A review of Southgate’s official plan is under way which will include new mapping for the township.
Both the Saugeen Valley and the Grand River Conservation Authorities have been asked for up-to-date maps, Ron Davidson, contract planner, said in a report to Southgate Council.
In the time since the last Official Plan was done, there are many more details required. The Southgate plan now has three schedules: on land use, transportation, and environmental constraints on developments such as aggregate and natural features.
At the County level, the Official Plan now has included newer features such as wellhead protection areas. Another added area is treaty and traditional territories.
To avoid repetition, Mr. Davidson recommended just including references to the County OP where possible. He said the Grey County plan is almost 250 pages, but he hopes Southgate’s plan could be clearer and more concise.
The County plan allows a severance in agriculture for an agriculture-related use such as apple storage, flour or grain mill, abattoir or stock yard. Southgate can be more strict than the county, and council directed against including that type of severance.
Language associated with on-farm shops will change to use terms from the Provincial Policy Statement. Decisions will have to be made on the size of the categories: agriculture uses, agriculture-related uses and on-farm diversified use, in both Agriculture and Rural designations.
Another decision is in the number of severances on original township lots of 40 acres and 100 acres.
Other issues highlighted by Mr. Davidson were: short-term accommodation, cannabis production, affordable housing and minimum dwelling size. With regard to the latter, the Ontario Building Code minimum is about 300 square feet.
The first draft of the official plan will come before council for discussion when it is ready. After any changes requested by council, the first public open house will be held on the updated Official Plan.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald