The new Official Plan, which will guide how the County of Prince Edward will grow and develop over the next 25 years, was adopted by Council last night.
The municipality will now send the new Official Plan to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval.
“The new Official Plan provides the municipality with a modern path forward, ensuring that change and development is both respectful and appropriate given our history, our environment, and our community,” Mayor Steve Ferguson says. “An extraordinary amount of work went into this plan. I want to thank the staff members who pulled the new Official Plan together, the many members of the public who thoughtfully engaged in this process over the last several years, and previous Councils who started and contributed to this process.”
The Official Plan adopted by Council includes a transition policy. Planning applications submitted and deemed complete before July 6, 2021 will be reviewed under the 2006 Official Plan. Applications that are missing one report based on seasonality may also be reviewed under the 2006 Official Plan as long as the applicant submits all the other required reports, documents, and fees.
Council made some additional changes to the Official Plan by motion including:
- Increasing the setback from locally significant wetlands and from Warings Creek from 30m to 50m
- Requiring a comprehensive relocation plan to be in place before more than four rental units could be demolished or converted as part of a development proposal.
Council also directed staff to prepare both a Cultural Heritage Master Plan and a review of the Shore Land designation in advance of 2023 for consideration in a subsequent Official Plan amendment. The Slab Creek provincially significant wetland was also sent back to staff to be considered as a possible addition to the Natural Heritage System in a future amendment to the Official Plan.
Staff are currently updating the new Official Plan document to incorporate the changes made by Council last night. The revised document will be sent to the province for review and approval as well as posted on Have Your Say next week. Follow the County on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Highlights of the Council-adopted plan include the following provisions:
- Eliminate country lot subdivisions and reduce severances to one per lot, instead of two, to help preserve the natural landscape, minimize conflicts with and preserve agricultural lands, and to direct growth to the varied settlement areas within the County.
- Smaller and less dense developments are to take place within the hamlets while larger more expansive and denser developments (including residential) are to be directed to the larger centres of Wellington and Picton where the County has already invested heavily into the existing infrastructure and is able and willing to expand the infrastructure (with the help of developers) to support any proposed growth.
- More accepting of creative/alternative means of housing development to help address affordability. Different forms of tenure (co-ops, mixed use) along with different performance standards (more lenient parking standards or setbacks) are intended to help create greater density.
- Natural Core Areas have greater protection by not permitting major development outside of a settlement area if the development requires an Official Plan amendment and requiring greater environmental review to show no negative impacts on the Linkages between the Natural Core Areas.
- Support for agriculture-related and on-farm diversified farming uses. Development proposals for farm-related uses that meet the criteria do not require formal site plan approval from the County if they are less than 1,200 square metres in size.
- A more expansive definition of tourism to include agri-tourism, wineries, craft breweries, distilleries, spas, cycling and nature trails; as such, tourism is now more appropriately permitted in most designations so long as it takes into consideration the intent of that land use designation.
If you have questions, please contact Michael Michaud, Manager of Planning, by email or call 613.476.2148 extension 2025.