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Thread: Building a cabin on a floodplain?

  1. #1
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    Default Building a cabin on a floodplain?

    Hi Everyone, Sorry if this thread is in the wrong section. I was wondering if anyone out there has come across this situation and may be able to offer opinion.
    I bought a waterfront lot with a 18' x 28' one story cabin that sits in the floodplain of our local conservation authority. This building is considered a non-conforming building but is grandfathered due to the time it has sat there. i.e. They can’t make me remove it.
    I will be applying for a permit with the town and conservation authority to raise and add height to the building. A couple of locals have told me that I will not be able to do much with the building due to its location.
    I was wandering if anyone has ever dealt with local town and conservation authorities when working on your grandfathered building located on floodplains or within conservation lands? Is it possible to add height to add a loft? Change the roof pitch? Any information would be appreciated.

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    My first concern would be the foundation and its exposure to any prolonged damp. This should be the determining factor in whether you move the structure off site or raise it.
    Don't know anything about dealing with CAs but I would think if the camp was to be ultimately moved, they'd want to promote that option.

  4. #3
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    I applaud your efforts to do something, it’s not if something will happen but when! Good luck dealing with the government agencies, let us know how you make out!

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    Are you sure that you want to go through that process ? I’d be tempted to make your modifications and move on with life...unless you have neighbours that would rat you out ?
    “You have enemies ? Good. It means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life”: Winston Churchill

  6. #5
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    Oh boy
    I would try to get what you have approved.
    Neighbours might rat you out if you do some changing. Google earth will get you for sure

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    Usually a building that is grandfathered under conservation authority is only for the existing building. You can make repairs and renovate but anything beyond that would require a new permit and no longer falls under the grandfather clause. Now you’re talking about going through environmental assessment if they would even consider it. You would need a lot of time, patience and money to see it through.


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    Just outside of town we have cluster of homes built on the flood plan. They got permits to lift the houses up on stilts. I don't know how insurance works of them, but no a problem modifying the building.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

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    Myself I would just do it one side at a time and call it renovations.
    "This is about unenforceable registration of weapons that violates the rights of people to own firearms."—Premier Ralph Klein (Alberta)Calgary Herald, 1998 October 9 (November 1, 1942 – March 29, 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauro View Post
    Usually a building that is grandfathered under conservation authority is only for the existing building. You can make repairs and renovate but anything beyond that would require a new permit and no longer falls under the grandfather clause. Now you’re talking about going through environmental assessment if they would even consider it. You would need a lot of time, patience and money to see it through.


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    Exactly.....renovation should include altering the roof line and raising it, nothing that would increase the footprint or be obvious on GoogleEarth....

    Not sure how far you’re looking to raise it to get a little higher but I imagine you’d be ok up to 3-4’ ?
    “You have enemies ? Good. It means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life”: Winston Churchill

  11. #10
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    The other concern of being on a floodplain is the material the camp is sitting on. Could be anything from loon **it to sand to gravel. Adding weight in an upper story might need improving the footings and that could amount to a pile of complications.
    Last edited by sawbill; March 18th, 2021 at 10:01 AM.

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