The Government of Ontario has adopted new planning policies and legislation in a number of areas including:
- the protection of the Greenbelt under the Greenbelt Plan;
- better articulating provincial policy in planning through the Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006which was introduced to amend the Planning Act and revised Provincial Policy Statement, 2005; and,
- a stronger role that ensures intensification and the creation of complete communities in Ontario as directed by the Places to Grow Act.
These initiatives have resulted in a number of requirements for municipalities, such as the need for official plans to conform to Provincial policy. As such, the aim of the Peel Region Official Plan Review is to bring the Region Official Plan into conformity the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe; the Greenbelt Plan; the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS); and the Planning Act, 2006.
The Greenbelt Plan was established under Section 3 of the Greenbelt Act, 2005, to take effect on December 16, 2004, and municipalities are required to amend their official plans to conform to it.
The Greenbelt Plan identifies where urbanization should not occur in order to provide permanent protection to the agricultural land base and the ecological features and functions occurring on this landscape.
The Greenbelt encompasses 1.8 million acres of land and spans 325 kilometres: from the east end of the Oak Ridges Moraine near Rice Lake to the Niagara River in the west. It includes 80 per cent of Caledon and one per cent of Brampton, which amounts to 45 per cent of Peel Region. The Region of Peel, the City of Brampton and the Town of Caledon are required to implement the Greenbelt Plan through their official plans.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing - Greenbelt Plan
Report to Region of Peel General Committee on the Greenbelt Plan - April 13, 2006
Places to Grow
The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006, was prepared and approved under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, to take effect on June 16, 2006.
It is a framework for implementing the Government of Ontario’s vision for building stronger, prosperous communities by better managing growth to 2031, and includes a wide variety of policy directions:
- growth forecasts (of 1.64 million for Peel Region by 2031);
- intensification policies and targets (40 per cent for built areas); and
- density targets (200 persons and jobs per hectare) for urban growth centres (which includes downtown Brampton and the Mississauga City Centre) and greenfield areas (50 residents and jobs per hectare).
The Places to Grow Act requires municipalities to bring official plans into conformity with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe by June 16, 2009.
Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal - Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
Report to Region of Peel General Committee on the proposed Growth Plan
Provincial Policy Statement
The Provincial Policy Statement is issued under the authority of Section 3 of the Planning Act and came into effect on March 1, 2005.
The PPS is a key component of Ontario’s planning system as it sets policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning, growth management, environmental protection, and public health and safety; and aims to provide a stronger policy framework that guides communities in Ontario toward a higher quality of life and a better long-term future.
The PPS establishes the Region’s role in planning for growth, intensification and redevelopment. New settlement area policies will only permit expansions where it is demonstrated that opportunities for growth are not available through intensification, redevelopment or in designated areas. The PPS also requires municipalities to co-ordinate and provide direction that cross municipal boundaries, such as natural heritage systems and resource management. It also provides the context for the Region’s participation in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing - Provincial Policy Statement
Report to Region of Peel General Committee on the Provincial Policy Statement - April 13, 2005
Planning and Conservation Land Statute
Law Amendment Act, (Bill 51)
The Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act (Bill 51) came into effect on January 1, 2007, and is intended to clarify planning rules and processes, implement provincial policies and municipal priorities, and support a more effective public process for planning communities in Ontario.
Bill 51 made changes to the Planning Act, which now requires that all decisions made by municipal councils after March 1, 2005 “be consistent with” (as opposed to the previous “have regard for”) the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). Key policy changes in the PPS that will need to be addressed include:
- growth management;
- protection of employment lands;
- affordable housing;
- protection of natural heritage systems; and
- water resources.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing - Ontario Municipal Board / Planning Reform - Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act
Report to Region of Peel General Committee on Bill 51 - February 14, 2006