The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority comments on applications circulated under the Planning Act with regard to natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. GRCA has commenting responsibility for natural hazards by the Province of Ontario. GRCA also provides comments to our Municipal partners on matters including natural heritage, stormwater management and hydrogeology.

Planning Act applications
Please contact your local municipality to apply for any of the following planning activities:

  • Minor Variance
  • Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Consent/Severance
  • Site Plan Approval
  • Official Plan Amendment
  • Plan of Subdivision or Condominium

Your municipality will circulate your application to GRCA planning staff for comments as required.

Fees for Plan Review
There is a fee for all Planning Act reviews. This fee is separate from any subsequent required permit fee.
Our review fees are based on the type of application circulated. The Municipality or GRCA may contact you for the appropriate fee.  
GRCA fee can be paid by credit card over the phone or cheque.

GRCA Fee Schedule

Additional information
If you would like to know more about the Regulated Area and our role in protecting people and the environment visit the Apply For A Permit page.
You can learn more about our plan review Process and Policies.
If you would like to speak directly to staff please visit the Contact Us page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does GRCA review my planning application?

Under the Planning Act, all Conservation Authorities are considered “public bodies” and must be given the opportunity to comment on applications and documents prescribed under the Act. All Conservation Authorities have been delegated the responsibility from the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to represent the provincial interest on matters related to Natural Hazards. GRCA reviews all Planning Act applications with regard to Section 3.1 (Natural Hazards) of the Provincial Policy Statement.

What does GRCA comment on?

GRCA provides comments on Section 3.1 (Natural Hazards) of the Provincial Policy Statement. GRCA will give advice and technical input regarding Natural Heritage (eg. woodlands and wetlands), Stormwater Management and Hydrogeology. GRCA advises if the application will require a permit from the Authority.

How does GRCA provide comments on Natural Heritage features to the Municipality?

Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority reviews each application we receive to ensure that environmental features are not harmed by the proposed development.

Natural heritage features considered include:

  • Wetlands
  • Watercourses
  • Shorelines
  • Fish habitat
  • Significant woodlands
  • Species at risk habitat
  • Areas of natural and scientific interest (ANSI's)

If a Subject Property contains a Natural heritage feature, it may be subject to an Environmental Impact Study. Under the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990 and in accordance with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) (2020) municipalities can request an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to help guide recommendations for applications for development within or adjacent to natural heritage features. In addition, under the Conservation Authorities Act Ontario Regulation 168/06, Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses, GRCA can request an EIS to aid informed decision-making as it applies to permit applications within or adjacent to a wetland or watercourse.

An EIS is a study that is to be completed by a qualified biologist to assess the existing conditions and how they may be impacted by the proposed development. In most cases, an EIS will consist of detailed literature review, field investigations, such as breeding bird surveys, amphibian surveys, vegetation surveys, etc., as well as modelling. All of the collected information will help to determine the impacts the development will have on the natural heritage features and mitigations that will protect and enhance the ecological function of the feature during and post-development.

Does GRCA approve my planning application?

No. GRCA provides comments to the Municipality. The Municipality or applicable planning agency provides final approval.

Can I speak to someone at GRCA?

It is recommended that if you have any questions, to speak with GRCA Planning staff. Please contact us by phone or e-mail. GRCA Planning staff: Ken Thajer… Joanne May…