The City of Vernon is offering up tips on stream-side maintenance and who is responsible for protecting private property. (Morning Star - file photo)

The City of Vernon is offering up tips on stream-side maintenance and who is responsible for protecting private property. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon residents reminded to prepare for rising stream levels, maintenance

The city has offered up reminders about who is responsible for maintenance on private properties

The City of Vernon is offering some reminders for property owners about streamside maintenance and who’s responsible for protecting private property.

Riparian areas link water to land. These lands border streams, lakes and wetlands. Both the WSA and RAPR are regulated by the provincial government and not municipalities. Streams are Crown land and are not the property of the city. Therefore, the city cannot approve work to take place in or about a stream.

Each year, the city receives inquiries from residents about who owns creek channels and who is responsible for maintenance or bank stabilization on properties adjacent to creeks or streams.

Private property owners are responsible for protecting their property from flood and flood-related risks.

“If property owners or the general public have a request regarding tree or vegetation maintenance, bank stabilization or the removal of debris in or about a stream, the city will direct the inquiries to the appropriate agency for approval,” said the city in a release.

Private property owners may be required to engage a qualified professional and obtain permits from the Province to address their concerns. The same conditions apply to the City.

If residents are conducting yard maintenance on their properties, they’re reminded to discard branches and pruning material properly, and not to place this material in creek channels, where it could become a hazard.

As the weather continues to warm up and preparations continue for the spring freshet season, the city encourages all property owners adjacent to creeks and streams to consider whether they are prepared for rising water levels and what steps they may need to take to mitigate risk and protect their property.

Sand and sandbags are available for public use at the City of Vernon Operations building (1900-48th Avenue). The sand pile and sand bags are located outside the east entrance to the operations yard located on Pleasant Valley Road. Residents are reminded to bring their own shovel to fill sandbags.

PreparedBC provides information to help prepare and protect yourself, your family, and your property from potential flooding. It also provides flood protection information you may need to consider, in consultation with your home insurance provider.

If you are near a stream or waterway, please exercise caution and stay away from creek banks, particularly with children or animals. For more information from the BC River Forecast Centre regarding spring freshet and snow conditions, please visit the province’s website.

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