For more Information:

Consult your local government to learn about the permit and approval process for developing in your riparian area. To find out more visit:

RAR Guidelines

For a Guidebook on the Riparian Areas Regulation visit:

RAR Guidebook for Local Governments

For additional information visit:

Stewardship Centre BC

Building Inspection

The Town of Lake Cowichan offers building inspection services on a two-day per week basis. Dennis Young, the Building Inspector, is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except holidays, to serve your needs.

Be sure to check the relevant building and zoning requirements for construction of residential and commercial buildings. You may contact Mr. Young in person or by telephone at 250-749-6681.

Riparian Area Regulation

If the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) applies to your development, you need to have your property assessed by a Qualified Environmental Professional. The assessment will determine the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Area (SPEA) on your property, which represents the development setback required to prevent degradation of fish habitats.

Additional measures to maintain riparian fish habitats, such as sediment and erosion control, may be included in the assessment. SPEA vegetation must be left in, or allowed to return to, a natural, undisturbed state. Formal trails and landscaping may be restricted in SPEAS if they have the potential to damage vegetation and/or interfere with the ability of the riparian area to safeguard fish habitats.

What is the Riparian zone?

A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream..