It is a requirement of the Planning Act that all municipalities review their Official Plan every five years to ensure compliance and conformity with provincial policy, and matters of provincial interest (Section 26. of the Planning Act). As a result, the Town of Huntsville Official Plan needs to be reviewed to ensure consistency with the Provincial Policy Statement, which was updated in 2014, as well as District of Muskoka Official Plan, which is currently undergoing a review as well.
Official Plan Review Process
Click on one of the following links to go to the specific section of this page:
Please watch the following video for additional information on the Official Plan Review project.
The Official Plan Review Project will follow a schedule and process outlined in the diagram below and sections below:
Phase 1: Creating a Vision
Phase 1 of the Official Plan Review kicked off with visioning workshops where the public was invited to attend and provide input on how they envision the future of Huntsville. The vision and guiding principles for the existing Town of Huntsville Official Plan can be found under Section 2. Given the importance community Vision plays in land use policy, the first step of the Official Plan project is to determine whether the existing Vision still reflects the direction that residents, stakeholders and Council want for Huntsville in the next 20 years. These sessions represented the beginning of the process as the Vision provides a basis for developing goals, objectives and policies for the Official Plan.
The current Vision, which was developed in 2006, is considered to be the foundation for the existing Official Plan. As the Town continues to mature, we must regularly revisit the Official Plan to ensure that we are realizing the collective vision and responding to our community's needs. It also provides an opportunity to obtain input on Official Plan policies including land use, growth management, environment, transportation, heritage, as well as others.
As part of the Visioning process the Town held a number of facilitated workshops in October 2015 which entailed small groups collaborating on what you LOVE about the Town and what YOU think needs to be improved. The people attending the workshops were asked to provide input on the existing goals and themes in the Official Plan and engage in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Visioning Workshops were held with the public at Utterson Hall and the Active Living Centre and with Council, the Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee and the Huntsville Youth Council at Town Hall.
A questionnaire was developed as part of the Visioning process to get input from the public. The deadline for filling out the questionnaire was October 30, 2015. The public submitted 113 questionnaires by the deadline.
All input received during the workshops and through questionnaires will
be summarized, interpreted, and refined. A refined Vision as well as
goals/guiding principles will be recommended by the Project Team and
then presented to Council and the public. The intent of these sessions
will be to provide feedback on the Vision as well as the goals/guiding
principles and then rank them within a workshop setting. The
recommended Vision and goals/guiding principles will then inform the
development of the goals and objectives of the draft Official Plan.
Phase 2: Background Reports
As part of the Official Plan Review process, a series of Background Reports will be completed. These reports will provide information to support the recommended changes in the new draft Official Plan. The public will have an opportunity to review each of the Background Reports upon completion and provide feedback through participation in an open house consultation event and/or by completing an online questionnaire.
Phase 3: Official Plan
We will use all input received throughout the review process to develop a draft Official Plan which will be available for public review in the Fall of 2016. Public consultation events will be held at that time and feedback received will inform the final Official Plan. The final Official Plan will be subject to approval by Council and the District of Muskoka.
Your input matters to us! We want to hear from you throughout this process. In each of the three phases of the Official Plan Review, we will post updates and public consultation event information on the website and through Facebook and Twitter, along with any documents that are ready for review. Please check back often to ensure that you are informed of the process, meetings, and opportunities to review materials and provide comments.