Planning Board submits new Official Plan for approval

GORE BAY—The Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) has given notice of its adoption of the proposed new Official Plan (OP) for the Manitoulin planning area.

“We have our new proposed official draft plan that has now been submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (and Housing) for final approval,” said Elva Carter, secretary-treasurer of the MPB at a board meeting last week.

Ms. Carter pointed out the draft Official Plan had received adoption from all Manitoulin and area municipalities, except for Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI), which did not respond to the request for support of the document.

Ms. Carter said the planning and work toward putting together the OP has been ongoing since 2012. “Now that we have the draft document in hand and sent to the ministry for approval, although it is not a requirement I would like to have notice published (in the Island newspapers) that the proposed new Official Plan is out there.”

The board members passed a motion to put the notice of adoption of the new OP in both Island newspapers.

“It could take up to six months before we get approval on the Official Plan from the ministry,” said Ms. Carter.

“NEMI will have approval of their own planning authority first, by January 1,” stated Ken Noland, MPB chair.

The MPB Notice of Adoption, proposed new Official Plan-Manitoulin planning area states in part, “in accordance with Section 17(23) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.13, as amended, this notice shall provide “Notice of Adoption” in respect of the proposed new Official Plan for the Manitoulin planning area, adopted by the Manitoulin Planning Board and the municipalities of the Town of Gore Bay, Assiginack, Billings, Burpee and Mills, Central Manitoulin, Cockburn Island, Gordon/Barrie Island and Tehkummah.”

“The Manitoulin Planning Area Official Plan is a legal document that contains the goals, objectives and policies to manage and direct land-use changes and their effects on the cultural, social, economic and natural environment within the planning area. The current Official Plan, as amended, was approved by the province in 1979. The proposed new Official Plan will replace the current Official Plan and provide the framework for directing growth and change in the Manitoulin Planning Area to the year 2036. Once approved, all land use related zoning bylaw and all future development must conform to the Manitoulin  Official Plan.”

“The new OP seeks to guide future development in a more sustainable and livable manner. The adopted Official Plan contains policies that guide the development of the planning area while conserving resources and protecting the environment. Policies are included that protect the important environmental features and functions and addresses development in the  urban, rural and waterfront areas. This new plan will provide policies to aid municipal councils, public agencies and private interests in making local land use decisions for the next 20 years. The Official Plan will implement policies governing residential, rural, agricultural, commercial, industrial, institutional and open space development in addition to policies regarding the provision of municipal services (sewer and water), environmental protection, roads, subdivisions and land severance.”

Copies of the proposed new Official Plan are available for review at all partner municipalities and at the Manitoulin Planning Board office. Access is also available online at the Manitoulin Planning Board’s website at www.manitoulinplanning. ca

The proposed new Official Plan has been forwarded to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval.