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.
In Ontario, all municipal official plans are required to be consistent with the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The PPS provides direction on matters of provincial interest (e.g., efficient use of land, protection of natural and heritage resources) and sets the foundation for regulating the development and use of land in Ontario.
The official plans of municipalities within Ontario’s “greater golden horseshoe” are required to conform to the Province’s 2017 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe – a long-term plan to manage growth, build complete communities, curb sprawl and protect cultural heritage resources and the natural environment. As a result, Halton Region is required to update the Regional Official Plan to accommodate 1 million people and 470,000 jobs by the year 2041. This affects the town's growth management strategy for accommodating its share of the Region’s forecasted growth.
The official plans of municipalities within southern Ontario’s “greenbelt” are required to conform to the Province’s 2017 Greenbelt Plan – a plan to protect environmentally sensitive land and farmlands from urban development. Halton’s Regional Official Plan and the town’s official plan have to be brought into conformity with the 2017 Greenbelt Plan.
Halton Region is an “upper tier” municipality that comprises the “lower tier” municipalities of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills. 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. The current Regional Official Plan Review will include an update to Halton Region’s best planning estimates for population and employment in conformity with the 2017 Growth Plan.
The town-wide Employment and Commercial Review assessed the lands designated to accommodate the town’s long-term employment and commercial needs. An official plan amendment (OPA 26) was adopted by Council on April 16, 2018 to update commercial- and employment-related policies in the Livable Oakville Plan. The final report describes related work to be undertaken through other Official Plan Review projects.
The Speers Road Corridor Study 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. An official plan amendment (OPA 27) was adopted by Council on April 16, 2018 to update the policies applying to the Speers Road Corridor.
The Urban Structure Review considered where and how to grow in the Town of Oakville. Official plan amendments were adopted by Council on September 26, 2017 – and approved by Halton Region on April 26, 2018 – to incorporate a new urban structure and related policies into the town’s official plan documents.
The growth area reviews will revisit the policies introduced by the Livable Oakville Plan in 2009 to manage growth and change within the existing growth areas south of Dundas Street. The "main street growth areas" of Bronte Village, Kerr Village and Downtown Oakville were studied first, and official plan amendments (OPA 18, OPA 19 and OPA 20) were adopted by Council in December 2017. The “primary growth areas” of Midtown Oakville, Uptown Core and Palermo Village, and certain adjacent lands identified through the Urban Structure Review, are now being studied.
Nodes and corridors are key areas of the town identified as the focus for mixed use development and intensification. Nodes include the town’s growth areas. The Urban Structure Review identified additional nodes and corridors to be studied. Nodes currently being studied are the Bronte GO Major Transit Station Area and the Health Oriented Mixed Use Node.
The Residential Policy Review will revisit the Livable Oakville policies intended to maintain and protect the character of established residential areas. Development activity and residential development opportunities will be studied. New and revised policies will be considered to support the growth management framework established by the updated urban structure.
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 examine the relevance and effectiveness of existing policies for specific land uses or topic areas (e.g., transportation, sustainability, and implementation and monitoring).
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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.