Protection of shorelines, coastlines and floodplains

Want to do some work on a shoreline?

You need a permit to conduct shoreline work

Several key factors weigh heavily in protecting the environment and the fragile confines of our shorelines, and that’s why you need a permit to do any work there.

With that in mind, contact the Environment and Urban Planning Service to discuss your project, or apply for a permit online through your personalized resident’s account on the Voilà platform.

Protection above all: we can’t say it enough

Shorelines, littoral zones and flood plains play a critical role in preserving water quality, as well as lake and waterway biology and ecology. The Québec government asserted its commitment to properly protecting these resources by adopting the Politique de protection des rives, du littoral et des plaines inondables in 2005.

Right away in 2006, Val-des-Monts not only incorporated the provisions of the new policy into its own by-laws and regulations, but also implemented measures designed to adequately protect these sensitive environments, to enhance them and, where needed, to restore or reclaim them.   

Section 11 of By-law 436-99 contains all these provisions, which apply to every lake and waterway (steady or intermittent flow) except ditches, as defined in urban-planning regulations. That said, these provisions do NOT govern artificially created lakes and waterways that aren’t connected to the existing water network and whose area spans no more than 7,400 square metres.

As a result, current regulations and by-laws apply to the following projects:

  • Modifying the land cover on shorelines of lakes, waterways and flood plains
  • Developing or occupying shorelines, littoral zones and flood plains
  • Changing, repairing or expanding existing structures or built features on shorelines of lakes, waterways and flood plains.

Permits and authorization certificates

  • Building any structure or performing any work that might destroy or change ground cover, leave the ground bare or destabilized, or encroach on shores, littoral zones or flood plains requires a permit or a certificate of authorization from the municipal officer responsible, as described in article 4.8 of By-law 439-99 governing permits and certificates.  

  • Building any structure or performing any work that might alter the water regime or water balance, hinder the free flow of water at any time, disturb flora or wildlife habitats or pose a risk to people or property requires you to obtain in advance a permit or certificate of authorization from the Municipality.  

  • Building a structure or performing work tied to forestry-development activities subject to the Forest Act and its related regulations does NOT require municipal authorization.

  • Agricultural activities that don’t involve earthwork (adding or removing fill) in a flood plain do NOT require municipal authorization.

Special regulations and restrictions of note

  • You need to leave at least 15 metres between the high-water mark (HWM) and the following structures:
    • Main buildings and their extensions
    • Complementary buildings (garage, workshop, car port, storage shed, etc.)
    • Other structures with or without a roof (except those listed in the items below), be they part of, adjacent to or isolated from the main building: balcony, veranda, porch, patio, front step, canopy, closed veranda with screens only, stairs, sidewalks, retaining walls, hot tub, antenna, fence.
  • Activities, structures and projects that cause material of any kind to be deposited onto or extracted from shores, littoral zones or flood plains are prohibited.
  • Development work on shores, littoral zones and flood plains must be designed and completed in a way that a) respects or restores the area’s natural features, b) doesn’t hinder the natural flow of water and c) doesn’t create erosion-inducing conditions.  
  • Development and construction work must NOT involve excavation, dredging, levelling, filling and other such earthwork.
  • You CANNOT alter the slope of a shore or of a flood plain unless the change serves to stem erosion or to restabilize the area; you must comply with the conditions set out in article 4.8.3 of By-law 439-99 on permits and certificates to perform this work.
  • Dumping or transporting snow on shores, littoral zones and flood plains is prohibited.

To ask questions or clear up any doubts, contact the Environment and Urban Planning Service at or at 819-457-9700, extension 2315.