City awaits exemption for reconstruction ban on “high velocity” flood zones

City awaits exemption for reconstruction ban on “high velocity” flood zones | Insurance Business Canada

City awaits exemption for reconstruction ban on “high velocity” flood zones

The city of Gatineau is requesting an exemption under provincial legislation that prohibits reconstruction in areas deemed to be at high risk of flooding in the next two decades.

Under Quebec law, areas that may be flooded in a recurrence area of 20 years are considered “high velocity” zones.

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“It is not possible to build a new building or to rebuild a demolished building in the … high-velocity zones, according to the protection policy environment quality act adopted by the government of Quebec,” Gatineau spokeswoman Hélène Lachance explained.

In early October, the city had requested an exemption from the province to prevent the demolition of flooded properties and allow reconstruction. Notably, the exemptions can be granted in cases where reconstruction could stop the depopulation of entire neighborhoods following floods.

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“We are in the process of waiting to hear back,” Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said.

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Ottawa Citizen reported that Gatineau is looking to reconstruct the historic Pointe-Gatineau and Lac-Beauchamp districts once it receives the exemption. The city is expected to receive an answer from the province later this month as to whether it will receive the exclusion.

As of early September, Gatineau had spent over $4 million in flood-related costs. Most of the money was used to fund short-term repairs and measures to mitigate later flood damage.

Even if the city receives its exemption, the two districts will keep their high-velocity zone designations.


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