BROCKTON – The county’s Official Plan review schedule is on the agenda for the June 16 meeting of Bruce County council.
Mayor Chris Peabody said it appears the county’s new Official Plan is “bogged down,” and planning staff are proposing to “expedite passing of the important parts” and putting the rest off until 2023.
He supports that. However, he intends to see that Brockton isn’t shortchanged in the process.
“We need to expand our urban boundaries,” he said.
The municipality has “no commercial land,” and no land for residential development. In addition, all growth is being directed to Walkerton, at the expense of the hamlets.
“I’m going to propose the hamlets be doubled in size,” he said, adding that he’ll “take a magic marker and draw on a map” what he’d like to see.
The mayor stressed that it’s vital to move ahead with the Official Plan, to maximize current growth patterns and opportunities. And Brockton needs its fair share of that growth.
“We need this now, not 10 years from now.”
Such matters as natural heritage can be postponed until 2023.
Development of the county’s new Official Plan is being done in four phases, and is nearing the end of phase two – preparation of the draft Official Plan (OP).
Adoption of the OP on the original timeline was slated for late 2022.
Three options are being proposed: maintain the current work plan and schedule, despite the high application volume and some staffing vacancies; maintain the current plan and extend the schedule into the spring of 2023, with the risk that it may take the new council time to come up to speed on issues; or adopt the OP in two stages. The last option would provide additional project time for Brockton’s Minister’s Zoning Order process to unfold, while allowing local municipalities to begin their own plan updates.
Armouries building discussed
Discussion continues on the future of the historic armouries building in Walkerton. The municipality has decided to sell the building, and Peabody said talks are ongoing with a local contractor “who has a good track record” with historic buildings.
Peabody commends all the volunteers who worked to make the weekend’s Touch-a-Truck event a success.
“Amazing. Great work,” commented the mayor.
He also said he’s thrilled at Monday’s announcement on the new EV charging station at the Walkerton arena.
“It adds value to the arena,” he said, noting that parents have been asking about an electric vehicle charging station.
The station will be installed at no cost to the municipality.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times