The Official Plan is prepared in accordance with the Planning Act and must adhere to all Provincial Planning Policies, as well as those policies of the County of Simcoe. The Town is the Approval Authority for Plans of Subdivision, Plans of Condominiums, and Part Lot Control By-laws while the County of Simcoe is the Approval Authority for the Town's Official Plan and amendments thereto. Council adopted the Official Plan in November 2019. The Official Plan came into effect on February 19, 2021. This new document is user friendly, and is accompanied by eight ancillary maps.
The twelve Land Use Designations in the Official Plan are as follows:
- Neighbourhood Residential
- Shoreline Residential
- Mixed Use Corridor
- Commercial Corridor
- Employment Area
- Employment Land
- Natural Heritage
- Open Space
- Aggregate Extraction Area
- Schedule 'C1' - Waterfront District - Midland Bay Landing
The Official Plan identifies where all the major Residential, Commercial, and Industrial growth will occur in the Town over the next twenty years. The Official Plan has been structured to allow Council the greatest latitude of interpretation when reviewing development proposals.
Official Plan Amendments
A site-specific amendment to an Official Plan policy, or map amendment, requires Council's approval. The Official Plan Amendment process can take six months from application to final approval by the County. When Council considers an amendment to the Official Plan, public participation is encouraged and notification of the Public Hearing is advertised in the local papers. Please attend the hearing or submit your written comments, or call and ask questions, or visit Planning and Building Services to discuss any concerns or specific issues. For additional information on any application, please contact Planning and Building Services.
Town of Midland Official Plan
Official Plan Review
Schedule A - Growth Areas Map
Schedule B - Urban Structure Map
Schedule C - Land Use Map
Schedule C1 - Landuse Midland Bay Landing Map
Schedule D - Active Transportation Map
Schedule E - Roads Map
Schedule F - Infrastructure Map
Schedule G - Source Protection Map
Official Plan Amendment Application - Printable
Official Plan Amendment Application - Fillable
Previous Official Plan (2002)
Town Initiated Official Plan Amendment and Response to Bill 109 and Bill 13
The Town of Midland is proposing an Official Plan Amendment to respond to and implement changes by the Province of Ontario to the Planning Act made through Bill 13, the Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021; and Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022.
A public meeting is required by the Planning Act in consideration of the proposed Official Plan Amendment and will be held on December 7, 2022 at 6:00 PM both virtually and in Midland Council Chambers at 575 Dominion Ave Midland Ontario.
Public Meeting Notice
Background Information on Bill 109 and Bill 13
Bill 13, the Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021
Bill 13 allows Councils to delegate the authority to pass zoning by-laws that are of a minor nature to a committee of Council or staff.
Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022
Bill 109 introduces a series of changes among which are the following:
- As of January 1 2023 municipalities are required to return fees on a scheduled basis from 50% to 100% starting when decisions are not made on Zoning By-law Amendments within 90 days when filed alone or within 120 days when filed with an Official Plan Amendment and where decisions to approve site plan applications are not made within 60 days. The timeframes begin once a complete application has been received.
- The decision making period after which an appeal can be filed with the Ontario Land Tribunal for lack of a decision on site plan applications was extended from 30 to 60 days. This change was effective as of April 14 2022.
- Applications for site plan approval filed after April 14 2022 are now subject to complete application review prior to confirming an application is complete for formal processing where related policies exist in the Official Plan. This change was effective April 14 2022.
- Municipalities are now required to assign a municipal official to act as the approval authority for site plan approvals. This change was effective July 1, 2022.
The June 15 2022 Council report CSR-2022-45 Bill 109 Planning Act changes, implications and response/preparations within the Town of Midland provides a detailed review and analysis of Bill 109.
Re-engineering the Provincial Planning Framework
Ontario’s Provincial planning framework is established by the Planning Act
The Planning Act provides municipal governments with the direction and authority to guide development and land use planning through official plans and zoning by-laws and sets out requirements for various types of Planning applications. It requires all municipalities to follow the processes and requirements set out in the Act and its associated regulations.
The Government of the Province of Ontario has made a number of changes to the Planning Act as part of an overall re-engineering of the planning system in Ontario.
This includes the following Bills which have been passed:
- Bill 108, More Homes More Choices Act, 2019
- Bill 13, the Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021
- Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022
- Bill 3, the Strong Mayors Building Homes Act, 2022
The enacted Bills include:
- provisions that are currently in effect;
- those that take effect at various times; and also
- provisions that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing may activate through the release of associated regulations at future dates.
Changes through Bill 109 were built on revisions to Ontario's planning system introduced by the Province through Bill 108 in 2019 that, among other things, included:
The Province has now also
introduced Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, which is currently in the
consultation phase until November 24, 2022. Bill 23 proposes further
changes to the Planning Act (and other legislation) but this Bill has not yet
been passed. A future report on the
implications of Bill 23 pending further changes and/or its passing will be
provided for Council information and action as appropriate.
- shortening the decision making periods before which applicants can pursue appeals to the Ontario Land Tribunal;
- removing third party (neighbour, interest group etc.) rights of appeal with regard to decisions on draft plan of subdivision applications;
- restoring many of the old rules of Ontario's appeal body.
In response to Bill 109 the Town has already taken the following steps:
- The Town designated the Planning Director or their designate as the site plan approval authority through approved recommendations on June 15 2022 to take effect July 1 2022
- For unknown reasons, the Town’s Official Plan already contained provisions requiring a complete application for site plan applications prior to the Bill 109 Planning Act changes coming into effect
The Town's further response to Bills 109 and 13 includes the following:
- draft proposed Official Plan Amendment
- draft proposed By-laws and By-law updates:
- procedural changes
- resource and funding strategy to deal with the related revised responsibilities and process changes
Links to the OPA and the available other documents are provided above.
The proposed package of changes seeks to provide:
- faster decisions;
- less likelihood of appeals;
- recovery of fees for service with less reliance on taxpayer support;
- timely decisions that do not trigger mandatory fee refund requirements; and
- balanced outcomes that increase housing supply and responsiveness to business opportunities, while maintaining a community planning function that implements Council's community planning vision and reflects and strengthens the character of the community.
Proposed Official Plan Amendment
Only the Official Plan Amendment requires a Statutory Public Meeting.
A detailed listing of the proposed OPA content and an explanation of each of the proposed changes is outlined in the draft Proposed Official Plan Amendment.
Bill 109 Changes
New or amended policies have been proposed to implement a response to Bill 109 and generally include:
Detailed reports on the proposed package of changes and the public meeting will be available as part of the December 7, 2022 Council agenda. The intent is to seek approval consideration of the proposed changes in early 2023.
- Updates and revisions to pre-consultation and complete application policies.
- Introduction of a range of policies and revisions including but not limited to:
- an implementation policy addressing new procedures and requirements relative to the Provincial deadline of January 1, 2023;
- more complete listing of studies, reports and drawings that may be required as part of a complete application;
- requirement for public consultation as part of pre-consultation requirements and as the basis of a complete application;
- clarification of implementation of policy content through the development review/approvals process.
Bill 13 Changes
New policies and revisions to existing policies are proposed that will enable Council to delegate to staff the authority to pass a variety of minor zoning by-law amendments. These include Zoning By-law Amendments related to:
The proposed OPA would provide Council with the ability to delegate to the Director of Planning or their designate the authority to pass a by-law to amend and remove a holding symbol, establish a temporary use or extend a temporary use by-law. Removing a Holding provision does not require a public meeting under the Planning Act and under the terms of the proposed amendments and forthcoming delegation by-law the Director of Planning or their designate would have the authority to pass the By-law. Amending a Holding provision would require a Statutory Public Meeting under the Planning Act but the Director would have the authority to pass the By-law.Establishing a temporary use or extending a temporary use by-law, (with the exception of correcting typographical or mapping errors) will continue to be subject to a Statutory Public Meeting under the Planning Act with the only change being that the Director of Planning will have the authority to pass a by-law instead of Council.
- Holding By-laws
- Temporary Uses and related extensions
These provisions will delegate to staff approval authority for the related by-laws thereby helping reduce related delays in the planning process and supporting efforts to issue related approvals faster.
Proposed Process Changes
Various process changes are proposed to respond to the legislative changes and also improve both the speed and outcomes of the review/approvals process.
- Pre-consultation process
Proposed changes to the pre-consultation process would result in more complete applications with fewer unresolved or unidentified issues which create delays in the process and impede the issuance of related decisions in a timely fashion. Applicants will be required to be more prepared as part of pre-consultation. Provision is made for preliminary engagement to assist applicants prior to or as part of their staging for a formal pre-consultation. Simple applications can likely move through the process more quickly where more complex applications would require, among other things, identification and review of required studies, reports and drawings, review of that material within the pre-consultation process, and the identification and resolution of any issues that might impact the ability to arrive at a decision within the required timeframe. Additional detail is set out in the draft proposed Pre-consultation By-law.
Bill 109 changes require that site plan applications be approved in 60 days or the fees must be returned starting at 50% and increasing to 100% with the passage of time. Where there are outstanding matters the creation of a site plan approval with conditions stage enables issuance of an approval followed by specific conditions and clear basis for their resolution.
- Increased use of the Holding provision
Bill 109 changes require that a decision to approve or refuse a Zoning By-law Amendment is required in 90 days or 120 days when accompanied by an Official Plan Amendment or the ZBA fees must be returned starting at 50% and increasing to 100% with the passage of time. Official Plan policies allow for the use of the Holding provision to address a wide range of planning matters. Where a decision to approve a Zoning By-law Amendment is close to completion, but there are some outstanding issues that require further consideration, the Holding provision may provide a useful mechanism to allow an approval to be issued and by-law approved while requiring resolution of specified outstanding matters prior to the Holding being removed.
Related By-law Updates are required:
- Pre-consultation By-law
- Delegated Authorities By-law;
- Site Plan Control By-law (under review – to be posted)
- Fee By-law
Statutory Public Meetings are not required prior to approval consideration of these By-laws. However the proposed draft by-laws are provided for comment.
- Terms of reference, standards and guidelines
Greater clarity on terms of reference is planned as part of the Town's response. Where possible staff will seek to standardize terms of reference for common project requirements. In some cases, those terms of reference will require customization. In others staff will confirm the terms of reference and/or content quality standard requirements during pre-consultation. Related completion will be by qualified professionals retained at the applicants expense to the satisfaction of the Town.
At the same time as the Town completes its response to Bill 109 a fee review is underway to establish appropriate cost recoveries for Council consideration.