It’s time to take a fresh look at the town’s land use policies! The Planning Act requires a review of the official plan every five years. This is also called a municipal comprehensive review.
An official plan is a legal document containing goals, objectives, and policies intended to guide land use, development and growth in a municipality. Oakville's official plan is comprised of the Livable Oakville Plan and the North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans.
The Livable Oakville Plan applies to the lands south of Dundas Street and north of Highway 407. It was adopted by Council in 2009 and approved by the Ontario Municipal Board in 2011. The North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans, created under the 2006 Official Plan, apply to the lands north of Dundas Street and south of Highway 407. The Ontario Municipal Board approved the North Oakville East Secondary Plan in 2008, and the North Oakville West Secondary Plan in 2009.
It is now time to review these documents to ensure that the policies are consistent with the latest Provincial and Regional policies, support the town's strategic goals, and reflect the vision and needs of the community.
The various projects in the Official Plan Review work program will be completed throughout 2016, 2017, and beyond as the town's work must be coordinated with evolving provincial and regional land use plans and policies. Changes to the official plan documents will be recommended based on public input and technical analysis.
The Livable Oakville Council Subcommittee received a work program update at its meeting on June 13, 2016.
The town's official plan is required to conform to, or be consistent with, the following documents which have been recently approved or amended. The conformity reviews may recommend changes to the town's current official plan policies.
On April 30, 2014, the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 replaced the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005. It provides policy direction on matters of provincial interest (e.g. natural environment, public health and safety) and sets the foundation for regulating the development and use of land in Ontario. All municipal official plans are required to be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.
Municipal official plans within the greater golden horseshoe are required to conform to the Province of Ontario's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. On June 17, 2013, changes came into effect that extend the Growth Plan's vision, policies, and population and employment targets, from 2031 to 2041. As a result, Halton Region is required to conduct a conformity exercise to accommodate 1 million people and 470,000 jobs by 2041. This also affects the town's growth management strategy for accommodating its share.
The Growth Plan is currently being reviewed as part of the Province of Ontario's Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. The official plans of Halton Region and the town will have to be brought into conformity with any changes to the Growth Plan.
On January 20, 2013 changes to the Greenbelt Plan came into effect, including new policies about river valleys in urban areas. The Greenbelt Plan is currently being reviewed as part of the Province of Ontario's Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. The official plans of Halton Region and the town will have to be brought into conformity with any changes to the Greenbelt Plan.
The 2009 review of the Halton's Regional Official Plan resulted in the adoption of Regional Official Plan Amendment Number 38 (ROPA 38), which was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The majority of ROPA 38 is now in effect including many new general policies and employment targets to 2031.
Halton Region is preparing to begin its next regional official plan review, including an update to its best planning estimates for population and employment.
The town-wide employment and commercial review is a key component of the official plan review. It will assess the amount, size and location of lands designated to accommodate the town’s long-term employment and commercial needs. A final report is anticipated in 2017, followed by official plan and zoning by-law amendments to implement the recommendations.
For lands within an employment land use designation, conversion to a non-employment designation can only be considered through a municipal comprehensive review such as the employment and commercial review.
The Speers Road Corridor Study will build on work completed through the employment and commercial review to further identify suitable long-term land uses and intensification opportunities along Speers Road that support the corridor's primary function as an Employment Area.
The Town of Oakville is at a moment in time where the community must consider where and how to grow. Instead of developing outward over more greenfield lands, the town needs to determine how best to manage development within the town boundaries. This is the main question that the Urban Structure Review will answer as the town works toward our vision “To be the most livable town in Canada.”
At their meeting of September 26, 2017, Town Council will consider a recommendation report on the proposed Official Plan Amendments that would see a newly revised Urban Structure section introduced into the Town of Oakville’s Official Plan – the Livable Oakville Plan.
The proposed amendments also provide for revisions to the North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans to align them with the changes to the Livable Oakville Plan.
The proposed official plan amendments are now available for public inspection.
The growth area reviews will revisit the policies introduced by the Livable Oakville Plan in 2009 to manage growth and change within the six growth areas south of Dundas Street. The "main street" growth areas of Kerr Village, Bronte Village and Downtown Oakville will be studied first to understand development activity, barriers to development, and new opportunities for 'place making.' Conformity with Provincial and Regional plans will also be assessed. New and revised policies will be considered, where necessary.
The Stable Residential Neighbourhoods Review will revisit the Livable Oakville policies intended to maintain and protect existing neighbourhood character. Development activity and residential development opportunities will be studied. New and revised policies will be considered, where necessary to support the growth management framework.
The North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans, which apply to the lands north of Dundas Street and south of Highway 407, are part of the town's 2006 Official Plan. They allow for higher density urban development – to accommodate about 55,000 people and 35,000 jobs – on the lands outside of the defined natural heritage and open space system.
The North Oakville Secondary Plans review will recommend modifications to eliminate duplication, improve consistency with the Livable Oakville Plan, and ensure conformity with Provincial and Regional plans, while maintaining the general policy direction of the original documents. The review also aims to consolidate and restructure the secondary plans, and move their policies and schedules into the Livable Oakville Plan.
Throughout the official plan review, discussion papers and technical reports will be required to focus on certain subjects and emerging issues. Discussion papers will examine the relevance and effectiveness of existing policies for specific land uses or topic areas. The Livable Oakville Council Subcommittee received a work program update at its meeting on June 13, 2016 which shapes how the discussion papers may come forward.
There will be many opportunities to share your ideas with town planners throughout the official plan review. Visit the Events Calendar or join our contact list to find out about upcoming events.
A special public meeting to launch the official plan review was hosted by Planning and Development Council on May 11, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. Review the May 11, 2015 Planning and Development Council Agenda.