UPDATED SERVICE NOTICE APRIL 1, 2020:
Conservation Halton’s Administration Office is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that we will not be accepting walk-in meetings or hosting or attending external meetings. Our staff will be available to assist you by email and phone. Staff will also be able to assist with electronic planning and permit submissions. Details about what you can expect from our Planning & Regulations team are posted below.
We will serve you digitally
- Staff is available via email, video conference or phone. Please email us with any questions or if you would like to set up a time for a virtual meeting. Continue to reach out directly to your contact on the Planning & Regulations team for file specific matters. General inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- All submissions can be made digitally, as well as payments – there are several options so please consult with your contact at Conservation Halton. If paper files are to be dropped off, please make arrangements with us beforehand.
- Permits and correspondence will be issued electronically via email.
- You can help us by prioritizing your business-critical needs, ensuring submissions are complete, on time and digital where possible, and by bearing with us as we adapt our business operations.
We will keep you informed
Staff will keep the lines of communication open and will inform you on the status of our review and your application. We will also keep you up to date if there are any changes on when our office will re-open to the public.
CH PERMIT & PLANNING SUBMISSION AND CIRCULATION REQUEST PROCESSES DURING COVID-19
- E-mail us first – Staff is available via email, video conference or phone but it is best to first connect with us over email. Please email us with any questions or if you would like to set up a time for a virtual meeting or conference call. Continue to reach out directly to your contact on the Planning & Regulations team for file specific matters. General inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.
- Complete, digital submissions – Ensure that permit submissions are complete and include all required information. Digital submissions are preferred and can be made via email or our P&R drop box (see Updated process above). If paper files are to be dropped off, arrangements will need to be made with staff beforehand. CH permits and correspondence will be issued electronically via email.
- Reduce file sizes – Given the volume of digital submissions we are currently receiving, as well as the amount of data associated with most planning or permit submissions, it would be helpful if files were compressed, where possible (i.e., reduce file size and create zip files). It would also be helpful to have large technical reports broken down into separate sections (i.e., main report should be separate from appendices) and larger plans/figures sent separately from reports.
- Prioritize files – Please let us know if there are certain files you would like us to focus our attention on. It would be helpful if you could prioritize for us your files and business-critical needs.
- Please be patient – Bear with us as we adapt our business operations. We will provide the best service that we can during these uncertain times. Staff will keep the lines of communication open and will inform you on the status of our review and your application. We will also keep you up to date if there are any changes on when our office will re-open to the public.
Note: These processes are subject to change as more CH protocols are developed, technologies are modernized, or corporate directives/policies are updated. Please check the CH website for the most current version.
Updates to our Process
- Electronic payments – Credit card or Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) are the preferred method of payment for both permit and planning submissions. Planning & Regulations staff can provide direction on how to make payment. We are unable to process any application without the applicable review fee.
- P&R drop box – An electronic drop box has been set-up for large planning and permit submissions. Planning & Regulations staff will provide applicants with a link and password so that digital submissions can be uploaded to our digital drop box.
- Planning reviews – New planning applications must be circulated to CH by our municipal partners and should not be submitted directly to CH (except electronic payment; refer to “Electronic Payments”). All review agencies should be copied on subsequent submissions to ensure that each agency is reviewing the same information. Digital submissions are preferred and should include all required information (see submission tips below).
- Upfront technical reviews – Should there be a reduction in the volume of planning and permit applications submitted, CH is willing to undertake some upfront, large technical reviews in advance of a formal planning or permit application being submitted (e.g., EIR/FSS, SIS). Staff can also work with landowners to identify environmental constraints/opportunities for specific sites (e.g., floodplain modelling reviews, wetland water balance assessments). Technical review fees will apply.
- Virtual site inspections – We are currently working on internal protocols for how we can carry out site inspections/site visits over the coming weeks and we will provide an update shortly. Applicants should contact staff for further direction if a site visit was previously identified as a requirement (e.g., permit condition). In the meantime, staff has received some video footage from drone flyovers of select permit works and sites (e.g., CH received drone flyover of channel works). This footage can be very helpful for certain types of applications, works or sites. We encourage landowners to contact staff before doing this, so that we can discuss if video footage is appropriate for the given site or works.