Shaping Guelph: Official Plan Review

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The City is working to review and update its Official Plan to conform to changes to Provincial legislation and policies by July 1, 2022.

Guelph’s Official Plan (OP) is a legal planning document that establishes a vision for the future of the municipality and provides policy direction to manage future land use patterns and growth. An OP covers:

  • How land can be used, whether it should be used for houses, industry, offices, commercial, parks, natural areas or a mix of uses;
  • What services, like roads, sewers, parks and schools are needed; and,
  • When, and in what order, parts of the municipality will grow.

Revisions to the Official Plan will ensure Guelph conforms and is consistent with:

  • Recent amendments to the Planning Act,
  • Recent amendments to the Clean Water Act,
  • The Provincial Policy Statement (2020), and
  • A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2019).

To initiate a five-year review of an Official Plan, the Planning Act requires a special meeting of Council, open to the public, be held to discuss OP revisions that may be required.

The Official Plan Review is occurring concurrently with Shaping Guelph. Shaping Guelph is exploring how and where Guelph can grow over the next 30 years to meet provincial forecasts and targets in a way that works for Guelph. The Official Plan review and Shaping Guelph will result in an Official Plan amendment(s) to ensure Official Plan conformity with provincial legislation and policies.

See the "Project Updates" tab for current engagement opportunities.

The City is working to review and update its Official Plan to conform to changes to Provincial legislation and policies by July 1, 2022.

Guelph’s Official Plan (OP) is a legal planning document that establishes a vision for the future of the municipality and provides policy direction to manage future land use patterns and growth. An OP covers:

  • How land can be used, whether it should be used for houses, industry, offices, commercial, parks, natural areas or a mix of uses;
  • What services, like roads, sewers, parks and schools are needed; and,
  • When, and in what order, parts of the municipality will grow.

Revisions to the Official Plan will ensure Guelph conforms and is consistent with:

  • Recent amendments to the Planning Act,
  • Recent amendments to the Clean Water Act,
  • The Provincial Policy Statement (2020), and
  • A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2019).

To initiate a five-year review of an Official Plan, the Planning Act requires a special meeting of Council, open to the public, be held to discuss OP revisions that may be required.

The Official Plan Review is occurring concurrently with Shaping Guelph. Shaping Guelph is exploring how and where Guelph can grow over the next 30 years to meet provincial forecasts and targets in a way that works for Guelph. The Official Plan review and Shaping Guelph will result in an Official Plan amendment(s) to ensure Official Plan conformity with provincial legislation and policies.

See the "Project Updates" tab for current engagement opportunities.

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Please ask us any questions related to this project.  A response will be provided as soon as we can.

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    A question from the June 3, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and the Natural Heritage System: With regard to the proposed policy direction to remove advisory committee Terms of References from the Official Plan, how will this impact the importance and function of these committees?

    5 days ago

    The City is proposing to remove any reference to items like how city advisory committees operate that are more appropriately dealt with in Terms of from the Official Plan. The Terms of Reference themselves will remain as part of the By-laws that enact and govern these committees. This change does not diminish the importance or relevance of these committees, nor does it impact their function. The rationale behind this approach is to reduce administrative updates to the Official Plan that may expose the way these committee’s operate to appeal under the Planning Act.

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    A question from the June 3, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and the Natural Heritage System: With regard to Environmental Impact Assessments for essential city infrastructure projects within the Natural Heritage System, how will the City ensure those approved projects provide a net ecological gain as proposed?

    5 days ago

    Currently, the City is proposing the policy direction to explore a net ecological gain for such projects. City staff will work together to determine how this may be accomplished. Final draft policies will be presented to the public for their review and comment.

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    A question from the June 3, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and the Natural Heritage System: Will large scale developments be informed by how much water Guelph has?

    5 days ago

    Yes. Even before development applications are submitted for review and approval, the City reviews water supply when designating lands and meeting the water needs of future residents. This is informed through the Water Supply Master Plan and Subwatershed studies.

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    A question from the June 3, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and the Natural Heritage System: Does Guelph have a responsibility for water beyond its boundaries?

    5 days ago

    Yes. The City feels that they do have a responsibility for water impacts beyond its jurisdictional boundaries. This includes impacts to Guelph’s river systems and watersheds that reach beyond the city. The City undertakes studies to better understand and minimize impacts.

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    A question from the June 1, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and Climate Change: Will the City be maintaining parks and greenspace which play an important role in climate change mitigation?

    5 days ago

    Yes, the Official Plan through land use and Natural Heritage System policies will continue to maintain and promote Guelph’s existing and new parks and open spaces. Further, The Parks and Recreation Master Plan is being updated, which will provide further direction on these spaces.

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    A question from the June 1, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and Climate Change: Can the Official Plan impact the built form through sustainable construction practices, materials and methods?

    5 days ago

    The Official Plan is not able to require certain construction practices, materials or methods, but it does encourage this.

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    A question from the June 1, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and Climate Change: How is the City exploring ways to help residents reduce their impact on the environment, through land use?

    5 days ago

    The Official Plan is a land use planning policy document that can set the foundation for a reduced environmental impact for Guelph. This is done through policies that support the development of complete communities. These communities use increased density and mix of uses to support needs of residents within a walkable or transit supported distance. All of which can reduce our impact on our resources.

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    A question from the June 1, 2021 virtual public workshop on the Official Plan Review and Climate Change: Is climate change mitigation or adaptation woven throughout the City’s land use policies and decisions?

    5 days ago

    Climate change mitigation and adaptation is woven throughout the Official Plan, touching on policies dealing with land use, mobility, energy and the natural heritage system, among others. Through the development review process, the Official Plan policies are applied to the review and conformity with these policies are noted.

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    Yorklands organization is trying to preserve part of the Old Reformatory as Heritage, not only the buildings but the landscape, ponds and trees. What is the city going to do about this?

    Claudia1234 asked 22 days ago

    On June 3, the city announced that staff would be bringing forward recommendations to City Council to designate the provincially-owned Ontario Reformatory lands and buildings at 785 York Road under the Ontario Heritage Act including listing the cultural heritage resources at 110 Dunlop Drive and 328 Victoria Road South.

    More information about the staff recommendations and when they will be considered by City Council is available here.

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    City is giving developers the option of "green roofs" vs soft landscape, can you explain what entails "green roofs" and how would the city enforce it?

    Claudia1234 asked 22 days ago

    As part of our ongoing comprehensive zoning bylaw review we are considering updates to requirements for landscaped open space to allow green or blue roofs to be included. Green roofs would be considered any roof top that allows for vegetation. Blue roofs would be any roof that is designed in a way that allows for stormwater to be retained on the roof and slowly released over time. Should these rules be approved in a new zoning bylaw they would be enforced by the city through development applications like all other requirements of the zoning bylaw.