Ville de Gatineau
Interim provisions for the management of flood-prone areas, shorelines and littoral zones
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Interim provisions for the management of flood-prone areas, shorelines and littoral zones
Interim provisions for the management of flood-prone areas, shorelines and littoral zones

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In July 2019, the Government of Quebec passed a decree declaring a special intervention zone (ZIS) to promote better management of flood-prone areas. This decree imposes a moratorium on the construction of buildings in flood-prone areas and those that have already been flooded, and on the reconstruction of buildings destroyed by flooding.

On March 1, 2022, the provisions of the decree will be replaced by new ones passed by the Government of Quebec under the Environment Quality Act. These are interim provisions, which will be replaced as soon as the new flood area maps and regulations are passed by Quebec.

Interim provisions

The interim provisions recognize two flood areas to which special conditions apply:

  • 0 to 20-year recurrence areas (high-velocity); and
  • 20 to 100-year recurrence areas (low-velocity). These areas include those that were flooded in 2019 and were not previously included in the flood-prone area maps.

Projects carried out in 0 to 20-year recurrence areas (high-velocity) or 20 to 100-year recurrence areas (low velocity area) are subject to land use constraints and authorizations.

Flood areas

To find out whether your property is located in a 0 to 20-year or a 20 to 100-year recurrence area, consult the Ville de Gatineau Atlas and:

  • enter the address or lot number in the space indicated as “Rechercher une adresse” and check “Aménagement du territoire”; and
  • check “Zones de récurrence de grand et faible courant”.

Applicable authorizations and standards in flood-prone areas

Quebec's interim provisions require that Ville de Gatineau issue a municipal consent for any construction, reconstruction or extension of a residential building and its accessory buildings located in a flood-prone area.

This requirement is in addition, where applicable, to the requirement to obtain a building permit or a certificate of authorization.

In the following, for easier reading:

  • we use the expression 0 to 20-year area for high-velocity areas, and 20 to 100-year area for low-velocity areas;
  • flood-prone areas include the 0 to 20-year and the 20 to 100-year areas; and
  • a residential building includes any building with at least one dwelling, and may also include commercial or service portions.

To facilitate the process of obtaining a municipal consent or building permit, Ville de Gatineau offers the option of applying online.

Do you have a question about land use? Click here to request information from Service de l'urbanisme et du développement durable.

Questions and answers

The following are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

These are an adaptation of the interim provisions and have no legal value. Additional provisions may apply.

For all flood-prone areas

Can I do renovations, repairs or maintenance on a residential building located in a flood-prone area?

  • Yes, as long as the renovations, repairs or maintenance do not constitute a substantial modification.
  • No municipal consent is required under the interim provisions.
  • A building permit is required for any renovation, repair or maintenance if the cost of labour and materials is more than $10,000 before taxes.
  • No building permit is required for painting.

Can I install an above-ground pool or a spa in a flood-prone area?

  • Yes, you can install an above-ground pool or a spa in a flood-prone area, subject to certain conditions.
  • You cannot install an inground or semi-inground pool or spa that sits on a foundation or requires excavation work in a flood-prone area.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • A building permit is required to build, install, replace or modify a pool or a spa, a diving board, an enclosure (fence or wall), or a platform or terrace opening onto a pool.

Can I install an accessory building such as a shed in a flood-prone area?

  • Yes, as long as the cabana or shed is an accessory building without a foundation or anchors.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • No building permit is required for an accessory building without a foundation or anchors.

Can I install a permanent protection or reinforcement wall in a flood-prone area?

  • No, you are not allowed to install a permanent protection or reinforcement wall.

Can I cut and fill in a flood-prone area?

  • No, cutting and filling are strictly prohibited in a water environment or wetland.
  • Protecting a principal building with fill is also prohibited. However, in the case of an existing building, if it is not possible to comply with the authorized protection measures, fill may be possible if it is deemed by a professional to be the only appropriate protection measure.

For 0 to 20-year areas

My property is a vacant lot entirely situated in a 0 to 20-year area. Can I build a new residential building on it?

  • No. No new residential buildings may be built in 0 to 20-year areas.

Can I rebuild a residential building (existing building to be demolished and replaced by a new building) in a 0 to 20-year area?

  • A residential building may be rebuilt in a 0 to 20-year area if the damage resulted from a flood and is less than half (50%) of the cost of the new building.
  • A residential building may be rebuilt in a 0 to 20-year area if the damage resulted from something other than a flood, for instance a fire.
  • If the reconstruction is authorized, the new building must have the same dimensions and be in the same location as the original building.
  • The building must have the proper reinforcements. The use of fill as a reinforcement measure is prohibited unless a professional attests that it is the only appropriate measure.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • A certificate of authorization is required for any demolition, and a building permit is also required.

Can I add an extension to a residential building located in a 0 to 20-year area?

  • Yes, you can add an extension to a residential building located in a 0 to 20-year area as long as the following conditions are met:
    • The extension is for living accommodations or an essential part of the building;
    • The extension must be at least 30 cm higher than the 100-year recurring flood line; and
    • The extension does not extend into the flood-prone area.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • A building permit is required.

For 20 to 100-year areas

My property is a vacant lot entirely situated in a 20 to 100-year area. Can I build a new residential building on it?

  • Yes, you can build a new residential building as long as the following conditions are met: 
    • No fill has been added to the property without the necessary authorizations;
    • The property did not become vacant as a result of a flood (i.e. no more than one year has elapsed since any demolition, and no construction work has started);
    • The building is to be built on a lot that is:
      • situated within the urbanization perimeter delimited in the revised land use and development plan and in the urban land use plan;
      • serviced by water supply and sewer systems;
      • situated between two lots that each have a principal building; and
      • not a result of the subdivision of a lot after June 23, 2021.
  • The building must have the proper reinforcements.
  • The use of fill as a reinforcement measure is prohibited unless a professional attests that it is the only appropriate measure.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • A building permit is required.

For a property situated partly in a 0 to 20-year area and partly in a 20 to 100-year area

My property is a vacant lot situated partly in a 0 to 20-year area and partly in a 20 to 100-year area. Can I build a new residential building on it?

  • Yes, but only on the part in the 20 to 100-year area, and as long as the following conditions are met: 
    • No fill has been added to the property without the necessary authorizations;
    • The property did not become vacant as a result of a flood (i.e. no more than one year has elapsed since any demolition, and no construction work has started);
    • The building is to be built on a lot that is:
      • situated within the urbanization perimeter delimited in the revised land use and development plan and in the urban land use plan;
      • serviced by water supply and sewer systems;
      • situated between two lots that each have a principal building; and
      • not a result of the subdivision of a lot after June 23, 2021.
  • No part of the residential building may be situated in the part of the property that is situated in the 0 to 20-year area.
  • The building must have the proper reinforcements.
    • The use of fill as a reinforcement measure is prohibited unless a professional attests that it is the only appropriate measure.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • A building permit is required.

For a property situated within the Jacques-Cartier heritage site

Is it possible to rebuild a residential building (existing building to be demolished and replaced by a new building) situated within the Jacques-Cartier heritage site after it has been damaged in a flood?

  • Yes, a building situated in 0 to 20-year and 20 to 100-year areas within the Jacques-Cartier heritage site can be rebuilt.
  • Yes, if authorized by Ville de Gatineau pursuant to the by-law on the Jacques-Cartier heritage site (such authorization requires a recommendation from the local heritage council and approval by the Municipal Council, as well as a decision by the Comité sur les demandes de démolition).
  • The building must have the proper reinforcement measures except if a professional signs a notice indicating that these measures would be contrary to the building's heritage interests and proposing equivalent protection of persons and property.
  • Municipal consent is required.
  • A certificate of authorization is required for any demolition, and a building permit is also required.

Important!

The construction of a commercial, industrial or institutional building in a flood-prone area is subject to provincial authorization by the ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.

Such authorization is a necessary condition for the issuance of a building permit by Ville de Gatineau.

A provincial or municipal consent does not take precedence over the requirement to comply with the applicable urban planning by-laws and the requirement to obtain a building permit from Ville de Gatineau, as applicable.

Applying for municipal consent

Simply fill out the form entitled Demande d'autorisation municipale-milieux hydriques.

Required information and documents:

  • Lot number where the work is to be done;
  • Name and coordinates of the property owner and the latter's representative, as applicable;
  • Identification of the type of work to be done on the property;
  • Implementation plan for the projected work, including the outlines of the water environment or wetland on the lot in question and the surface area of the work in each affected water environment;
  • Declaration by the property owner or the latter's representative attesting to the compliance of the work with the Regulation respecting activities in wetlands, bodies of water and sensitive areas(RAMHHS) and the Regulation respecting the regulatory scheme applying to activities on the basis of their environmental impact (REAFIE); and
  • Declaration by the property owner or the latter's representative indicating that all of the information and documents provided are complete and accurate.

*Additional information and documents may be required.

Confirmation of receipt of your application and tracking number
You will receive a confirmation of receipt and a tracking number as soon as your online application for municipal consent is received.

Save the tracking number to follow the progress of your online application.

To follow and view the status of your application, click on “Suivi” and enter the number.

Review of the application
Your application will be reviewed by staff. Throughout the review, you will receive messages confirming the change in status of your application.

When a building permit or certificate of authorization is required
After receiving the required information and documents, someone from Service de l'urbanisme will contact you and invite you to apply for a building permit or a certificate of authorization, if required. Additional information or documents may be requested.

Issuance of the municipal consent and the building permit or certificate of authorization, as required
Once your application's review has been completed, and if all requirements are met, your municipal consent and building permit or certificate of authorization (if necessary) will be emailed to you. The building permit and certificate of authorization will be issued once all applicable fees have been paid.

Processing timelines
As soon as the requested information and documents have been submitted, duly completed and without errors, Ville de Gatineau will begin reviewing the application for municipal consent as quickly as possible, which will depend on the number of applications being processed. The application will be approved or denied accordingly.

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About Gatineau

Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 291,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.

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