During a Special Council meeting held on July 31, 2023, Council endorsed the release of the Collingwood Official Plan Draft 2 (dated July 2023) for public review and statutory consultation.
Staff report P2023-24 provides a work program overview, a summary of what we heard in response to the release of Draft 1 last year, description of Provincial-level shifts affecting the Plan, outline of evolving conversations, and the proposed Official Plan Draft 2 itself. The drivers of the changes in Draft 2 were an exciting amount of public input (approximately 200+ letters and many verbal comments), as well as Ontario-wide legislative and policies changes.
The key themes of the public feedback included:
- Climate change mitigation and resiliency
- Third Street collector classification
- Transportation system, traffic calming and active transportation
- Growth management
- Natural heritage protection
- Housing options promotion
The primary areas of change between Draft 1 and Draft 2, several driven by the Province to increase the supply of housing, are focused on:
- Accommodating growth through minimum targets to be achieved for new residents and jobs as well as intensification and greenfield targets
- Reframing housing policies to support Town goals of affordability within a limiting Provincial framework
- Prohibiting certain uses within industrial-focused employment areas and permitting employment generating uses in mixed-use strategic growth areas
- Providing opportunities for added residential units in rural/agricultural areas but maintaining contiguous parcels for future community development when needed
- Updating transportation mapping to reflect approved studies and continuing to ensure Collingwood is a walkable and bikeable community
- Enhancing urban forest policies and maintaining a strong climate change resiliency and mitigation focus
- Responding to other Provincial shifts and public/stakeholder comments
The new Official Plan Draft 2 and associated schedules (i.e. the mapping) can also be reviewed on the Town’s Engage Page at https://engage.collingwood.ca/official-plan.
Please be advised that the content and any personal information in comment submissions will become part of the public record and may be provided to Council in an agenda package available to the public. If you have concerns regarding the public release of your Official Plan comments, please contact Clerk Services at email@example.com.
What Happens Next?
Draft 2 is intended to drive further conversations with the public, stakeholders, Indigenous groups with a current or historical interest in the Town of Collingwood’s geography, and the County of Simcoe, who is the approval authority. Through the first round of public engagement, we heard that the community wants sufficient time to review and digest Draft 2 to provide thoughtful commentary. So, the next steps of a formal open house and public meeting will be scheduled for the fall, at least six weeks after the Draft 2 release date. Timing and details of these consultations will be updated on the Town’s Engage Page for this project as soon as they are available. You may also provide written feedback in advance of the formal engagement opportunities via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town will compile the feedback received through the statutory consultation events and revise Draft 2 prior to returning to Council with a recommended Final New Official Plan and associated schedules for consideration of adoption. Formal notices of Council’s decision will be sent to those who have requested to be notified, noting that approval of the Final New Official Plan rests with the County of Simcoe and the document will not come into full force and effect until the County’s decision is made and any appeals are resolved.
You may request to be notified of future consultation opportunities and decisions on the new Collingwood Official Plan by e-mail to email@example.com or subscribe to the new Official Plan Updates e-Newsletter on the Engage Page.
The Town began the Official Plan Update project in 2019, with most of the background work occurring in 2020 including community visioning and a public survey. Discussion Papers were prepared and public consultations were held on a variety of key topics, which are available on the Town’s Engage Page for review. An Options and Recommendations Report was prepared to capture feedback and guide the next steps in preparing policies. All feedback received to that point was considered in the preparation of the new Official Plan Draft 1. Draft 1 was released on July 11, 2022, and was followed by two community information and feedback sessions with over 150 participants. Approximately 200+ written comments were also submitted. This body of feedback, along with Provincial changes in policy and legislation to boost housing supply were considered in the preparation of Draft 2.
The Town welcomes feedback on the Official Plan Draft 2 policies and schedules and looks forward to continued conversation with the community on this important project.
What is an Official Plan?
An official plan is the overall policy framework that guides growth and land use decisions within a municipality. It is a statutory document, with legal effect, required by the province and provides high-level direction on land use planning and built form to a specified time horizon, typically 20 years or beyond. Official plans address the principles of sustainable development and cover considerations related to environmental protection, economic vitality, and social wellbeing, all within the context of complete and healthy communities. The plan is the guide for the Town’s growth and directs where, when, and how growth should occur. It also impacts the permissions for development on individual properties.
The Planning Act requires municipalities to review and revise official plans every five to ten years to ensure they are consistent with or conform to applicable Provincial interests, policies, and plans.
For more information and to stay up to date on the Official Plan Update project activities please visit the project webpage at https://engage.collingwood.ca/official-plan.