January 31, 2023


Two separate appeals brought before the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) in response to decisions by Quinte Conservation (QC) to deny permits for development, have been dismissed by the Tribunal. On June 10, 2022, the OLT dismissed an appeal from an appellant regarding QC’s refusal to issue a permit for almost 1200 sq. ft. of permanent structures located within the flood hazard of the Bay of Quinte. Following this, on January 9, 2023, the OLT dismissed an appeal from an appellant regarding QC’s refusal to issue a permit for construction of a single-family dwelling on a vacant lot located in the flood hazard of Lake Ontario and a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW).

Under the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA) and O.Reg 319, QC is responsible for reviewing and assessing applications for development around shorelines, wetlands, watercourses and steep slopes. In order to minimize risk to people and properties, setbacks are required from these features and new development is not permitted in a flood, erosion or dynamic beach hazard, collectively referred to as natural hazards. Applications for development that are submitted to QC that cannot meet the setbacks and restrictions may be recommended for denial by staff. These decisions can be appealed by the applicant at a hearing before the QC Hearing Committee, and their decision can then be further appealed to the OLT by the applicant.

The OLT found the first application for development in the flood hazard would not comply with O.Reg 319/09 as it failed to demonstrate that the construction will have no effect on the control of flooding, erosion, pollution, conservation of land. The Tribunal also determined that the sections within the QC Policy Manual, which was created for the purpose of guiding and enacting the powers of the Conservation Authority under the CAA and O.Reg. 319/09, could not be met. The Tribunal further found that the application is not consistent with Section 3.1-Natural Hazards of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), which generally directs development away from Natural Hazards.

The OLT found the second application for development in the flood hazard and within the setback of a PSW would not comply with O.Reg 319/09 as there was no evidence provided to demonstrate that there would be no impact on conservation of land, and that sections of the QC Policy Manual, specifically those surrounding development adjacent to wetlands, could not be met. Further, the Tribunal found that there was no evidence provided that the mitigation measures proposed by the applicant would be effective. The Tribunal also determined that the application is not consistent with Sections 2.1 – Natural Heritage, 2.2- Water and 3.1- Natural Hazards of the PPS as the appellant failed to demonstrate that the proposed development would have no negative impacts on the natural features of the wetlands or on their ecological functions).

The Tribunal dismissed both appeals which reinforces the work and decision making of QC Regulatory staff to protect the watershed and residents from natural hazards as well as protecting critical ecological Natural Heritage features.

The Ontario Lands Tribunal was established in June 2021 after the amalgamation of five land tribunals. The purpose of the Land Tribunal is to hear and decide appeals and matters related to land use planning, environmental and natural features and heritage protection, land valuation, land compensation, municipal finance, and related matters. The file dismissed in June 2022 was the first appeal heard by the new Tribunal.
Quinte Conservation’s core mandate includes flood mitigation and protection of people and property from natural hazard risks. As such, the QC Permits and Planning Department works with homeowners, municipal staff, and developers to ensure that any development around environmental features align with the regulation and the Provincial Policy Statement.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at


For more information contact:
Paul McCoy, Planning and Regulations Manager
(613) 968-3434 ext. 108