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Buffers are Better

Shoreline Development By-Law Amendments

Effective February 1, 2022, The City of Greater Sudbury’s Zoning By-law 2010-100Z was amended as follows:

Shoreline Buffer Area:

  • A shoreline buffer area of 20.0 metres deep is to be maintained in a naturally vegetated self-sustaining state adjacent to a lake or river. This includes natural rock formations, but does not include lawn.

  • A portion of the shoreline buffer area, however, can be cleared of natural vegetation. On a residential lot, a maximum of 25% of the shoreline buffer not exceeding an area of 276 m2 or 23 metres in length along the shoreline may be cleared.

  • Gazebos, boathouses, docks, decks, stairs, water  pumps and saunas are allowed within the shoreline buffer area.

Development on a Waterfront Lot outside the Shoreline Buffer Area

  • The setback for any new structures or additions or reconstruction (e.g., dwelling units, garages, sheds) will increase to 30.0 metres from the current 12.0 metres from the normal high-water mark of a lake or river on the property.

  • The setback of septic systems, including leaching beds, will increase to 30.0 metres from the current 15.0 metres. from a lake or river.

The Zoning By-law does have provisions pertaining to non-complying lots, buildings and structures. The by-law sets out instances where a minor variance may be required to facilitate the development. In evaluating an application for minor variance, the City will consider constraints such as limited size or depth of the property, topographic constraints, etc., when making its decision.

Shorelines are the interface of land and water and are particularly important in maintaining water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. The intent of the  above Zoning By-law amendment is to strengthen the management and protection of our City of Lakes surface water quality.

The original City of Greater Sudbury’s Zoning By-law 2010-100Z came into effect September 29, 2010 to establish and regulate land use by implementing the policies of the City’s Official Plan and providing the City with legally enforceable means of regulating land use, scale and intensity of development. Phase 1 of the City of Greater Sudbury’s current Official Plan Review included updating the policies in Section 8 related to water resources.  To implement the policies of the Official Plan, the Zoning By-law was reviewed, specifically section 4.41 (Waterbodies-Water frontage, setbacks and buffers).Two on-line public information sessions were held on June 15 and 16, 2021 to review the proposed changes. The amendments were approved on August 17, 202.

More information can be found at CGS Shoreline Development site:

Learn More

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