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RAR – Riparian Areas Regulation

Riparian areas are the vegetated borders of stream and lakes. Riparian vegetation provides high value habitat for birds and animals, and is very important for the health of freshwater fisheries. In much of BC we protect riparian habitat with the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR).

Where does RAR apply?

If a proposed development is within 30 meters of stream a RAR assessment may be necessary to ensure that this critical habitat is not lost or damaged. Under RAR a stream can refer to a watercourse (even if dry), pond, lake, river, creek, brook, ditch, spring, or wetland. RAR is not applicable in all areas of BC. Following is a list of areas where RAR is used: Capital Region, Central Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap, Comox-Strathcona, Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver (except the city of Vancouver), Nanaimo, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Powell River, Squamish-Lillooet, Sunshine Coast, Thompson-Nicola, Trust area under the Islands Trust Act

When does RAR apply?

As mentioned, RAR applies to development projects on properties within 30 m of a stream. Development can refer to; changes to the vegetation, soil work, construction, flood protection, road or trail construction, installation of a dock or bridge, maintenance of sewer and water services, installation of drainage systems or utility corridors, and subdivision.

Who should I call?

RAR assessments are performed by Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs). Sage Environmental‘s QEPs will assist you in determining the location and value of the habitat and the  setback (SPEA) for the riparian area. Our QEPs will provide measures to protect the SPEA, prevent damages to the habitat by the proposed development and help you through the permitting process.