Official Plan & Zoning By-law Update

The Township of Minden Hills is currently undergoing a review of its Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a planning policy document that establishes goals, objectives, land use designations and land use policies for these designations to manage and direct development and land uses throughout the Township. Official Plans outline what is generally permitted within the land use designations and includes associated policies. Plans are generally viewed as “living documents” subject to amendment over time. Official Plans are reviewed on a regular basis.

What is a Zoning By-law?

A zoning by-law is a legal document that is passed under Section 34 of the Planning Act. It is considered “applicable law” under the Ontario Building Code Act and is intended to reduce conflict between incompatible land uses, as well as to be an implementation tool that gives effect to the Township’s Official Plan.
This allows municipalities to control:
• how land or buildings are used
• the type of building that can be constructed
• where buildings can be located
• how tall a building can be
• how many residential units may be constructed
• how small or large a property may be
• the number of off-street parking, accessible parking and bicycle parking spaces
• and other features related to the use of land

A Zoning By-law can not:

• prevent the maintenance, repair, or reconstruction of any non-complying or non-conforming building
• prevent the continued use of a legally established non-conforming use

Why is the Township updating these documents?

In the time since the passage of the Township’s Official Plan, there have been numerous changes in legislation and policy, including amendments to the Planning Act, a new Provincial Policy Statement, the approval of the Trent Source Protection Plan, and the County Official Plan among others. All of these changes necessitate a comprehensive review and update to both the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

Where are we at?

On July 27, 2017, Council passed By-law 17-68 amending the Township’s Zoning By-law 06-10. This “Housekeeping” was intended as a precursor to the more comprehensive amendments needed. The amendment implemented broad changes to various definitions in order to ensure consistent language throughout the text; new Minimum Distance Separation Requirements (MDS) to minimize odour conflict from farm uses; new and revised regulations providing standards and requirements for parking, including accessible parking, and loading spaces; revised sections on non-complying buildings and structures, and shoreline structures; new regulations governing hunt camps; and allowing for two (2) storey accessory structures in certain situations.

Starting in the Summer of 2018 Staff will be initiating a public consultation process to solicit input.

How can I particiapte in this process?

Participation in the Review process is important so that the Official Plan reflects the communities desires for the future of the Township. The Township will be hosting a number of Open Houses and Public Meetings to ensure that the public is informed of the changes and have an opportunity to provide input.

To stay informed about this process, please Subscribe to Alerts, located in the bottom right corner of the website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or, of course, read about it in the newspaper.

The Township welcomes and encourages the public to participate in this process. Comments can be provided by written submission to:

Ian Clendening, Planner
7 Milne Street, P.O. Box 359
Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0

Or by e-mail to iclendening@mindenhills.ca