Submission on Growth Plan Guidance Documents

OFT recently reviewed and provided several recommendations to strengthen the guidance within the Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ Draft Guidance on the Municipal Comprehensive Review Process document and their Draft Technical Guidance on the Application of the Intensification and Density Targets document.

What the draft documents were about:

The Intensification and Density Targets document is a supplementary document for the Growth Plan
(2017). This document provides guidance to municipalities to plan for and meet the new intensification
and density targets.

The Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) Process document is also a supplementary document for
the Growth Plan (2017). This document helps guide municipalities through the process of changing their
official plan to conform to the new Growth Plan policies. The idea for this document is to have
consistency and conformity across all municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The overall goal for these documents is to help municipalities come into alignment with the Growth
Plan.

What our feedback was about:

Though we believe the Draft Guidance Documents are promising tools to direct the successful
implementation of the Growth Plan, we provided some recommendations to make that direction even
stronger. Those recommendations were sorted into the following themes: settlement area boundary
expansion, the Agricultural System, and density and intensification target alternatives.

A consistent thread in our recommendations was the need for additional language that provided further
clarification about definitions, requirements, necessary documents, etc. and for stronger language
discouraging actions that are not consistent with Growth Plan aims. For example, discouraging
settlement expansion in the Greenbelt and alternative target applications.

We reiterated our stance that firm settlement area boundaries are necessary to protect farmland
and reduce fragmentation of prime agricultural land. We also voiced our concern that alternative
density and intensification targets will erode the integrity of the Growth Plan’s policies.

To read the full report click here. To read our other policy reviews, visit our Farmland Policy page.

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