The Planning Act requires all Counties and municipalities in Ontario to adopt an Official Plan that is regularly reviewed to make sure that it remains current. Planning documents and decisions on planning applications must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005.
An Official Plan gives direction on the physical development and long term protection of services within Huron County. Each of the nine local municipalities within the county has its own Official Plan and zoning by-laws to regulate land use, in addition to the County Official Plan which was passed June 3, 2013.
Official plans describe council's policies on how land in the county and your community should be used. It is prepared with input from you and your fellow citizens and helps ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.
An official plan deals mainly with issues such as:
- Locations for new housing, industry, offices and shops will go
- What services like roads, water mains, sewers, parks and schools will be needed
- When and in what order parts of your community will grow
- Protection of agricultural, mineral and environmental resources
Official Plans and zoning by-laws for a specific Municipality in Huron County can be reviewed by contacting the local Municipal Office. These legal documents:
- Inform the public about the municipality's general land use planning policies
- Make sure that growth is coordinated and meets community needs
- Help all members of the community understand how their land can be used now and in the future
- Help decide where roads, watermains, sewers, garbage dumps, parks and other services will go
- Provide a framework for setting local regulations and standards, like the size of lots and height of buildings
- Provides a way to evaluate and settle conflicting lands uses while meeting local and provincial interests
- Show council's commitment to the planned growth of the community
The municipalities of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, Bluewater, Central Huron, Huron East, South Huron and Town of Goderich have copies of their Official Plan and By-Laws available online.