Council Adopts New Official Plan: A Catalyst for Positive Change

After more than three years of intensive consultation and research, Collingwood Council adopted a new Official Plan on December 11, 2023, replacing the outdated 2004 version.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who contributed to this comprehensive process, whether through attending meetings, providing written feedback, or participating in our open houses. The level of community engagement has been outstanding, reflecting our collective commitment to building a vibrant and sustainable future for Collingwood.”

Mayor Yvonne Hamlin

The new 2023 Official Plan is a visionary document that paves the way for sustainable growth and development. It stands at the forefront of progress, addressing housing needs and the climate crisis with a forward-thinking approach. With balanced perspectives firmly rooted in the public interest, it becomes a catalyst for positive change. This blueprint does not just envision a better future, it actively shapes it, harmonizing urban and economic vitality with environmental and fiscal responsibility. The Plan is a testament to the collective commitment to creating vibrant, resilient, complete communities where both present and future generations can not only meet their needs but thrive in Collingwood. 

The new 2023 Official Plan is intended to manage and direct long-term growth and land use change in the Town of Collingwood to the year of 2051, complimenting the Community-based Strategic Plan and other Master Plans. The Plan provides a strategic and comprehensive framework to guide decisions about sustainable development and infrastructure investment with the goal of supporting a healthy and affordable community. The Plan is structured to manage change in a way that contributes to Collingwood’s reputation as a successful and desirable place to live, work, play, and invest. 

The Official Plan achieves these goals by setting objectives and policies related to managing growth, improving transportation systems, facilitating economic development, enhancing housing affordability, protecting natural heritage and cultural features, recognizing the importance of a thriving downtown, promoting climate resiliency, and supporting and building on the strengths of the community. Further, the Plan contains policies that implement legislation, regulation and policies from the Provincial and County levels while addressing local priorities and the unique Collingwood context. Although this Plan presents a long-range framework, it is also a dynamic document that is designed to respond to changing circumstances over time.
 
Consultation Summary

The new 2023 Official Plan was developed through a process of in-depth community and stakeholder engagement as well as the completion of background discussion papers and reports. Public consultation on the 2023 Official Plan was undertaken in accordance with or exceeding the requirements of the Planning Act. Prior to the adoption of the 2023 Official Plan, two statutory Open Houses and a Public Meeting were held on October 4 and 17, 2023, respectively. The Town of Collingwood received many written and oral submissions on 2023 Official Plan. All submissions were given full consideration and incorporated into the Plan where appropriate.

Modifications

Council made five modifications to the new Official Plan prior to its adoption:

  • Retained the maximum height limit of buildings to 12 meters (3-4 storeys) in the Downtown Heritage Conservation District 
  • Prohibited new office uses on the ground floor of buildings in the Downtown Core Designation that front onto Hurontario Street
  • Where moderately scaled research, development and warehousing facilities or other low impact industrial uses are permitted in mixed use designations, clarified that those should be wholly enclosed within the mixed-use buildings
  • Added that the future collector link between Third and Cambridge Streets is subject to further study
  • Removed the numbering of community priorities to demonstrate that there is no implied order of importance
Next Steps

The approval authority for the 2023 Official Plan is the County of Simcoe. The County may decide to approve, modify, and approve as modified, or refuse to approve parts or all of the adopted Plan. 

To request a notice of the County’s decision or to discuss your appeal rights please contact:
Attention: County Clerk, County of Simcoe, Administration Centre, 1110 Highway 26, Midhurst, ON L9X 1N6 or email: clerks@simcoe.ca 

For More Information:
Nathan Wukasch, Senior Planner
nwukasch@collingwood.ca or 705-445-1290 Ext. 3275
55 Ste Marie St, Third Floor, Collingwood, ON L9Y 0W6
By appointment Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To view the new 2023 Official Plan, please visit: https://engage.collingwood.ca/official-plan (pending addition of amendments as noted above).

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