Upcoming virtual consultations regarding Natural Heritage System amendments to County Official Plan

Cobourg, ON – March 4, 2021 – Northumberland County will be hosting a virtual open house and virtual public meeting regarding proposed Natural Heritage System mapping and policies for inclusion in the County Official Plan, as part of Northumberland Next – an initiative to update the County Official Plan. The Northumberland Next initiative will involve a series of amendments to the Official Plan, which will guide community growth and development in Northumberland over the next 30 years.

Required under provincial legislation, the Natural Heritage System will be the first amendment presented to County Council as part of the Northumberland Next process. This system, which has been in development since 2018, will preserve and enhance significant natural features and areas across the County such as wetlands, woodlands and watercourses.

Last year, County Council was presented with three options for a local Natural Heritage System including Basic, Comprehensive and Enhanced options, based on the minimum requirements identified by the province as well as input from the public. After consideration of feedback gathered from the public during two rounds of consultation taking place between 2018 and 2020, County Council endorsed the Enhanced Natural Heritage System Plan on July 22, 2020.

“With our community projected to grow to 122,000 people and 44,000 jobs by 2051, the County has launched the Northumberland Next initiative to evaluate our Official Plan in preparation for this forecasted growth, and ensure we are positioned to meet the evolving needs of our community,” states County Warden Bob Crate. “As a community that is known for its unique and thriving natural features, it is important that we update our plan to include policies and mapping that support a conservation-forward Natural Heritage System that protects and preserves these features for future generations.”

County staff are now considering policy and mapping changes to the Official Plan to implement the endorsed Natural Heritage System Plan. These proposed changes will be presented for feedback during two upcoming virtual events:

  • An open house with a 20-minute presentation to the public from County staff and consultants, followed by a Q&A period.
  • A public meeting with a 20-minute presentation to the Economic Development, Tourism, Land Use Planning Committee and the public for feedback.

Event details

Virtual Open House

Monday, March 29, 2021
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Join the Virtual Open House online
Join by phone (toll-free): 855-703-8985
Meeting ID: 864 1631 3406
Passcode: 993411

Virtual Public Meeting

Economic Development, Tourism, Land Use Planning Committee Meeting
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
9:00 a.m.
Join the Virtual Public Meeting online
Join by phone (toll-free): 855-703-8985
Meeting ID: 826 9239 2700
Passcode: 465315

Feedback gathered during these consultations will be used to inform a recommendation to County Council later in 2021 for a Natural Heritage System amendment to the County Official Plan. Once adopted by Council, this amendment will be submitted to the province for approval, and then integrated into the County’s Official Plan.

Residents are invited to visit the County’s online consultation portal to learn more about the Northumberland Next initiative, to view an interactive map demonstrating how the Natural Heritage System would be implemented in our community, and to review a copy of the draft Official Plan amendment.