Technical Backgrounder: Municipal Conformity

Municipal Conformity

Technical Backgrounder


Introduction

On June 16, 2006, the Government of Ontario released the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006. It was prepared under the Places To Grow Act, 2005, as part of the Places to Grow initiative to plan for healthy and prosperous growth throughout Ontario.

The Growth Plan aims to:

  • Revitalize downtowns to become vibrant and convenient centres
  • Create complete communities that offer more options for living, working, shopping and playing
  • Provide greater choice in housing types to meet the needs of people at all stages of life
  • Curb sprawl and protect farmland and greenspaces
  • Reduce traffic gridlock by improving access to a greater range of transportation choices.

Conformity Requirements Under Places to Grow Act, 2005

The Growth Plan provides policy direction for implementing the Government of Ontario's vision for building stronger, more prosperous communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The Places To Grow Act, 2005 sets out the statutory requirements for implementing the Growth Plan:

  • All decisions under the Planning Act and Condominium Act, 1998 shall conform to the Growth Plan as of the effective date (Section 14). These include many decisions made by:
    • municipalities and municipal planning authorities
    • the Province, where it is the approval authority represented by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
    • the Ontario Municipal Board
  • Municipalities shall bring their official plans into conformity with the Growth Plan within three years of the Growth Plan coming into effect (Section 12).

If in the Minister's opinion, an official plan does not conform with the Growth Plan or if an official plan has not been brought into conformity with the Growth Plan within three years of the Growth Plan coming into effect, the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal may request a change to the official plan to resolve non-conformity (Section 13).

The Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, jointly with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, may amend an official plan to resolve non-conformity (Section 13).

The Places to Grow Act, 2005, also provides direction to decision-makers in the event of certain conflicts with the Growth Plan:

  • If a municipal official plan or by-law conflicts, the Growth Plan prevails.
  • If the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 conflicts, the Growth Plan prevails, unless the conflict is between policies relating to the natural environment or human health. In that case, the direction that provides more protection to the natural environment or human health prevails.
  • If the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment or Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan conflicts with the Growth Plan regarding the natural environment or human health, then the direction that provides more protection to the natural environment or human health prevails.

Detailed conflict provisions are set out in the Places to Grow Act, 2005.

Conformity Approach

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal has been working closely with partner ministries on ensuring effective implementation of Growth Plan policies while maintaining a clear, consistent process for stakeholders in the planning process.

The One Window provincial planning service is the protocol used by Provincial ministries to provide municipalities, planning boards, developers and the public with one-stop access to provincial planning services - provincial review/input, approval and appeal of planning applications and matters. Through the One Window protocol, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is the lead ministry on Planning Act matters, co-ordinating a provincial position and advice to municipalities on provincial land use policy.

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal will join the One Window protocol, and through it, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal will review matters and decisions on key growth related interests and work closely with partner ministries to provide a co-ordinated position and advice on municipal proposals and decisions.

While the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is the primary contact for internal and external clients on Planning Act matters, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal may deal directly with applicants and municipalities on technical issues that are directly related to the Growth Plan.

In order to ensure that municipalities and other stakeholders understand the Growth Plan policies and the way in which they work together to implement the vision for growth management in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal will work with partner ministries to provide training and supplementary educational material on key Growth Plan policies.

Contact Information

For more information about the Places To Grow Act, 2005, and municipal conformity to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe please contact the Ontario Growth Secretariat:

Mailing Address:

777 Bay Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

Phone: 416-325-1210
Toll-free phone: 1-866-479-9781
Fax: 416-325-7403
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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