Ontario Announces Proposed Changes to Provincial Land Use Plans

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Province of Ontario Land Use Planning PhotoThe Province has announced their much-awaited proposed changes to the four provincial land use plans that shape how land is used in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and the public now has the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes.

These proposed changes come after input gathered last year from the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review advisory panel, and addressing recommendations of the report, Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015- 2041.

You may recall the input the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance presented to the panel.

Today’s news release from the province explains that the proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan would:

  • Protect clean water by adding the lands within 21 major urban river valleys to the Greenbelt, along with seven coastal wetlands, and establish a process for further expanding the Greenbelt to protect key water features
  • Require zoning along transit corridors to provide adequate density to support transit
  • Establish Greenbelt-level protections for natural heritage systems – such as wetlands, woodlands and rivers – beyond the Greenbelt, with the provincial government taking a lead in mapping those areas
  • Support agricultural viability and preserve farmland by setting strict requirements for the expansion of urban areas and allowing more flexibility for agricultural use in the Greenbelt
  • Require municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to integrate climate change policies into municipal official plans and to conduct climate change vulnerability risk assessments when they are planning or replacing infrastructure.

Stay tuned for our input in the coming weeks as we take a closer look at these newly-released changes.

This is an important time for our agriculture sector and for land use planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe – Canada’s fastest growing urban region. A healthy dose of opinionated discussion is sure to arise from these recommendations.

Have your say on the proposed revised plans for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review before September 30, 2016. ┬áTo learn more, you can also attend an upcoming public open house – the first one is on May 31st in Cambridge.