Environmental Watercourse Mapping

Development applicants have three methods for and determining Streamside Protection and Enhancement Area (SPEA) setbacks from watercourses for fish habitat into the City’s Zoning Bylaw through the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) (PDF):

  • Hire a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) to determine the SPEA under the RAR Detailed Assessment Methodology
  • Consult a map provided by the City showing the RAR Simple Assessment Methodology SPEA
  • Get a federal Fisheries Act authorization

Streamside Protection and Enhancement Area Layers

Please review the user notes and a disclaimer before using the RAR SPEA map layers. Layers showing the Simple Assessment Methodology SPEA setback (and associated layers) are available on QtheMap including:

  • SPEA: The SPEA setback, as determined by using the watershed-level RAR Simple Assessment Methodology, and being either 15 metres or 30 metres wide, as measured from top-of-bank or top-of-ravine bank.
  • RAA: The Riparian Assessment Area, a 30 metre-wide zone as measured from top-of-bank or top-of-ravine bank that defines the area next to a watercourse where the RAR applies (although it also includes the ravine portion).
  • Ravines: These are steep-sided valleys that form part of the SPEA setback.
  • Watercourse Fish Presence: This layer indicates the fish-presence colour-coding based on the RAR Simple Assessment Methodology classification of watercourse fish presence and permanence (colour coding explained in legend).
  • DPAThe Development Permit Area refers to the 50 metre-wide Watercourse Protection Development Permit Area. It is not associated with the RAR but was developed along with the RAR SPEA mapping project. It applies to Northeast Coquitlam only.

Usinge RAR Simple Assessment Methodology SPEA Layers

Compared to the RAR Detailed Assessment Methodology, where a QEP is retained to determine the SPEA, an applicant using the RAR Simple Assessment Methodology SPEA layers would:

  • Simply read off the setback, judging by whether the SPEA completely (30 metres) or halfway (15 metres) fills the RAA zone. 
  • Hire a BC Land Surveyor to accurately survey the top-of-bank or top-of-ravine bank (a step that is part of the RAR Detailed Assessment Methodology process as well)
  • Buffer the appropriate setback width off this location

The SPEA map layers are updated on a ongoing basis, as new watercourse survey information and aerial photography becomes available.

User notes and a disclaimer should also be reviewed prior to using the RAR SPEA map layers.