Rules in place on flood prevention
Farmers who want to prevent flooding of their fields will have to do their homework first, now that Maple Ridge council has adopted its flood plain fill policy.
The new rules approved July 24 require a landowner to get a hydraulic assessment of the property showing its current condition. The assessment is also to show how any work will impact the area and any proposed mitigation plans.
The rules also require that any proposed fill brought on to a property that alters the natural flow of overland drainage must also provide a model showing pre- and post-flood conditions.
According to a staff report, an existing bylaw is unclear because of the number of exemptions.
It also points out that within the Agricultural Land Reserve that a property owner doesn’t have to get district permission for changing elevation or constructing dikes.
Nevertheless, while the district can’t stop a farmer from bring soil on to his or her property, it can regulate its placement. Thus the district has the power to review fill applications.
The report says the district is facing increasing public pressures resulting from disputes between neighbours on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve. Without proper documentation, that could lead to standoffs between neighbours.
One area of contention has been farmland along 224th Street near the North Alouette River where some residents are afraid of the impact of soil deposits on a nearby property.