Watercourse Development Permit (WDP) Area

The Regional District has implemented development permit areas adjacent to watercourses which have fish or are connected to watercourses with fish and, in some cases, isolated wetlands that may be very important for other plants and animals or as a recharge area for groundwater.

WDP areas are assessed based on the Provincial Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) and relate to commercial, industrial or residential development only. A property owner is responsible to secure the assistance of a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) to determine what the setback from the watercourse should be.

The QEP will be responsible to file the report with the province of BC, monitor the project and report on the completion. Once the report is filed with the province, the property owner may apply for a WDP using the assessment report as supporting documentation.

WPDs are used to minimize the impact of development on the natural environment and generally apply to areas and activities on privately held lands outside of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).  WDPs are required prior to any disturbance of land or vegetation and it is best to contact Regional District staff as early in your planning as possible.

Authority to approve WDP applications has been delegated by the Regional District Board to staff.  The DP process requires an application fee, completed application form and an Riparian Area Assessment (RAA) completed by a qualified environmental professional (QEP) and filed with the province.

For more general information, view our WDP Brochure.

To complete an application, please fill out the Development Permit Application Form.

If you are wondering who a QEP is and what they do, view our Qualified Environmental Professionals Brochure.