The journey to adopt a new Official Plan is entering the final stage after several years of study and public consultation.
The public and interested parties are invited to have one last look at the plan before it goes to Council and ultimately the province for final approval.
The Official Plan guides how the County of Prince Edward will grow and develop over the next 25 years. The entire draft is posted on Have Your Say public consultation website. The page also includes several forums where people can learn more about each section of the plan and offer feedback. Public consultation closes November 5, 2020.
Highlights of the latest version of the plan include the following proposals:
- 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.
- 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.
- Support for agriculture-related and on-farm diversified farming uses. Development proposals for farm-related uses that meet the criteria do not require formal approval from the County if they are less than 1,200 square metres in size.
- Natural Core Areas have greater protection by not permitting larger scale developments outside of a settlement area and requiring greater environmental review to show no negative impacts on the Linkages between the Natural Core Areas.
Staff intend to bring the matter forward to Council with a report to a special Committee of the Whole on Thursday, November 19. The meeting begins at 1 pm. Once Council approves the Official Plan, the document is sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for review as the Minister has final authority over the Official Plan, which is required under provincial legislation.
To review the draft plan and to provide feedback on the plan is through visit the County’s Have Your Say website. You can also provide feedback via a letter to the County (Engineering and Development Services, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0).