ARAC approves update to flood mapping for rural areas

OTTAWA – The Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee (ARAC) approved amendments to the zoning by-law that update flood plain mapping in the city’s rural areas yesterday (Oct. 3).

“The amendments would incorporate the latest information about where flooding is likely to happen,” city staff released in a statement. “Using the latest climate information and new data generated by the City, the Rideau Valley, Mississippi Valley and South Nation conservation authorities mapped the location of the 100-year flood plain.”

The city used a remote, aircraft-mounted sensing system that uses pulses of light to determine the elevation of the land. Results were then verified on the ground. A total of 2,463 parcels of land are affected, amounting to 6,331 hectares.

Additions to the flood-plain-designated areas include lands near waterways, such as the Ottawa River at Constance Bay, Shirley’s Brook, Watt’s Creek, Nichols Creek, Flowing Creek, Kings Creek, Poole Creek, Carp River, Stevens Creek, Becketts Creek, South Bear Brook, Middle Castor River, Buckles Creek and Ebbers Creek.

Lands within the flood plain are not to be developed, according to the Provincial Policy Statement and to City planning policies, including the Official Plan.

The Planning committee will consider amendments in the city’s urban areas on Thursday, Oct. 10. City Council will then consider all flood plain mapping amendments on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

The committee also received a report on updated hydrogeological guidelines that will ensure a consistent approach for approvals of proposed development on private wells. The guidelines would help ensure drinking water is safe for residents.

The committee approved the appointment of two engineers to study drainage issues in the rural areas. Those studies could result in municipal drain projects to reduce the chance of flooding on farmland.