What is the TRCA responsible for?
The main objectives of Ontario Regulation 166/06 are to ensure public safety and protect property with respect to natural hazards and to safeguard watershed health by preventing pollution and destruction of sensitive environmental areas such as wetlands, shorelines and watercourses. – See more at: http://www.trca.on.ca/planning-services-permits/regulation-and-policy-development.dot#sthash.62Yf50dc.dpuf.
Their function seems just and reasonable. As homeowner we don’t want to damage the environment we live.
In an area that has not been developed their role in crucial. However in a mature area with existing construction (infield building) could they be more flexible?
In our particular case a Natural Heritage study was requested. This costs about $5000.00 and adds about 2 months to the entire process. It was not made apparent at the pre-SPA process that this was a requirement.
What is a Natural Heritage Study?
The authority to request this study is provided by the Planning Act, the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement and the 2006 Toronto Official Plan.
The Provincial Policy Statement specifies that natural heritage features and areas shall be protected for the long term and that the diversity and connectivity of natural features and the long-term ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems should be maintained, restored or where possible, improved.
The Toronto Official Plan environmental policies recognize the importance of protecting, restoring and enhancing the natural ecosystem which includes the natural heritage system. Policy 3.4.10 states that development is generally not permitted in the natural heritage system. Where the underlying land use designation provides for development in or near the natural heritage system, development will recognize natural heritage values and potential impacts on the natural ecosystem as much as possible; and minimize adverse impacts and, when possible, restore and enhance the natural heritage system.
The turn around on our process of getting approvals through TRCA was less than 2 weeks. However all our documents are submitted to the city first then onto TRCA. A 2 week turnaround is reasonable, but the city seems to add a lot of overhead.
In our case we live in a developed area. We are just renovating. We are not making any changes to the land or surrounding area.
What do you think?