Soil deposit and removal bylaws are used by local governments throughout B.C. and are seen as a best practice to protect infrastructure – natural and engineered – and public health and safety. They are also an important tool to address recurring issues in the SLRD, such as:
- protecting topsoil, agricultural lands, riparian areas and watercourses; and
- preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of invasive species.
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw No. 1423-2015 applies to the entire regional district (Electoral Areas). As a regulatory bylaw, it seeks to address issues/impacts by providing the SLRD with regulatory tools – serving both proactive and reactive purposes.
Proactively: The bylaw requires landowners to obtain permits before carrying out activities that have an impact on infrastructure (natural and engineered). This provides SLRD staff with an opportunity to educate landowners and developers about best management practices.
Reactively: The bylaw enables enforcement by creating offences that can act as the basis for issuing tickets, fines and court action. Such regulatory bylaws also bolster the setbacks in SLRD zoning bylaws and the conditions in Development Permit Areas (DPAs) by making enforcement simpler.
The SLRD Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw No. 1423-2015 provides a means of managing incremental changes that can degrade habitat and cause pollution; many of these activities are currently unaccounted for as they do not involve rezoning or subdivision.
scotch broom photo source: Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council
How and when is the bylaw triggered?
Prohibition: the bylaw prohibits the deposit or removal of soil within the Regional District except in accordance with the bylaw, and it prohibits the deposit of other material on any land within the Regional District without a valid permit or exemption under the Environmental Management Act.
Other material means construction and demolition waste, masonry rubble, concrete, asphalt, wood waste, unchipped lumber, drywall, refuse, undecomposed organic matter, contaminated soil, soil containing invasive species, and other similar matter.
Permit Exemptions: a permit is not required where the deposit or removal of soil:
- is less than 10 cubic metres (m3) of soil in a calendar year (note that 10m3 is approximately one tandem dump truck; as this bylaw prohibits depositing other material - including contaminated soil and soil containing invasive species - these issues will be addressed irrespective of the volume trigger);
- is related to and in accordance with a valid building permit;
- is being relocated within the boundaries of the parcel from which it originates;
- is undertaken as a permitted farm use on land located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
For further information about the bylaw, including what is prohibited, a full list of exemptions, permit application requirements and fees, read the bylaw:
And to apply for a permit, fill out and submit the Soil Deposit and Removal Permit Application Form