Enhancement apply for a Development Permit before proceeding with any new development within the setback area.

Please refer to this map to confirm whether your property falls within the Streamside Protection and Enhancement. The Streamside Protection and Enhancement area is defined as the area within 15m (50 feet) of the top of bank of a watercourse or within 10m (33 feet) of the top of a ravine bank (see diagram above). Properties located within this area are required to apply for a Development Permit before starting any 'development'. These activities include any construction, paving, use of pavers, the removal of soil, vegetation or trees.

Please note that the regular maintenance of existing buildings and landscaping in the Streamside Protection and Enhancement area is permitted. These types of regular maintenance activities, and those conducted outside of the Streamside Protection and Enhancement area do not require a Development Permit.

Please refer to the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Development Permit Guidelines for more information including definitions, submission requirements, fees and approval processes. A Development Permit must be approved before a Building Permit can be issued.

Please contact staff if you are unsure if a Development Permit is required.

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.




Contact Info

Angela Negenman
Environmental Technician
Tel: 604-982-3932
Email: anegenman@cnv.org

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