Shoreline Buffer Regulations

Municipality of the District of Yarmouth Land Use By-law

6.31 Watercourse Buffer

6.31.1 For development in any zone an undisturbed buffer of 12.0 metres shall be maintained between any structure or developed portion of the lot and the ordinary high water mark of all watercourses. For greater clarity, buffers greater than 12.0 metres may be required in some zones (check zone standards).

6.31.2 Infilling or removal of material shall not be permitted within the watercourse buffer except for minimal disturbance incidental to a permitted undertaking.

6.31.3 In the watercourse buffer area, the natural flora and fauna shall remain substantially undisturbed except for penetrations for developments permitted by Subsection 6.31.5, below. Good ecological practices designed to minimize disturbance of natural shoreline areas shall be
encouraged for all activities and developments within the buffer and all developments on properties abutting watercourses in the Municipality.

6.31.4 On any lot subject to the requirements of Subsection 6.31.1, above, the required buffer supersedes any minimum setback requirement which may be less than the required buffer.

6.31.5 Notwithstanding Subsection 6.31.1, the following developments are permitted within the watercourse buffer area (subject to zone requirements for permitted uses):

(a) boathouses, fishing gear, sheds, docks, wharves, piers, and slipways;

b) boardwalks, walkways, and trails with a maximum width of 3.0 metres;

(c) pumphouses;

(d) scientific research structures;

(e) the removal of vegetation and alterations to grade necessary to erect erosion control and flood control measures above the ordinary high-water mark. Where excess
vegetation has been removed within the watercourse buffer area, natural vegetation shall be restored;

(f) the removal of windblown, diseased, or dead trees deemed to be hazardous or unsafe;

(g) the limbing of tree branches for improved view plane and ventilation;

(h) safety fences that do not exceed a height of 1.9 metres;

(i) public streets and public infrastructure; and

( j) development in the Marine Industrial Zone and Watershed Zone.

6.31.6 Notwithstanding Subsection 6.31.1, existing buildings located within a watercourse buffer may be reconstructed, renovated, repaired, moved, or replaced provided that the work does not increase the building’s footprint within the buffer or reduce the depth of the shoreline buffer and al other applicable requirements of this By-law are met.

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