Green Network Study Area

The Green Network Study Area includes connected areas of wetlands, swales, natural areas, the South Saskatchewan River corridor, and other areas providing stormwater storage and conveyance, and recharge of groundwater supplies. This area helps address regional stormwater issues and, where appropriate, supports multifunctional green spaces that deliver environmental and recreational benefits.

Objectives

13-1         Maintain and enhance a connected natural infrastructure system to manage storage and drainage and address regional stormwater issues

13-2         Reduce the impacts of pollutants on wetlands, creeks, streams, and rivers to increase surface water quality, including the health of the South Saskatchewan River

13-3         Minimize the impacts of development on native vegetation to protect the habitat necessary for wildlife to thrive and move throughout the area

13-4         Maintain important natural views, such as views from Wanuskewin Heritage Park

13-5         Encourage a connected open space system with opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird-watching, and other passive recreation activities

Policies

Boundary Refinement

13.01       Need for Refinement. P4G shall coordinate refinement of the boundaries of the Green Network Study Area.

13.02       Refinement Criteria. Refinement of the boundaries of the Green Network Study Area shall be conducted according to a standard, consistent methodology that considers:

a.   wetlands;

b.   drainage areas;

c.   conveyance areas, such as streams, rivers, and swales;

d.   habitat corridors for wildlife movement;

e.   important viewsheds, such as the viewshed of Wanuskewin Heritage Park; and

f.    important ecological areas.

13.03       Local Refinement Through Concept Plans. Prior to the development of a region-wide study, the Green Network Study Area may be refined by a Concept Plan or other detailed assessment. This refinement shall be consistent with the criteria under Policy 13.02.

Land Uses

13.04       Intended Uses. The following uses may be permitted in the Green Network Study Area:

a.   Agriculture (cultivation and pasture);

b.   Parks, open space, and protected areas;

c.   Outdoor recreation; and

d.   Public utilities (stormwater management infrastructure only).

Related activities that are consistent with these uses may also be permitted, subject to the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw. Related activities may be allowed in the Zoning Bylaw.

13.05       Agricultural Residential Uses Restricted. Agricultural residential uses may be permitted in the Green Network Study Area as follows, subject to a development review that is undertaken according to the policies of this Plan and the standards provided in the Zoning Bylaw:

a.   where land in the Green Network Study Area is inside the areas identified in Exhibit 3 as accommodating a regional population of 700,000, a maximum of two residential building sites per quarter section may be permitted; and

b.   in other locations, a maximum of five residential building sites per quarter section may be permitted.

13.06       Intensive Livestock Operations Restricted. Intensive livestock operations may be permitted in the Green Network Study Area, subject to the intensive livestock operations policies included in Section AG and a development review that is undertaken according to the policies of this Plan and the standards provided in the Zoning Bylaw.

13.07       Public Utilities. Public utilities may be permitted in the Green Network Study Area as follows:

a.   stormwater management infrastructure may be permitted in the Green Network Study area; and

b.   other public utilities other than waste management and remediation industries may be permitted, subject to a development review that is undertaken according to the policies of this Plan and the standards provided in the Zoning Bylaw.

13.08       Siting of Development. Development located within the Green Network Study Area shall be sited to avoid and address any potential negative impacts.

13.09       Development Review Requirements. A development review conducted for development within the Green Network Study Area shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the municipality that any potential negative impacts to the Green Network Study Area are avoided or mitigated, and the development complies with the policies of this Plan.

Wetlands

13.10       Integration with Stormwater Management. Wetlands in the Green Network Study Area should be integrated with the regional stormwater management system where feasible. Integration should consider the sensitivity and ecological functions of wetlands and their associated riparian areas to ensure sustainability within their context.

13.11       Wetland Buffers. Buffers are required to maintain and improve wetlands quality by reducing pollutant loading and other disturbances. A 30 m buffer shall be required around significant wetlands in the Green Network Study Area where no development shall occur. Native vegetation should be maintained within this buffer.

13.12       Best Practices for Grazing. Best practices should be used to manage impacts of commercial grazing animals on wetlands and buffers.

13.13       Wetlands Mitigation Plan. If a development would cause impacts to significant wetlands in the Green Network Study Area, a Wetlands Mitigation Plan shall be provided to describe how impacts will be avoided and/or addressed by the development.

Surface Water and Drainage

13.14       Riparian Buffers. Buffers are required to maintain and improve surface water quality by reducing pollutant loading and other disturbances. A 30 m buffer shall be required around ponds, lakes, rivers, creeks, brooks, or other watercourses in the Green Network Study Area where no development shall occur. Native vegetation should be maintained within this buffer.

13.15       Runoff from Site Development. Untreated stormwater runoff from a multi-parcel development in the Green Network Study Area should be directed to a retention pond, or similar feature, to reduce sediment and pollutants inputs into surface water and wetlands.

Natural Vegetation and Habitat

13.16       Minimize Impacts to Vegetation. Impacts to natural vegetation and native habitat from development in the Green Network Study Area shall be minimized.

13.17       Habitat Corridors. Habitat corridors should be preserved in the Green Network Study Area to maintain connections for wildlife movement throughout the Region.

Viewsheds

13.18       Minimize Visual Impacts of Building Sites. Building sites in the Green Network Study Area that can be seen from Wanuskewin Heritage Park shall be screened or designed to minimize impacts to the view, in consultation with the Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority.

Recreation

13.19       Passive Recreation Opportunities. Development of passive recreation opportunities should be encouraged for the Green Network Study Area, where appropriate.