United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Official Plan

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 were appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

On March 15, 2017, the OMB gave further approval to the growth and settlement policies of the Official Plan. Appeals are still outstanding on the Coastal/Provincially Significant Wetlands mapping on Schedules 'A' and 'C'.

This Office Consolidation of the Official Plan has been prepared for convenience to incorporate all approvals to August 1, 2017 (see below). Reference should be made to the original documents as adopted by Counties Council, and approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the OMB.

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

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


What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a vision or guideline document established under the Planning Act that outlines the goals, objectives and policies necessary to manage growth and provide direction for the use of lands.

In 2014, the United Counties retained MMM Group Limited in partnership with Hemson Consulting, to assist with the preparation of the Official Plan. The Plan was developed through extensive consultation with community members and stakeholders over several years. Local municipalities, Provincial Ministries and Conservation Authorities also participated in its preparation.


The Counties Official Plan provides policy direction on matters of County-wide significance. It is intended to be a high level document with a vision and direction that is supported by all ten member municipalities. The goal of the Official Plan is to ensure a balanced approach to growth management and the protection and conservation of the Counties' natural and cultural heritage, while encouraging development opportunities in a way that respects the Counties' unique character and sense of place.

The local municipalities will continue to manage and administer detailed land use planning 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.

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 prepare and adopt an Official Plan.

The Planning Act also requires that the new Official Plan be reviewed every ten years but it may be amended at any time to reflect changing circumstances or new priorities.

What does the Counties Official Plan include? 

Most of the content of an Official Plan is specified in the Planning Act. All Official Plans are required to be consistent with and implement relevant Provincial Plans and legislation, including the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement. 

The Counties Official Plan consists of 7 sections of policy text, 5 map schedules and 4 appendices. Generally, the text deals with land use planning matters related to: growth management and settlement areas; the promotion of economic development objectives; rural and agricultural issues; natural heritage, water resources and cultural heritage management; natural and human-made hazards; and servicing and transportation networks, including active transportation. 

Resources and Documents

Before the Counties Official Plan was put together, there were background studies done to make sure the Official Plan was based on the most up to date information. 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

The below are links to the 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/en/governing/Official-Plan.aspx

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: https://www.villageofwestport.ca/doing-business-1