Aylmer seeking feedback on official plan amendments

·2 min read

Town of Aylmer is asking for public feedback on their proposed official plan amendments, with the details explained through a virtual open house.

The official plan is a statement of goals and policies, intended to guide future land use within the town to build sustainable communities and protect natural and agricultural resources. The Ontario Planning Act requires a review/update of the plan every five years.

“It’s not a brand-new official plan, it’s just amending our existing one to fit with the current legislation,” explained Corporate Services Director Kale Brown during a virtual council meeting on Monday, Nov. 16.

The draft official plan lists proposed changes to housing access and attainability; active transportation; parks, open space and sustainability; cultural heritage; servicing, stormwater, and waste management; transportation, energy and utilities; and general “housekeeping” updates.

For example, one amendment is the provision of traditional and non-traditional housing options “to support residents of all ages.” Another is a new policy to partner with infrastructure providers to increase access to electrical vehicle charging stations.

A 13-minute video explaining the amendments is available on the town website.

During the meeting, Councillor Tom Charlton asked, “Are you in pretty good shape as far as growth concerns – our lagoons can handle the development in Cottonwood [Hills] without any issues?”

Mr. Brown said that these projects would be addressed separately through the budget process and through the strategic priorities of the operations and planning department.

“Staff will always recommend that council plan accordingly for our growth,” said Mr. Brown. “It’s difficult to say exactly what capacity that we would have because you don’t know exactly what’s going to be built.

“We think it’s going to be around 300 units, and that was set aside back when the plan of subdivision was approved.”

Aylmer staff started the review process of the town’s official plan in 2019, with the help of WSP, a consulting firm.

Citizens are encouraged to review and provide feedback on the proposed changes before the plan is brought back to council on Monday, Dec. 7.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express