County Council adopts Official Plan

Cobourg, ON – September 17, 2014 – Northumberland County has a plan in place for the strategic development of local lands following Council’s unanimous vote today to adopt the long-awaited Official Plan.

"This plan achieves important balance between direction from the Province and input from local municipalities and community members,” stated Warden Linda Thompson. “This is a significant accomplishment, brought about through substantial collaboration between County and municipal staff and political representatives over the last year. The Official Plan sets the stage for long-term economic development for Northumberland County.”

Under development since the fall of 2013, the Official Plan was created based on a requirement from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. As a policy framework, it will guide local municipalities and the County in planning land development and use, in support of long-term economic growth and sustainability. In particular, it creates opportunities for large-scale employers to locate in Northumberland by grouping together lands zoned for employment/industrial use, rather than having smaller tracts of such land dispersed throughout the County.

The plan was informed through expert input from members of both a Technical Advisory Committee and a Steering Committee, as well as extensive public consultation. Throughout the year-long effort, there were eighteen committee meetings, seven public open houses, presentations to five member municipal councils, and a formal public meeting in July. The plan continued to evolve based on this vital input, with several key differences between the initial draft presented in April 2014 and the final version adopted today by Council, including:

  • the designation of 113 hectares of land as major employment lands, with an additional 90 hectares reserved for consideration as employment lands. This is down from a possible 305 hectares originally identified, translating into a reduction in the overall amount of prime agricultural land ultimately designated for this purpose;
  • commitment to undertake a natural heritage system strategy as well as an aggregate resources strategy as part of future plan amendments;
  • updated policies for transportation networks and recreational trails.

With the Official Plan adopted by Council, it will now go before the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for a review and subsequent decision regarding its approval. For more information about the Northumberland County Official Plan, visit www.northumberlandcounty.ca/official_plan.



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