Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

Orangeville launches Official Plan Review

Jun 17, 2015 | Planning | General

The Town of Orangeville has launched the five-year review of its Official Plan, as mandated under the Ontario Planning Act. An Official Plan is a broad policy document that guides land use development in a community.

Orangeville’s review, with costs recoverable through development charges, will include a land needs assessment undertaken by a consultant.  The Town is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to undertake a comprehensive review of land supply available for employment, institutional, commercial and residential uses. The review will determine if the Town is equipped to achieve the growth targets contained within the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the new Dufferin County Official Plan and the Development Charges Background Study with the lands it currently has available and the present designations of those lands. Study results will be used to determine Official Plan policy for the five-year review. The review's slogan is "Plan-It Orangeville".

"We are planning the future of Orangeville,” said Mayor Jeremy D Williams. “Our present Town is a reflection of the plans made in the past. This new Official Plan will forge the Orangeville of tomorrow for generations to come. It’s crucial we get that right.”

 “The goal of the assessment will be to see if we have sufficient lands to accommodate residential and employment targets,” said Councillor Scott Wilson. “The study will also look at the Humber lands, in terms of the highest and best use for this parcel.”

The Official Plan review is expected to be completed in April of 2016. Public input and consultation will be important to the review process. An open house will be scheduled in early fall, with a special meeting of Council to discuss the draft Official Plan amendment expected to take place in the first quarter of 2016. Community engagement activities may also include interviews with a variety of key community stakeholder groups, surveys distributed to community members, and/or online workshops.

The Town’s current Official Plan was adopted and approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in 1985. There have been a number of amendments since that time as a result of site specific policies, changes to provincial legislation including the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the various five-year reviews as mandated by the Planning Act.  The Town last undertook an Official Plan review in 2008 which was approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in 2010.  Since 2010, there have been 14 site specific and policy Official Plan Amendments approved.  As well, Dufferin County prepared its first Official Plan which was Ministerial approved March 25, 2015, with three outstanding appeals.  

Since the last Official Plan review there have been several municipal initiatives that are not reflected in the Official Plan, including the preparation of a Town Economic Development Strategy, Parks and Recreation Master Plan (in draft form), the adoption of the Town’s first Cultural Plan and Way-Finding Signage Program and the recent return of the Humber Lands (approximately 22 hectares in size currently designated for institutional use) into the Town’s ownership.

Section 26(1) of the Planning Act requires a municipality to review its Official Plan at least every five years after a plan comes into effect to ensure that it conforms with provincial plans or does not conflict with them, has regard to matters of provincial interest and is consistent with the policy statements of the province.  The five-year review is also an opportunity to ensure the Official Plan continues to address local priorities and changing community needs.