A Short Guide to the Draft Amendments to the Growth Plan, 2017
Proposed Amendments to the Growth Plan were released January 15, 2019. The commenting period on the Amendments is open until February 28, 2019. There are a number of important changes to take note of found in the Our Guide to Changes in the link below . Our top five are:
- Flexibility to Add Uses to Employment Lands Before a Municipal Comprehensive Review: Lands within Employment Areas may be converted to a designation that permits non-employment uses in advance of a municipal comprehensive review, provided that there is:
- A need,
- No adverse effects on the viability of an Employment Area or achievement of minimum intensification and density targets,
- There are existing or planned infrastructure and public services in place, and,
- A significant amount of jobs are maintained.
However, certain lands will be designated Provincially Significant Employment Zones which can only be converted through a municipal comprehensive review. A list of the proposed employment zones is found in the overview of changes produced by the Ontario Growth Secretariat found in the link below.
- Settlement Area Changes in Advance of an MCR:
Adjustments -Settlement Area Boundaries may be adjusted by municipalities without an MCR when:
- There would be no net increase in land within the settlement area,
- The adjustment would support the ability to meet intensification and density targets,
- The normally applicable requirements for a settlement area expansion found in policy 126.96.36.199 are met,
- The land is not a rural settlement or in the Greenbelt, and,
- The land is serviced and there is sufficient reserve
Expansions – Settlement Area Boundaries may be expanded without an MCR when:
- The lands will meet the resident and jobs density targets or the employment area density targets established pursuant to the Growth Plan,
- The normally applicable requirements for a settlement area expansion in policy 188.8.131.52 are met,
- The land is not a rural settlement or in the Greenbelt,
- The land is serviced and there is sufficient reserve capacity,
- The land, accompanying growth, will be fully accounted for in the next Municipal Comprehensive Review, and,
- The land proposed to be expanded is no greater than 40 hectares.
The opportunity make minor rounding out adjustments to rural settlements has also been added.
- Support for Transit Oriented Development: Upper- and single-tier municipalities may delineate the boundaries of major transit stations areas and identify minimum density targets for these areas ahead of a Municipal Comprehensive Review, provided Planning Act requirements regarding official plan policies for these areas are met. The areas affected by these policies is proposed to be expanded to a 500 – 800 metre radius from the Transit Station.
- Scaled Intensification and Density Targets: Targets for Delineated Built-up Areas and Designated Greenfield Areas now scaled to the degree of urbanization of a municipality. The blanket intensification requirement that 60% of all residential development occur within the Delineated Built-up Area now ranges from 60% to 50% for more urbanized areas with a requirement that existing targets be maintained or improved for less urbanized areas. For Designated Greenfield Areas, the density target of 80 residents and jobs per hectare has been replaced with a range of 60 to 50 for more urbanized areas, and a minimum of 40 in less urbanized areas.
- Natural Heritage System and Agricultural System Mapping: Provincial Natural Heritage System and Agricultural System mapping does not apply until implemented in an applicable Upper Tier or Single Tier Official Plan and a municipality may refine the provincial mapping before incorporating it into their plan. Until then, existing Official Plan mapping applies.
The following resources may assist those looking for further information.
- The Davies Howe Guide to the Changes. Click here
- The Davies Howe Redline of the Growth Plan, for reference purposes. Click here
- Overview of changes produced by the Ontario Growth Secretariat, hosted by BILD. Click here
- The Draft Original Amended Growth Plan. Click here
- The Environmental Registry Posting. Click here
- Governmental News Release. Click here
- Government Backgrounder. Click here