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 –May 2022

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.

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.

Special Council Meeting - January 2022

Council met in a special session January 11, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the ongoing Official Plan review. Following this special meeting, Staff and Council agree we are in a good position to move forward. Council proceeded with scheduling the final mandatory Public Meeting required for the Official Plan review on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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, through email at cwhalingrae@huroncounty.ca or by phone 519-524-8394 ext. 3. 

Special Public Meeting- March 15, 2022

This Public Meeting was the final mandatory Public Meeting required for the Official Plan review. This meeting allowed members of the public to make comments on the Draft Official Plan to Staff and Council.  The Agenda and Minutes for this meeting can be found here.

A Notice of Public Meeting mail-out was sent on February 19, 2022 to all landowners within the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. Notice was also published in the newspaper, on Township social media accounts and on the Township website.

Regular Council Meeting- May 3, 2022 

Council was provided with the following reports prepared by Celina Whaling-Rae and Denise Van Amersfoort, Huron County Planners:

Council agreed to have staff bring forward to a future meeting of Council the Official Plan Five Year Review Amendment No. 12 to allow staff time to amend mapping.

Regular Council Meeting- May 17, 2022

Council was provided with the report prepared by Celina Whaling-Rae, Planner, as well as the final draft of the Official Plan Amendment No. 12.

Council agreed to adopt the Official Plan Five Year Review Amendment No. 12 by by-law in Section 18, recommend to the County of Huron that the draft Official Plan be approved and that staff be directed to prepare a housekeeping amendment to the ACW Zoning By-Law by adopting the following resolutions.

By-law 44-2022 Official Plan Amendment No. 12 

Huron County Council Day 1- June 8, 2022 

County Council approved the amended Official Plan at their meeting on June 8, 2022.  View County of Huron Minutes & Agendas here. The Official Plan is eligible to come into force if no appeals are launched during the 20-day appeal period, after County Council approved the document.

July 12, 2022

The County of Huron received an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) regarding ACW Official Plan Amendment no. 12 (5 Year Review). As such, the changes to the Official Plan resulting from the recent 5 year review are not yet in full force and effect.

It is staff’s understanding that individuals or agencies who file an appeal must cite the specific policy and/or mapping changes they are appealing (as opposed to appealing the whole document in its entirety). Further, it is staff’s understanding that, once the appeal is received and reviewed by OLT, it is common for the items not under appeal to be put into full force and effect while the outstanding policies and/or mapping is deliberated upon.

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