United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Official Plan Project

The Official Plan for the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville was approved with modifications by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on February 19, 2016, becoming the first Official Plan for the United Counties. On March 15, 2016, the Counties Official Plan came into full force and effect, except for those sections that have been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

The below office consolidation of the Official Plan has been prepared for convenience purposes to incorporate Ministerial Approval modifications and appeals made to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Reference should be made to the original Ministerial Notice of Decision and OMB appeals.

Official Plan for the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville - Office Consolidation

What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a document established under the Planning Act that outlines the goals, objectives and policies necessary to manage and provide direction for the use of lands, in this case, in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.

The Plan is developed through extensive consultation with community members and stakeholders. The Official Plan helps to ensure that future planning and development occurs in a responsible manner and with consideration to the effects of land use changes on the community's social, economic, and natural environments.

All Official Plans are required to be consistent with and implement relevant Provincial Plans and legislation, including the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement. The Planning Act also requires that an Official Plan is to be reviewed every five years but may be amended prior to that to reflect changing circumstances or new priorities.

Why did an Official Plan need to be prepared?

In 2014, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville was one of few upper-tier municipalities in Ontario that did not have an Official Plan in place. In accordance with amendments to Regulation 352/02 under the Planning Act, the Counties were required by the Province to adopt an Official Plan.

What does the Counties Official Plan include? 

The Counties Official Plan provides direction on matters of County significance and addresses the issues and priorities of the United Counties ten member municipalities, including the long-term management of growth and land use decisions. The local municipalities will continue to manage and administer detailed land use planning activities through their local municipal Official Plans, which will remain in effect to guide local decision-making. As part of the approval of the new Official Plan, the Province delegated to the Counties the authority to approve all local Official Plans and local Official Plan Amendments.

The Counties Official Plan is intended to provide guidance and policy direction on land use planning matters related to: growth management and settlement areas; the promotion of economic development objectives; agricultural issues; natural heritage and natural resource protection; natural and human-made hazards; and servicing and transportation networks, including active transportation. 

The Official Plan consists of 7 sections of policy text, 5 map schedules and 4 appendices. 

History of the Official Plan Project

In 2014, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville retained MMM Group Limited, in partnership with Hemson Consulting, to assist in the preparation of the first Counties Official Plan.

The Official Plan project had three stages.  Each stage contains general tasks and timing as outlined below.

Stage One: Background, Policy Options and Directions

  • Initiation of Project - March 2014
  • Met with Provincial Ministries including the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing - May 2014
  • Preparation of Draft Background Reports - April to June 2014
  • Presentation of Draft Background Reports to Counties Council and Local Municipal Councils - June 2014
  • Presentation of Draft Background Information at Public Open Houses and advance Stakeholder Consultation Sessions - June 24 and 26, 2014 in multiple locations
  • Presentation of Final Background Reports to Counties Council - July 2014

Stage Two: Draft Counties Official Plan

  • Preparation of Draft Official Plan - October 2014
  • Presentation of Draft Official Plan to Counties Council and Local Municipal Councils - November 2014
  • Overview of the Draft Official Plan at Public Open Houses and Stakeholder Consultation Sessions - November 26 and December 2, 2014 in multiple locations

Stage Three: Final United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Official Plan

  • Revision to the Draft Official Plan - January 2015
  • Presentation of the Revised Draft Official Plan to Counties Council and Local Municipal Councils - February 2015
  • Consultation with Stakeholders - January and February 2015
  • Statutory Public Meeting held - March 19, 2015
  • Draft Official Plan finalized- July 2015
  • Adoption of the Official Plan by Counties Council - July 23, 2015
  • MMAH approval of the Official Plan - February 19, 2016
  • Resolution of outstanding appeals at OMB - Later 2016

Resources and Documents

Several background studies were completed as input into the new Official Plan. The study links are found below: 

Further Information and Resources

For further information on the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Official Plan, please contact the Planning Services Department at planner@uclg.on.ca

The website links below provide further information related to Official Plans.

Province of Ontario

Planning Act: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90p13

Provincial Policy Statement: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=10463

MMAH Citizens' Guides: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page338.aspx

Local Municipal Official Plans

Township of Athens: http://www.athenstownship.ca/doocuments/planning 

Township of Augusta: http://www.augusta.ca/township-government/policies-and-reports/

Township of Edwardsburgh-Cardinal: http://www.twpec.ca/living-here/building-and-planning/

Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley: http://www.elizabethtown-kitley.on.ca/content/official-plan

Township of Front of Yonge: http://www.mallorytown.ca/index.cfm/town-hall/official-plan-zoning/

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands: http://www.leeds1000islands.ca/node/23

Village of Merrickville-Wolford: https://www.merrickville-wolford.ca/office-and-council/document-library/maps-official-plan-zoning

Municipality of North Grenville: http://www.northgrenville.ca/govern/governance/document-library/planning-development

Township of Rideau Lakes: http://www.twprideaulakes.on.ca/development/official-plan.html

Village of Westport: http://villageofwestport.ca/doing-business-2/planning-and-development/