The county is advancing a new bylaw to protect natural shorelines within 30 metres of the high-water mark.
Council received a report on the new bylaw during its April 26 meeting.
The bylaw incorporates the existing Shoreline Tree Preservation Bylaw plus regulations for protecting native species.
Staff said in a report the goals of the bylaw are to prevent further natural shoreline loss and increase ecological health.
“The benefits of having the by-law in place at the County include consistency of regulation across the County and consistency in shoreline development/ protection review and enforcement,” director of planning Charsley White said in a report.
The proposed bylaw would also regulate site alteration within 30 metres of the shore. Coun.
Carol Moffatt said she has received questions about what options people would have to modify existing structures within that range.
White replied people would be required to provide staff with a plan to ensure development is not disruptive.
“What we want to help control is the degradation of the shoreline,” White said. “Making sure it’s done in a natural way.”
Coun. Andrea Roberts said she expects most people will comply.
“It’s not a big administrative cash grab for everybody. We’re just trying to say these are the guidelines,” she said.
Council decided not to add any regulations on pesticides and fertilizers within the bylaw. There is also no prohibition on activities on shorelines, all of which were considered earlier in the process.
Council also voted to direct staff to speak to lower-tier councils and seek resolutions of support.
Public consultations are expected to take place between June and August. The county has budgeted $50,000 for implementing, review and enforcement of the bylaw this year, with an estimated cost of $120,000 annually after that.
Coun. Cec Ryall said the bylaw is a starting point.
“It’s not the perfect solution. It’s not the end,” Ryall said. “It’s the beginning of a revolutionary program that’s going to keep going.”