September 9, 2013
Alberta allowing some developments in floodways
The Alberta government is allowing the municipalities of Fort McMurray and Drumheller to continue the construction of new developments in floodways, despite flooding in June.
“This excites me to no end that we actually have the ability to make such a motion,” said Fort McMurray mayor Melissa Blake.
“We have received recognition from the province of our unique circumstances here and the creative solutions we can put in place.”
The Municipality of Wood Buffalo passed a land use bylaw amendment on Aug. 27, which aims to reduce flood losses and minimize flood damages in Fort McMurray and the Clearwater/Athabasca River flood plain.
According to a report presented to Wood Buffalo council on Aug. 27, the proposed bylaw amendment will ensure new habitable development is located above the 1 in a 100 year flood level and new non-habitable development below 1:100 year flood elevation will have adequate flood protection measures.
The bylaw is a response to the flooding of the Hangingstone and Clearwater Rivers, which began on June 11 and caused significant damage to public infrastructure, private property and natural areas.
As a result of floods across Alberta in June, the provincial government intends to pass legislation later in 2013 that prohibits any habitable development below 1 in a 100 year flood elevation in flood plain areas.
The floodway area in Fort McMurray is based on the danger of an ice jam event, a waterway blockage that leads to regional flooding, rather than the open water flooding events more typical in other communities.
The Town of Drumheller also has development policies in place through its land use bylaw that restricts development in flood risk areas.
The town will work with the province to finalize an approved development zone that would allow development in certain areas, providing adequate mitigation measures are put in place.
“Having developed in a floodway for decades, these municipalities face unique situations that require unique solutions, said Doug Griffiths, minister of municipal affairs.
“We need to put measures in place to protect the community, but it would be fiscally unreasonable to move entire urban areas or not to allow for future development. This decision ensures the best outcomes for everyone.”
The two communities, both of which are largely located in floodways, will be required to ensure appropriate mitigation measures are in place to protect against a 1 in a 100 year flood event. In addition, homeowners will not be eligible for relocation compensation.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 340 projects with a total value of $17,600,387,682 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Tuesday.
$12,000,000,000 Hardisty AB Prebid
$3,200,000,000 Province of Alberta AB Prebid
$120,000,000 Tsawwassen BC Negotiated
- Vandals cause nearly $250,000 in water damage
- Construction cut back in latest B.C. budget update
- Alberta and Manitoba led the pack for labour productivity
- Feds infrastructure commitment re-affirmed
- Infrastructure impacted by climate change
- West End Residential rises
- Changing procurement impacts felt
- Aurora LNG files export bid
- New Brunswick premier touts pipeline jobs
- Concrete awards recognize Ontario’s best
- New changes will strengthen the culture
- Highway projects completed for 2013
- Lack of established areas driving up home prices
- Auto association pushes for dedicated funding
- New airport construction breaks ground
- U.S. manufacturing sector rising at a quick pace
- Oil projects help to lower deficit