What is an Official Plan?
An Official Plan (OP) is a municipal policy document that guides decisions on land use and development. It sets out the vision, goals, and objectives for the municipality, and provides broad direction on matters such as growth management, infrastructure, protecting natural resources, employment lands, housing, natural hazards, parks, and the public realm. The Township's Official Plan must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the County of Simcoe Official Plan, and other provincial plans and strategies, such as the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. The Official Plan outlines land use designations and policies, and maps out a land use structure across the Township.
Why is the Official Plan being reviewed?
Section 26 of the Planning Act requires municipalities to review existing Official Plans every five years to ensure that they conform to, and do not conflict with, provincial plans and upper-tier municipal policies.
Since the Township's current Official Plan was adopted in 1997 (and amended several times since then), there have been significant changes to planning policy at the Provincial and County levels including: release of two (2) new Growth Plans (July 1, 2017 and May 16, 2019), Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan (August 28, 2020), a new Provincial Policy Statement (May 1, 2020), South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Plan, and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan and the County of Simcoe adopted its most recent Official Plan in December 2016.
The Township's current Official Plan needs to be reviewed to ensure conformity to provincial and upper-tier policies, and it also needs to reflect local community objectives, growth and demographic change, and up-to-date principles of good planning.
What will the new Official Plan include?
The scope of Oro-Medonte's current Official Plan Review (OPR) process will consist of a conformity exercise to update the current Official Plan policies to address Provincial and County policies, including:
- applying the County's population and employment forecasts to 2031;
- applying the Provincial Government's currently approved alternative density and intensification targets;
- generally updating the Township's land use, servicing, and transportation policies;
- developing a settlement area hierarchy at the lower-tier (Township) level to inform the County's upper-tier settlement area hierarchy; and,
- specifically bringing the Township Official Plan into conformity with the approved County of Simcoe Official Plan, the Provincial Policy Statement (2020), the Province's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2020), the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, and the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Region Source Water Protection Plan.
What will happen when the County of Simcoe completes a Municipal Comprehensive Review of their Official Plan?
A further review of Oro-Medonte's Official Plan will be completed once the County of Simcoe has completed a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) of the County of Simcoe Official Plan. The County MCR will include review of all of the following:
- Watershed plans
- Settlement Area Hierarchy criteria
- Employment Strategy
- Sewer and water servicing analysis and assimilative capacity analysis
- Financial consideration and scenario testing
- Intensification strategy
- Setting Designated Greenfield Area targets across the County
- Land needs assessment
- Agricultural system and Natural Heritage system mapping (prepared by the Province)
- Housing Strategy
- Climate Change Strategy
Who approves the new Official Plan?
The new Official Plan will be considered and adopted by Council and will be forwarded to the County of Simcoe as the approval authority for approval.
Will the new Official Plan impact the zoning of my property?
A Zoning By-law Review will immediately follow Council's adoption of the Official Plan. The new Zoning By-law must conform to the new Official Plan. These updated review documents may impact the zoning of your property and you will have the opportunity to have your say in the Zoning By-law Review.
How can I get involved?
You can visit this site for updates and there will be opportunities for you to provide comments and input by participating in Open Houses and Public Meetings.
How can I stay informed?
We'll provide information about the project through a range of methods and channels: