Official Plan

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Image of a County road in the fall with leaves turning colours

UPDATE: Council adopted the new Official Plan at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 24. The plan will now go the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval.

The County has been in the process of updating its Official Plan for many years. The current Official Plan is dated and requires significant updates to reflect provincial policy and the development of policies that more accurately reflect today’s environment and to guide development in the future.

UPDATE: Council adopted the new Official Plan at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 24. The plan will now go the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval.

The County has been in the process of updating its Official Plan for many years. The current Official Plan is dated and requires significant updates to reflect provincial policy and the development of policies that more accurately reflect today’s environment and to guide development in the future.

  • New Official Plan adopted by Council

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    The new Official Plan, which will guide how the County of Prince Edward will grow and develop over the next 25 years, was adopted by Council last night.

    The municipality will now send the new Official Plan to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval.

    "The new Official Plan provides the municipality with a modern path forward, ensuring that change and development is both respectful and appropriate given our history, our environment, and our community," Mayor Steve Ferguson says. "An extraordinary amount of work went into this plan. I want to thank the staff members who pulled the new Official Plan together, the many members of the public who thoughtfully engaged in this process over the last several years, and previous Councils who started and contributed to this process."

    The Official Plan adopted by Council includes a transition policy. Planning applications submitted and deemed complete before July 6, 2021 will be reviewed under the 2006 Official Plan. Applications that are missing one report based on seasonality may also be reviewed under the 2006 Official Plan as long as the applicant submits all the other required reports, documents, and fees.

    Council made some additional changes to the Official Plan by motion including:

    • Increasing the setback from locally significant wetlands and from Warings Creek from 30m to 50m
    • Requiring a comprehensive relocation plan to be in place before more than four rental units could be demolished or converted as part of a development proposal.

    Council also directed staff to prepare both a Cultural Heritage Master Plan and a review of the Shore Land designation in advance of 2023 for consideration in a subsequent Official Plan amendment. The Slab Creek provincially significant wetland was also sent back to staff to be considered as a possible addition to the Natural Heritage System in a future amendment to the Official Plan.

    Staff are currently updating the new Official Plan document to incorporate the changes made by Council last night. The revised document will be sent to the province for review and approval as well as posted on Have Your Say next week. Follow the County on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

    Highlights of the Council-adopted plan include the following provisions:

    • Eliminate country lot subdivisions and reduce severances to one per lot, instead of two, to help preserve the natural landscape, minimize conflicts with and preserve agricultural lands, and to direct growth to the varied settlement areas within the County.
    • Smaller and less dense developments are to take place within the hamlets while larger more expansive and denser developments (including residential) are to be directed to the larger centres of Wellington and Picton where the County has already invested heavily into the existing infrastructure and is able and willing to expand the infrastructure (with the help of developers) to support any proposed growth.
    • More accepting of creative/alternative means of housing development to help address affordability. Different forms of tenure (co-ops, mixed use) along with different performance standards (more lenient parking standards or setbacks) are intended to help create greater density.
    • Natural Core Areas have greater protection by not permitting major development outside of a settlement area if the development requires an Official Plan amendment and requiring greater environmental review to show no negative impacts on the Linkages between the Natural Core Areas.
    • Support for agriculture-related and on-farm diversified farming uses. Development proposals for farm-related uses that meet the criteria do not require formal site plan approval from the County if they are less than 1,200 square metres in size.
    • A more expansive definition of tourism to include agri-tourism, wineries, craft breweries, distilleries, spas, cycling and nature trails; as such, tourism is now more appropriately permitted in most designations so long as it takes into consideration the intent of that land use designation.

    If you have questions, please contact Michael Michaud, Manager of Planning, by email or call 613.476.2148 extension 2025.

  • Official Plan meeting rescheduled to February 24

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    The special Council meeting to consider adopting a new Official Plan has been moved to Wednesday February 24 at 6 pm.

    "Unfortunately, a council member is unable to attend the meeting on February 10 due to a serious personal family issue. Due to the importance of this subject matter, I have decided to reschedule this meeting so that all members of Council have the opportunity to participate," Mayor Steve Ferguson says. "I want to thank the public for their understanding and apologize for any inconvenience."

    The consultation period has closed after the public was given the opportunity over the past several months to offer feedback through a variety of means including a statutory public meeting. The latest version of the draft Official Plan with changes displayed and updated maps and schedules are posted for review.

    A staff report included on the special meeting agenda summarizes the comments received during the most recent round of public consultation.

    The upcoming special meeting will be conducted virtually due to COVID-19 protocols. The County will stream the meeting live on its YouTube channel. Members of the public who wish to provide comments during the virtual meeting can do so by contacting clerks@pecounty.on.ca by noon on Tuesday, February 23 to register.

    The Official Plan guides how The County will grow and develop over the next 25 years. The Official Plan is a living document in that it is typically reviewed every five years to ensure that its vision and policy direction are still relevant.

    If approved by Council, the draft Official Plan will be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) for final approval. Transition policies allow for planning applications deemed complete in advance of ministry approval of the new Official Plan to be reviewed under the current plan.

    Planning staff is recommending to Council that the municipality institute a two-year moratorium on any Official Plan amendments once MMAH approves the new Official Plan.

    If you have questions, please contact Michael Michaud, Manager of Planning, by email or call 613.476.2148 extension 2025.

  • Official Plan information session scheduled for November 25

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    A virtual information session for the draft Official Plan will take place on Wednesday, November 25.

    The time for the session has shifted to 5-7 pm to ensure there is sufficient time for the presentation and questions from the public.

    Michael Michaud, Manager of Planning, will present an overview of the plan and highlight some of the key proposals before answering questions from registered attendees. To register please email clerks@pecounty.on.ca. The deadline to register is Monday, November 23. The session will be recorded and shared online.

    To view the draft Official Plan, visit the Have Your Say public consultation website. There you will also find several forums where you can learn more about each section of the plan and offer feedback. You can also provide written feedback. Mail letters to: County of Prince Edward, Engineering and Development Services, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0. Public consultation will close on Friday, November 27.

    The statutory public meeting for the Official Plan will take place on Tuesday, December 15 at 6 pm. Participation at that public meeting will be virtual and the meeting will stream live on the County's YouTube channel due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Details on how the public can participate will be shared in the coming weeks.

    Staff intend to bring the matter forward to Council with a report at a special Council meeting on Wednesday, February 10. Once Council approves the Official Plan, the document is sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for review as the Minister has final authority over the Official Plan, which is required under provincial legislation.

    If you have questions, please contact Mr. Michaud by email (mmichaud@pecounty.on.ca) or call 613.476.2148 extension 2025.


  • Official Plan consultation extended

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    The public will have additional time to review the latest draft of the Official Plan and offer feedback before a statutory public meeting on Tuesday, December 15.

    "As we enter the final stage of adopting a new Official Plan, we are pleased to see so many people engaged and interested in learning more about the latest version of the plan," Mayor Steve Ferguson says. "Given the central role this document will play in the growth and development of the County over the next 25 years, we want to give the community more time to review and learn about it while also staying on track to have a new plan in place in 2021, which is a priority of this Council."

    The entire draft of the Official Plan is posted on Have Your Say. The page also includes several forums where people can learn more about each section of the plan and offer feedback. Public consultation will now close on Friday, November 27.

    The Planning Department will host a virtual information session about the Official Plan on Wednesday, November 25 from 5-7 pm. Michael Michaud, Manager of Planning, will present an overview of the plan and highlight some of the key proposals before answering questions from registered attendees. To register please email clerks@pecounty.on.ca. The deadline to register is Monday, November 23. The session will be recorded and shared online.

    The statutory public meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 15 at 6 pm. Participation at that public meeting will be virtual and the meeting will stream live on the County's YouTube channel due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Details on how the public can participate will be shared in the coming weeks.

    Staff intend to bring the matter forward to a special Council meeting on Wednesday, February 10. Once Council approves the Official Plan, the document is sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for review as the Minister has final authority over the Official Plan, which is required under provincial legislation.

    You can also provide written feedback. Mail letters to: County of Prince Edward, Engineering and Development Services, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0.


  • Special Committee of the Whole meeting called for draft Official Plan

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    Mayor Steve Ferguson has called a special Committee of the Whole meeting to consider the 2020 draft Official Plan.

    The meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 15 at 6 pm.

    Due to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted as a virtual meeting, with no physical public attendance. The meeting will stream on the County's YouTube channel.

    Following the special Committee of the Whole meeting, the draft Official Plan will be on the agenda of the special Council meeting on Wednesday, February 10.

  • Official Plan enters final stage

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    The journey to adopt a new Official Plan is entering the final stage after several years of study and public consultation.

    The public and interested parties are invited to have one last look at the plan before it goes to Council and ultimately the province for final approval.

    The Official Plan guides how the County of Prince Edward will grow and develop over the next 25 years. The entire draft is posted on Have Your Say public consultation website. The page also includes several forums where people can learn more about each section of the plan and offer feedback. Public consultation closes November 27, 2020.

    Highlights of the latest version of the plan include the following proposals:

    • Eliminate country lot subdivisions and reduce severances to one per lot, instead of two, to help preserve the natural landscape, minimize conflicts with and preserve agricultural lands, and to direct growth to the varied settlement areas within the County.
    • Smaller and less dense developments are to take place within the hamlets while larger more expansive and denser developments (including residential) are to be directed to the larger centres of Wellington and Picton where the County has already invested heavily into the existing infrastructure and is able and willing to expand the infrastructure (with the help of developers) to support any proposed growth.
    • More accepting of creative/alternative means of housing development to help address affordability. Different forms of tenure (co-ops, mixed use) along with different performance standards (more lenient parking standards or setbacks) are intended to help create greater density.
    • A more expansive definition of tourism to include agri-tourism, wineries, craft breweries, distilleries, spas, cycling and nature trails; as such, tourism is now more appropriately permitted in most designations so long as it takes into consideration the intent of that land use designation.
    • Support for agriculture-related and on-farm diversified farming uses. Development proposals for farm-related uses that meet the criteria do not require formal approval from the County if they are less than 1,200 square metres in size.
    • Natural Core Areas have greater protection by not permitting larger scale developments outside of a settlement area and requiring greater environmental review to show no negative impacts on the Linkages between the Natural Core Areas.


    Staff intend to bring the matter forward to Council with a report to a special Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, December 15. Once Council approves the Official Plan, the document is sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for review as the Minister has final authority over the Official Plan, which is required under provincial legislation.

    To review the draft plan and to provide feedback on the plan is through visit the County’s Have Your Say website. You can also provide feedback via a letter to the County (Engineering and Development Services, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0).