The City of Nanaimo protects watercourse riparian areas using two regulatory mechanisms. Section 6.3 of the City of Nanaimo Zoning Bylaw prohibits the development or the alteration of a leave strip of predetermined width depending on the size and type of watercourse.
The leave strip is the protected riparian area land adjacent to the sea or on each side of the watercourse. Watercourses and their leave strips are designated as Development Permit Areas for environmental protection under Development Permit Area 1 – Watercourses in the Official Community Plan.
Disturbance of vegetation, movement of soil, or other disturbance of land or water is not permitted in these areas without a development permit issued in accordance with the guidelines in Development Permit Area 1. (Note that the City’s OCP is currently undergoing a comprehensive review.)