Elgin County Unveils Draft Official Plan for Public Review: A Community-Driven Plan to Shape the Next 20 Years of Growth and Development

March 22, 2023
For Immediate Release

 

Central Elgin, ON – After two years of extensive research, analysis, and community consultation, the County of Elgin’s Draft Official Plan is now available for public review and comment.

An Official Plan is a legal statutory planning document required by the Province that describes the County’s land-use strategy. This Official Plan update was mandatory in accordance with Section 26 of the Planning Act, which states that a minimum of five (5) years is required between revisions.

The latest version of the County’s Draft Official Plan was revised with the intention to:

  • Establish a county-wide planning framework for managing growth and land use while addressing planning issues of countywide importance and scope until 2043;
  • Provide direction for the responsible management of the natural environment and natural resources, including the County’s agricultural land base;
  • Ensure that planning in the County occurs in an orderly and logical manner that supports the creation of healthy, liveable, and vibrant communities;
  • Provide direction to local Municipalities in the preparation of their own official plans, zoning by-laws, and other planning documents, as well as local infrastructure decisions; and
  • Ensure a consistent approach to the review of all applications under the Planning Act at both the County and local levels.

 

“Elgin County’s Draft Official Plan has truly been a community effort,” said Warden Ed Ketchabaw. “Through continuous consultations with the public, the values, needs and unique realities of both our rural communities and urban centres are now better reflected. Now that the Draft Official Plan is complete, I’d like to encourage residents and stakeholders to take the opportunity to provide us with additional feedback to ensure that our Plan aligns with our community’s priorities for many years to come.”

Elgin’s Draft Official Plan strives to maintain a high quality of life for residents and sets out our strategic direction for the next 20 years of growth and development.

 

Some of the fundamental changes being proposed include:

  • An update of all policies and designations to comply with all Planning Act amendments, the Provincial Policy Statement (2020), and all current Provincial and National development guidelines;
  • The creation of 10 (ten) ‘strategic directions’ through a reorganization of the existing policy directions of the Plan;
  • The use of plain language to increase the accessibility and readability of the Plan by the general public;
  • A reduction of the overall length of the document by removing repetitive policies and redundant language; and
  • The addition of a new section entitled ‘Housing’ to reflect its critical importance to the County.

 

“Our new Draft Official Plan includes policies that address the pressing need for affordable and attainable housing options in the County,” said Warden Ed Ketchabaw. “This plan will enable greater flexibility in creating inclusive communities that cater to people of all ages and income levels, with a focus on providing affordable housing.”

Members of the public can view the Draft Official Plan, learn more about the County’s Official Plan Review Process, and provide comments by visiting: www.engageelgin.ca/officialplanreview.

 

How to provide your comments:

1. Written feedback can be submitted via email to: opreview@elgin.ca

2. Written feedback can be mailed to:

County of Elgin Planning Department
450 Sunset Drive
St. Thomas, ON, N5R 5V1

3. Leave a comment on our Engage Elgin Webpage at: engageelgin.ca/officialplanreview

Please note that submissions on the draft plan will be accepted until Monday, May 15, 2023.

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For additional information, please contact:


Warden Ed Ketchabaw
warden@elgin.ca

Brian Lima
General Manager of Engineering, Planning & Enterprise / Deputy CAO
npasato@elgin.ca

Our offices will be closed on Monday, November 13th. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, November 14th.