Growth Forecast and Second Unit Policy Updates (OPA 99)

Growth Forecast and Second Unit Policy Updates (OPA 99)

When the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (the Growth Plan) was approved in June, 2006, it included population and employment forecasts for the County that extended from 2006 to 2031. The Growth Plan requires upper-tier municipalities to allocate these forecasts to local municipalities. Official Plan Amendment No. 61 was adopted by County Council in June, 2008 to extend the Official Plan forecasts to 2031, and to allocate the Growth Plan forecast to local municipalities. While not a provincial requirement, the residential forecast was further allocated to Urban Centres. 

In June, 2013 the province approved Amendment No. 2 which extended the Growth Plan forecasts to 2036 and 2041. Watson and Associates was retained to extend the County forecasts to 2036 and 2041, and allocate the updated forecast to local municipalities. The updated forecast was again further allocated to urban centres for residential.  In May, 2015, County Council received a growth forecast update from Watson and Associates, and directed staff to circulate the amendment to local municipalities for comment. A number of comments were received and they have been accommodated within the draft Official Plan Amendment below that is being circulated for comments.

Bill 140 received Royal Assent on May 4th, 2011 in the Ontario legislature and introduced changes to various legislations, including the Planning Act, that went into effect in January, 2012. The Planning Act changes require municipalities to develop Official Plan policies that authorize the use of a second unit in a single detached, semi-detached and rowhouse dwelling; as well as in ancillary buildings and structures.  Additional changes included extending the temporary time a garden suite may be permitted on a property from 10 years to 20 years. The overall purpose of the Planning Act changes is to increase the supply of affordable housing by strengthening second unit and garden suite provisions. In December, 2015 staff circulated Planning Report PD2015-36 - Second Unit and Garden Suite Policies to local municipalities for comment. Based on comments received there were minor revisions incorporated into the proposed amendment

The Draft Official Plan amendment was circulated for comments in March and a Public Meeting was held on April 21st, 2016. A number of comments were incorporated into the Final Draft of the Amendment (see below). The amendment was adopted by County Council on May 26, 2016. OPA 99 was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board and a prehearing conference call has been scheduled for June 16, 2017.

On January 23, 2017, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) held a Prehearing Conference in the County Council Chambers to discuss procedures and to identify parties who wished to participate in the hearing of the appeal of OPA 99.  The Board issued a written Decision regarding that Prehearing Conference on February 1, 2017.  (make appropriate reference to posted Decision).  The Board decided that the next Prehearing Conference would be held on June 16, 2017, by teleconference.  During the winter and spring, the County had settlement discussions with the appellants regarding their appeal of OPA 99 to try to resolve their concerns.  Since the appeal related to the parts of OPA 99 that applied to the Town of Erin, representatives of the Town were also involved in those discussions.  The settlement discussions were successful and the County and Town requested the opportunity to present the settlement to the OMB for its approval during the scheduled teleconference on June 16, 2017.  On June 16, 2017, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) held a settlement hearing by teleconference, with all parties, regarding the proposed settlement.  The settlement proposed certain modifications to OPA 99 to address the issues raised in the appeal.  During the settlement teleconference, evidence and submissions in support of the settlement were presented by the County planner and solicitor and the settlement was not opposed by any party.  The County presented a draft Order to the OMB, setting out the Order that was being requested to be made by the OMB and it was revised slightly during the teleconference to address questions that arose during the discussion.  The OMB reserved its decision while it considers the matter.  A copy of the Revised Draft Order, dated June 16, 2017, which is being sought by the County, is posted below for the information of interested members of the public

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