Official Plan Review 2021

The ACW Official Plan is a document that establishes the vision for the future of the Township and provides policy direction to manage future land use and growth. It determines how land can be used, what services are needed and when parts of the Township will grow.

The ACW Official Plan was first adopted in October 2003 provides the framework for establishing land use planning policies that guide the growth of the Township.

DRAFT ACW Official Plan – July 26, 2021

Land Use Designation Review

Video Tutorial

Watch this video below for an explanation on why this review is taking place.

Watch this video below for an explanation on how to interpret the land use changes proposed on your property.


Index MapDetermine the area you live in and select the index number below to view a PDF map.

IMPORTANT – These maps are dated June 14, 2021. Any changes relating to site specific requests will be updated after the Open House.

Rural Areas
A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | A5 | A6 | A7 | A8 | A9 | A10 | A11 | A12
B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5
C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5
D1 | D2 | D3
E1 | E2

Urban Areas
Amberley | Auburn | Belfast | Benmiller | Dungannon | Kingsbridge | Kintail | Lochalsh | Nile | Port Albert | Saltford | South of Lucknow | St. Augustine | St. Helens

I have questions. Who should I contact?

Celina Whaling-Rae is the Planner who is leading the project. You can reach out to Celina with any questions, stay updated on the process, ask questions, or provide input.
Celina Whaling-Rae, Planner or 519-524-8394 ext. 3

Official Plan Review 2021

At its January 19th, 2021 meeting, Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW) Council adopted a resolution to initiate a review of the Township’s Official Plan. The Planning Act, which is the legislation that regulates land use planning in Ontario, requires that municipalities update their Official Plans through a formal review every 5 years. The last time the ACW Official Plan was reviewed was 2013.

Some goals of the review are to:

  • Ensure the ACW Official Plan is in conformity with the Huron County Official Plan, the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), and the Planning Act.
    • The Huron County Official Plan is a broad document that governs planning and development across the county. All lower-tier municipal plans are required to be in conformance with the Huron County Official Plan.
    • The PPS contains the provincial government’s policies on planning and development in Ontario. It is a statement of how and where development should occur. Both the ACW and Huron County Official Plan are required to be in compliance with the PPS.
  • Review policies and make amendments which reflect the current direction of the community and other trends influencing land use and development, such as housing trends.
  • Ensure Official Plan mapping is accurate and reflects the changing landscape of the community.
  • Strategically designate areas to which Future Development should take place.

The ACW Zoning By-law is not under review at this time. It is anticipated that a review of the zoning by-law will take place once the Official Plan review process is complete.

A Public Meeting was held March 9, 2021 for the purpose of gathering feedback from the public as to what revisions to the Official Plan may be required. The public had the opportunity to provide input and ask questions to both staff and Council.

In June 2021, letters were mailed to individual property owners which denote the changes to the land use designations pertaining to their properties.

Official Plan Open House- August 2021

The Official Plan Open House was held has an opportunity for the public to review the first draft of the proposed Official Plan and provide input into how they wish to see development occur in ACW. The Open House was also an opportunity for the public to ask staff any questions related to the review process. Council did not make any any decisions with regard to policy or mapping changes at this meeting. 

Watch the video below to review the Official Plan Open House from August 2021, which presented the proposed revisions to the Official Plan. 

A future Public Meeting will be scheduled to review the Official Plan further as the document continues to be refined.

What does an Official Plan do?

  • makes sure that growth is coordinated and meets your community’s needs
  • helps all members of your community understand how their land may be used now and in the future
  • helps decide where roads, watermains, sewers, garbage dumps, parks and other services will be built
  • provides a framework for establishing municipal zoning bylaws to set local regulations and standards, like the size of lots and height of buildings
  • provides a way to evaluate and settle conflicting land uses while meeting local, regional and provincial interests
  • shows council’s commitment to the future growth of your community

If you’re interested in learning more about Official Plans and how they work in Ontario, please visit the Citizen’s guide to land use planning.

Next Steps

  • Further revisions are being made based on feedback from Draft Official Plan.
  • A Special Public Meeting will be held, where the revised Official Plan will be presented by staff to Council and the public. (No date set yet)
  • Council may adopt the amended Official Plan
  • County Council may choose to approve or deny the amended Official Plan or may approve it pending modifications.
  • The Official Plan is eligible to come into force if no appeals are launched during the 20-day appeal period, should County Council approve the document.
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