The current Official Plan for the City of Brockville was adopted by Council in June 2011 and approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Hosuing February 9, 2012.
What is an Official Plan?
An Official Plan is a policy document adopted by Council under the provision of the Ontaro Planning Act. As such it reflects matters of provincial interest and applies to the entire city. Using the Plan as a guide, Council may adopt more detailed planning policies such as secondary plans and community improvmeent plans for specific neighbourhoods, and it also directs the development of new subdivisions. The use and development of individual parcels of land is also influened by the Official Plan, which establishes more specific regulatory measures related to land subdivision, zoning and site plan control.
How does it relate to the Zoning By-law?
A Zoning By-law is the regulatory tool that implements the policies of the Official Plan. A Zoning By-law contains provisions that regulate the use, size, height, density and location of buldings on proeprties within the City. The basic purpose of a zoning by-law is to regulate what can be built on a property, its character, and how it will be configured on the lot.
Can an Official Plan be amended?
If you propose using or developing your property in a way that does not comply with the existing Official Plan, you may have to apply for an amendment.
Before you apply for an amendment, you should discuss your proposal with the planning staff. They can offer preliminary advice and information on how to proceed with a formal application.
The process for dealing with Official Plan amendments is the same as for an Official Plan. It may also involve review by committees or municipal staff, as well as public meetings and negotiations. If local council refuses your Application for Official Plan Amendment, you may appeal to the LPAT.
What rights of appeal do I have?
If your concerns cannot be resolved at the municipal level and you do not agree with the council’s decision on the proposed amendment, you can, as a last resort, make an appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), an independent appeal body, by writing to the local clerk. You have twenty (20) days from the date of written notice of the council's decision to make your appeal.
Remember to write down the reasons for your appeal in detail. The LPAT will hold a public hearing at which you will have an opportunity to present your case.
The LPAT can either allow or dismiss your appeal, repeal or amend the Official Plan in any way it sees fit. The LPAT’s decision is final, except when the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing declares a provincial interest in the by-law. In this case, the Ontario Cabinet may confirm, overturn or change the LPAT’s decision.
An appeal to the LPAT is a serious matter requiring considerable time, effort and in some cases, expense on the part of everyone involved. A hearing can be as brief as a couple of hours if it involves few witnesses and only one or two planning issues but in more complex situations involving a number of adversaries, the hearing could stretch out over several days, sometimes even weeks.