Floodway fringe area regulation

If your property is located within the Designated Floodway Fringe Area, the following information will help you plan your project.

The City of Winnipeg is responsible for enforcing the Province of Manitoba’s Designated Floodway Fringe Area Regulation for all residential and commercial buildings, additions, and accessory structures (garage, shed, deck, pool, etc.). The Regulation intends to:

  1. reduce potential damage to structures caused by flooding
  2. reduce the level of temporary flood protection required for properties that are not located behind Winnipeg’s primary dike system

Does the regulation apply to your property?

If your property is located within the Designated Floodway Fringe Area, the regulation applies. Use the Development Policy Search tool to search your property by civic address to confirm.

There may already be caveats or easement areas registered against your property on title, providing notice that:

  1. an existing building on the property is located within a designated floodway fringe area that does not comply with the requirements set out in the Floodway Fringe Area Regulation
  2. a permit to vary floodproofing criteria was requested by the owner and was granted by the City
  3. the floodproofing specifications described in the Variation Permit must be maintained by subsequent property owners, unless approved by the City
  4. approval of a permit to vary floodproofing criteria does not affect eligibility for compensation for flood protection assistance or flood damage assistance by the City  

Development and construction information

The Regulation outlines requirements that need to be taken into consideration for projects located within the Designated Floodway Fringe Area, including but not limited to:

  1. The grade around the proposed building or other structure must be raised to a height determined by the Province’s Flood Protection Level (FPL). Contact wwd-floodprotection@winnipeg.ca to confirm the FPL for your property.
  2. The main floor of the building must be constructed to an elevation level that is referenced to the FPL, as per the specific Schedule :
  3. The building shall have no openings (e.g. windows, doors) below the FPL.
  4. The location of the electrical panel, water shut-off and need for backwater valves must align with the Regulation.

A geodetic survey may be requested to assess your proposed development. Elevations must be relative to the horizontal North American Datum of 1983, NAD83 (June 1990) and Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1928, CGVD28, as per the Canadian Geodetic Survey.

Note: As per Section 158(2) and (3) of the City of Winnipeg Charter, no construction is permitted within a designated floodway area unless the works are public service works. Contact wwd‑floodprotection@winnipeg.ca to confirm.

Floodproofing variations

The property owner is responsible for satisfying the requirements of the Regulation. Requests for variations in floodproofing should only be contemplated when compliance with the Regulation is not possible. For example, variations may be considered where the introduction of fill to a site may cause bank stability issues, where limited lot size restricts berm width or side slopes, or where meeting the requirements would result in a structure that would significantly detract in appearance from neighbouring properties.

If a variation permit is requested:

  1. an engineer must propose and certify alternative flood protection measures to the satisfaction of the City of Winnipeg
  2. payment of the applicable fee is required, as per the Planning, Development and Building Fees and Charges schedule
  3. a legal caveat must be registered on title at Teranet Manitoba prior to building permit issuance (the development permit will be issued)

The variation process can add several weeks to the development permit approval process.

Building permit issuance

Following development permit approval, a building permit application can be submitted. Building permits must align with all prior development permit approvals. For projects other than an accessory structure, the building permit will be issued in two stages:

  1. The foundation permit, authorizing the construction of the foundation
  2. The superstructure permit, once
    1. the foundation of the building is completed; and
    2. a surveyor’s certificate, or similar document approved by a designated employee, is filed with the city showing that the elevation of the foundation complies with floodproofing criteria


Note: If you are considering a subdivision or rezoning application in the designated floodway fringe area, contact Urban Planning & Design to discuss your proposal in advance of applying.

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