Index of Policies and Bylaws

Rural Municipality of Three Lakes

Environmental Protection Objectives and Policies for Lakes and Watercourses

The following objectives and policies address the lakeshore residential concerns and issues.


A. To protect an adequate supply of surface and groundwater for the benefit of all residents and landowners.
B. To ensure that the lakes and watercourses in the RM are protected from erosion and pollution due to new excavations and unnecessary placement of fill.
C. To protect the shorelines of lakes and watercourses from encroachment by uses which may either interfere with natural drainage patterns or would be adversely affected by flooding.


A. In the Zoning Bylaw, Council may specify uses which will be subject to special regulations or list the prohibited, discretionary or permitted uses in order to protect environmentally sensitive land. Such land shall be identified on the Natural Constraints and the Zoning Map as Environmentally Sensitive. Developers of proposed uses which require large amounts of groundwater or which may impact the current groundwater supply of adjoining uses may be required by Council to provide a study to prove that the groundwater resource is adequate.

There are certain other areas near waste disposal sites, sewage lagoons, wetlands or gravel pits, for example which should not be developed due to hazards like potential pollution of water supplies, flooding or site instability.

B. The list of Environmentally Sensitive land in Section 10.5 and the details shown on the Maps referred to in Section 10.8 shall be used by Council in making decisions on proposed new developments near environmentally sensitive land. Council will also refer to the uses and regulations outlined for such land in the Zoning Bylaw.

C. Council also wants to prevent improper drainage due to new shoreline or upstream developments. When lands are subdivided, the municipality will encourage the dedication of public lands as environmental reserves, municipal or public reserves, Environmental Reserves are parcels of land containing ravines, coulees, swamps, drainage courses; land that is unstable or flood prone; or land beside a waterbody or watercourse that is required for preventing pollution, preserving banks or flood protection.

D. To ensure the protection of shoreline, all lands within 30 metres (100 feet) of the “bank” of the lake nor watercourse, unless another specific dimension is noted otherwise on the Zoning Map, will be zoned as Environmentally Sensitive Overlay (ES).

E. Council will permit all developments which manage, protect, preserve or enhance Environmentally Sensitive Areas by amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. Council will permit other developments, subject to conditions established in consultation with the MoE, the Canadian Wildlife Service or other appropriate authority as to whether the proposed development is assessed as not being harmful to the Environmentally Sensitive Area.

F. Where deemed necessary, Council may adopt regulations under the Act to protect endangered natural vegetation.

G. Development on lands prone to such hazards as flooding, erosion or slope instability shall be restricted by Council to those uses consistent with the nature of the hazard, and does not increase the degree of hazard. Council may require floodproofing, shoreline protection measures or detailed technical studies (e.g. to determine if the subject land is within a floodplain as defined in this Plan) to be undertaken by the Developer.

The foregoing Policies will also be considered in relation to SPI Nos. 6.2 (Biodiversity and Natural Ecosystems), 6.7 Public Safety and 6.12 (Shore Lands and Water Bodies).

H. Council, in conjunction with other jurisdictions will assist in the protection of known Heritage Sensitive Areas. In those cases, a referral of new development proposals to the Heritage Branch, will be required to assess the need for a Heritage Resource Impact Assessment.

The foregoing Policy will also be considered in relation to SPI No. 6.4 (Heritage and Culture).


A. Council will cooperate with senior levels of government, other municipalities and public and private agencies to secure the sustainable use of the municipality’s lakes and watercourses.

B. Implementation: The objectives and policies to encourage inter-governmental cooperation for lakes and watercourses may be implemented as advocacy policies which encourage inter-governmental cooperation and good land stewardship, and the establishment of a referral process for land use permits on Crown lands under the jurisdiction of Saskatchewan Environment.

C. Setbacks from, and Restrictions for Development in Flood prone Areas

C1. Development of Land in a Flood Plain

In this Plan and the Zoning Bylaw, the flood plain includes all land along lakes and watercourses lying below the 1:500 year Flood Plain. In many locations in the RM, the Floodprone areas mentioned above, may not have been accurately defined yet by accurate flow records or land surveys. At present, only four areas in the RM (the existing resort subdivisions on Lenore, Lucien, Shannon and Rhona Lakes) have ever had a defined “safe building elevation” shown on a Survey Plan. Pursuant to Section 4.2G above, the Council may require the prospective Developer of lakeshore areas to pay for such technical studies to locate the flood plain along a lake or watercourse.

No new residential, commercial, industrial development shall be allowed on any land which is shown as Floodway located in the ES Overlay area on the Natural Constraints Map and the Zoning Maps. Certain accessory uses to a Principal agricultural use (excluding an Intensive Livestock Operation) may be allowed as specified in the Zoning Bylaw.

C2. Development of Land in a Flood Fringe Area

Development in an ES Overlay area shall only be allowed if it is proposed on land which is above the Floodway and has been shown by a survey of the contours of the land to be located within the Flood Fringe areas as shown on the Zoning Map.

D. Setbacks from areas with Natural Constraints

The Natural Constraints Map will also be used to identify if there are safe building sites on certain vacant, flood prone land and if it could be developed with precautionary conditions( such as flood-proofing using imported fill or special flood-proofing construction methods. Based on the generalised areas shown with flooding or shoreline erosion problems on the Natural Constraints Map, Council intends to require the potential Developers of such land to “prove–up” the site suitability and also to calculate the financial impact (to both private and public sectors) of servicing the sites (with roads, potable water sources and sewage storage/collection lines etc.) as part of their application.

E. Until such detailed information is available to prove to the satisfaction of Council that the site is suitable for a proposed development, neither the Council nor the Development Officer (as the case may be) shall approve an application for development or rezoning if the land that is the subject of the application is situated within a flood prone area.

All development which is proposed in the ES Overlay area on the Zoning Maps, and which is above the 1:500 Design Flood Level, but which has been shown by a Hydrology Report to be in the flood fringe area due to Lot-specific conditions (i.e. erosion, or wave run-up) shall comply with any special floodproofing provisions which may either be further specified in the Zoning Bylaw, or added to any Discretionary Use which may be approved by Council.

The foregoing Policies will also be considered in relation to SPI Nos. 6.2 (Biodiversity and Natural Ecosystems), 6.7 (Public Safety), 6.8 (Public Works), 6.9 (Recreation and Tourism), 6.12 (Shore Lands and Water Bodies) and 6.14 (Transportation).

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