Guide to Official Plan Amendments
Planning - General Information

Guide to Official Plan Amendments

What is the Official Plan?

One of the most important responsibilities municipalities have is land use planning.  The Official Plan is one of the planning documents that is key to controlling land use in the Township.  The Official Plan sets out the Township’s goals and objectives and establishes policies on how the Township will deal with various land uses and servicing questions that arise.

What is an Official Plan Amendment?

A landowner who wishes to use his/her property or develop it in a way that conflicts with the policies of the Official Plan would need to apply to the Township for an amendment to the Official Plan to allow the development to occur.  For example, an Official Plan amendment would be required to create a new lot in a Neighbourhood that does not support severances in the Official Plan policies for that Neighbourhood.

How do I apply?

It is strongly recommended that you consult with Planning Department staff prior to the submission of an application.  It is helpful to discuss your proposal with staff to confirm whether a Zoning By-law amendment and/or other planning approvals are necessary.  Contact information can be located on the Township’s website.

An application form to amend the Official Plan can be downloaded, printed and completed manually.  For your convenience, the application can also be completed on-line in a fillable PDF format and then printed.  Please note that applicants must submit an original application form containing original signatures where indicated.  In addition, the applicant must complete the Affidavit or Sworn Declaration section of the application form before a Commissioner or other person empowered to take affidavits.

An information sheet accompanies the application form and provides details with respect to the application process, the costs involved and the information and documentation required to be submitted with the application.

How will my application be processed?

Planning Department staff will conduct a preliminary review of the application upon receipt of a completed application form, together with all required documentation and the application fee.

As part of the review, the application will be examined for consistency with the Township’s policies and the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement.  This review may result in the need for the applicant to engage an environmental consultant to have a more thorough review of the potential impact to the natural heritage features on the property.  The application cannot proceed to Council for consideration until such time as the environmental review has been completed.

The Township’s Planner will prepare a planning report and the application will be scheduled to be considered by Council.  Council may direct that the proposed amendment be scheduled to be considered at a public meeting as required by the Planning Act, or, it may refuse to adopt the proposed  Official Plan amendment.

The purpose of a public meeting is to provide an opportunity for the public to speak in support of or in opposition to the proposed amendment.  Notice of the public meeting must be circulated to owners of land and other parties as prescribed by Township policy and Planning Act regulation.

Following the public meeting, Council will adopt or refuse to adopt the proposed Official Plan Amendment.  If the Amendment is adopted, notice of the adoption of the amendment will be given to all persons and agencies as required by Planning Act regulation.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is the approval authority for Official Plan Amendments for the Township of The Archipelago.  Following Council’s adoption of the Amendment, it will be submitted to the Ministry for approval.  The Ministry may approve the Amendment as is, or it may approve the Amendment with modifications.  The Ministry will forward notice of the Ministry’s decision with respect to the Official Plan Amendment to those parties that have forwarded a written request to be notified.  The notice will outline the appeal procedures and identify the last day for appealing the Ministry’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  If no appeal is made by the end of the appeal period, the decision is final and binding and the Official Plan amendment comes into full force and effect.

Can an Official Plan Amendment be appealed?

There are various stages in the application process at which a party has the right of appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  In general, any person or public body who has made an oral submission at the public meeting or has provided Council with a written submission with respect to the application has the right to appeal the decision of Council to the OMB.  Parties also have the opportunity to appeal the Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ decision with respect to approval of the Official Plan amendment.  Appeal forms are available on the Ontario Municipal Board’s website

For further information with respect to appeals, please contact the Planning Department.  Additional information can also be found in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ Citizen’s Guide to Official Plans.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 14:09