Time line for completing the re-examination of the Official Plan is a challenge.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 27th, 2019



The Official Plan, one of the most misunderstood documents the city relies on – it is a dynamic document that is expected to react to changes taking place in the community and the wishes of the residents. The document is required to react to development proposals.

The Planning Act allows anyone with a development idea to approach the city’s Planning department and pitch them on making changes to the Official Plan and the zoning in place on a property.

The Planning department advises the developer but the developer still has the right to file an application which staff then have to issue a recommendation on that goes to city council for a yes or a no. And if the developer doesn’t like the response they get from city council they can appeal to the Local Planning Act Tribunal.

That’s the way the system works.

During 2018 the then city council approved a new city plan. Much of the public didn’t like the new plan – and it became the issue the October election was fought over.

A ward Councillor, Marianne Meed Ward, challenged the Mayor – won the Chain of office and set out to right what she thought was wrong.

The Regional government, which had to approve the new Official Plan chose not to approve what the city had submitted – so the plan had to be re-worked. The Region gave the new Mayor a gift telling her that the city could make other changes in the document – that they weren’t limited to fixing the few really minor problems the Region found.

That was all the new Mayor needed. She told the Planning department to get rid of the Grow BOLD approach they had taken to development and to re-work the plan.

How is that going so far?

Here is the time line and the numerous steps, hoops and hurdles that have to be dealt with.

OP review - time line

Completing the re-examination of the Official Plan that was approved by the city but not approved by the Region is rubbing up against the Interim Control Bylaw that is in place for a year. Getting a new plan is place is a serious challenge.

Kearns Dewc meeting

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns told a constituents meeting last week that “Work is underway with our consultant based on the terms of reference presented on May 21st. The terms of reference were developed at a March 18th workshop; the Official Plan direction to conduct the study was given on February 7th.”

They have their marching orders and by now the Planning department knows where this council wants to go.

Let’s see how this works out.


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