You can shape planning in your community by participating in your regional or county level MCR and Official Plan meetings.

Regional and county planning decisions might take place two or even three years before the announcement that your town is building up on Main Street, or that your town is expanding its boundary into farmland. Just as the region or county needs to follow provincial plans, the lower-tier municipality or township must follow the upper-tier, county or regional plan. Basically, the upper-tier municipalities make decisions using the MCR process and then the lower-tier municipalities adjust their local Official Plans.

Each region is going to go through the same process but the timelines will be different. From the time the Land Needs Assessment methodology was released by the province in May 2018, most regions began to undertake studies to determine the land required to provide the housing and jobs for the region. From that analysis, the number of people and jobs will be allocated to the local municipalities.

Contact your municipality to have a say in shaping growth in your community and ask to get on the interested parties list.

Legally required public consultation for Official Plan reviews:

Your municipality must hold public meetings as part of reviewing its Official Plan.

A municipality has two options for revising its Official Plan to bring it into conformity with Growth Plan policies – it can either undertake a full review of its existing Official Plan or it can do a more limited Official Plan amendment, depending on how extensive the changes are.

To undertake a full Official Plan review, the Planning Act requires a minimum amount of public consultation. Specifically, your municipality must ensure that:

  • The draft plan is released to the public.
  • An open house is held to present the draft plan and answer questions.
  • Notice is given for a public meeting where citizens are invited to make oral or written deputations on the draft plan.
  • A special meeting of council is held to consider the draft plan, which is open to the public.

Then the plan is approved by council and sent to the province or upper-tier municipality for approval. Once approved by the province, your Official Plan cannot be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) or Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT).

Contact your municipal government to get on the interested parties list.

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