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Planning Policy

In Ontario, the Planning Act requires that land use planning be undertaken within the detailed policy framework that serves to protect Provincial interests such as:

  • Promoting efficient development patterns
  • Conserving natural, environmental and cultural resources, and
  • Protecting public health and safety

In the Province’s policy-led planning system, the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement and the various Provincial Plans (e.g. Growth Plan) form the foundations for regulating land use planning and development. At the municipal level, planning decisions are also guided by municipal Official Plans which are implemented through Zoning Bylaws.

Below is a detailed compilation of the Provincial and local plans and regulations that apply to Haldimand and which serve to inform the County’s future land use and land development goals and assist in growth management.

Image of thhe Ontario Palanning Act, R.S.O. 1990 document

Planning Act

The Planning Act is a piece of provincial legislation which sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario and describes how land uses may be controlled and who may control them.

Provincial Policy Statement

The Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 provides direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. As a key part of Ontario’s policy-led planning system, the Provincial Policy Statement sets the policy foundation for regulating the development and use of land.

Image of the Haldimand County Growth Plan document

Provincial Plans

The policies of the Provincial Policy Statement may be complemented by provincial plans or locally generated policies regarding matters of municipal interest. They provide a framework for comprehensive, integrated, place-based and long-term planning that supports and integrates the principles of strong communities, a clean and healthy environment and economic growth, for the long term. The provincial plan that applies to the geographical areas within Haldimand County is the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Office Consolidation 2020.

Image of the Haldimand County Official Plan

Official Plans

An official plan is a set of municipal council’s policies on how land in a community should be used. It is prepared with input from the community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of the community. Haldimand County’s Official Plan is the policy framework which implements the Provincial policy and guides long-term land use by promoting economic growth, protection and preservation of the natural environment, and community building in the County.

Community Vibrancy

A development or infrastructure project, once built, is to be there for decades. Therefore, it is important to promote design excellence as to how things work, are sequenced, and connected to surroundings; how recognizable space or place is; how people feel about it and how they are attracted to it. The way something ‘looks’ and ‘works’ is as important as the land use itself. Planning is responsible for taking initiatives such as Urban Design Guidelines and Streetscape Plans to address this and create more vibrant and attractive communities.

Map of the various by-law zones within Haldimand County

Zoning Bylaws

While an official plan sets out a municipality’s general policies for future land use, zoning bylaws put the plan into effect and provide for its day-to-day administration. They contain specific requirements as to the use of land; location of buildings and structures; type of buildings and their use; and lot size, setbacks, building dimensions, and parking. Haldimand County formerly had three Zoning By-laws each applicable to a distinct geographical area within County. As of November 23, 2020, Haldimand County has passed a Comprehensive Zoning By-law, which amalgamated and updated the former 3 By-laws; the Town of Dunnville Zoning By-law 1-DU 80, the Town of Haldimand Zoning Bylaw 1-H 86, and the City of Nanticoke Zoning By-law NE 1-2000.

An image of the Master Service Plans map for Haldimand County which anticipates future infrastructure expansion

Master Servicing Plans

In view of the anticipated growth in County’s six urban centres i.e. Cayuga, Caledonia, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis and Townsend, over the next 20 years, and the need to plan future infrastructure expansion, Haldimand County has prepared Master Servicing Plans (MSPs) for infrastructure including water, wastewater, stormwater, and transportation services for these centres. The MSPs document existing services, identify future needs and recommend alternative approaches to infrastructure development towards achieving the objectives of County’s Official Plan. Electronic copies of the MSPs are available from the Development and Design staff on payment of County fees.

A bar graph indicating expected population growth within Haldimand County

Population, Housing and Employment Forecasts

Population, housing and employment forecasts are updated every 5 years and are used for growth and strategic planning purposes including development charges calculations and master servicing planning.

Population, Housing and Employment Forecast Update and Land Needs Assessment, 2019

Revised Growth Strategy Analysis Report to 2051, 2020