RAR - Protecting fish habitat where we already do

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News Editor

Tuesday, July 2 2013

Riparian Areas Regulation, or RAR, is quickly becoming a word dirtier in Gabriolan dictionaries than Bridge or Amenity Zoning.

To add insult to injury, our local government basically has to put this through, thanks to the typicaly downloading of duty that we have come to expect from our provincial government.

For those who don’t want to go through all the trouble of reading about RAR and the rules, here’s the basic.

If: a) your property is one of the 240 identified on the map on page 12 as being in the RAR development permit area; 

b) you wish to create ‘new’ development or add on to existing development within 30 meters of the body of water which causes your property to be in the RAR area;

c) you must hire a Qualified Environmental Professional to do an assessment which will be turned in to the Islands Trust as part of getting the Development Permit to do the desired development.

The real kick in the tender parts is for most of the northern portion of BC, there is no requirement to put RAR in place for local land use. If a Gabriolan wants to garden within 30m of a RAR stream, he/she has to spend almost $3,000 in permit work to possibly get approval to do so. But pipeline companies (hate ‘em or love ‘em) can cross well over 700 rivers and streams from Alberta to Kitimat and are exempt from any kind of RAR permit requirements. Now that’s funny enough to cry about.