Official Plan

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Official Plan

The Official Plan provides guidance for development in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell in effective and dynamic matter, while stimulating economical growth and protecting the environment and public health.

This document contains a series of policies, which guide the Planning and Forestry Department and the United Counties Council with their decisions concerning land use planning. These policies are oriented towards protecting the economical and environmental values of farm lands, water and mineral resources. Official Plan also acts as a guide for preparation of projects in the Public Works Department, municipal budget and municipal by-laws.

The first Official Plan of the United Counties was adopted in June of 1999. Every five years, it must be revised and submitted to the public for comments. It is currently in revision.

    New Official Plan

    The United Counties of Prescott and Russell are in the process of creating a New Official Plan to guide future planning and development within the United Counties. Based on community input, background reports and updated provincial policy, the New Official Plan will ensure both a vision for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell and a comprehensive strategy for cultivating new opportunities, ensuring environmental health and making intelligent and informed land use decisions.

    Visit the ‘Get Involved’ section to contribute to this project. Please note that all comments and feedback received through the consultation process will become part of the public record.

    Next Steps

    Notice of in person Special Meeting of Council on November 24 2021 at 1pm relating to the Official Plan Review

    Get Involved

    Opportunities for public input on the Official Plan Review will be provided during the review process. The Planning Act requires that Council hold a Special Meeting, open to the public to discuss possible revisions to the Official Plan. In addition, Council is required to consult with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (the approval authority) and prescribed public bodies with respect to any changes or updates they may require.

    You are invited to participate in an online survey to help inform the goals and policies for the new Official Plan. This survey will close on December 31, 2021.

    Official Plan Review Resources
    What is the Official Plan?

    An Official Plan is a legal statutory planning document required by the province that addresses matters of provincial interest defined by the Planning Act. The Official Plan describes the United Counties’ long-term land use planning policies and implementation of the Provincial Policy Statement (2020).

    The Official Plan describes how the lands within the United Counties should be used in relation to issues such as: new housing, roads, industry, agriculture, aggregate resources, natural heritage conservation and climate change.

    The Official Plan of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell came into force and effect in December 1999. Council proceeded with a 5-year review in 2006 and again in 2016. The Planning Act triggers another 5-year review of the Official Plan in 2021.

    Why does the United Counties of Prescott and Russell need an Official Plan?

    The United Counties’ Official Plan:

    • Informs the public on the general land use planning policies;
    • makes sure that growth is coordinated and meets the community's needs;
    • helps all members of the community understand how their land may be used now and in the future;
    • helps decide where roads, watermains, parks, trails, and other services will be built;
    • provides a framework for establishing municipal zoning by-laws to set local regulations and standards, like the size of lots, height of buildings or development setbacks;
    • provides a way to evaluate and settle conflicting land uses while meeting local, regional, and provincial interests; and,
    • shows Council's commitment to the future growth of the community.
    Why is the Official Plan to be reviewed?

    Once an Official Plan is approved, the Planning Act stipulates that a council shall revise the plan not less frequently than every five years, unless the plan has been replaced by another new official plan.

    The purposes of undertaking the review is to ensure the United Counties’ Official Plan is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (2020) and that it has regard to matters of provincial interest.

    The Official Plan Review also provides an opportunity for Council and the community to express their opinions about the official plan and to ensure that this key document continues to address local priorities and evolving community needs.

    This project is being completed in consultation with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing who is the approval authority. In addition to agency consultation, the public is encouraged to share their views on the Official Plan.

    Background Information and Reports
    • Information coming soon
    Issue Papers
    • Information coming soon

    To obtain an amendment to the Official Plan

    Any individual or organization may request an amendment to the Official Plan at any moment.

    The applicant must fill out an Application for an Amendment to the Official Plan and pay the appropriate fee to process the application. It is advisable to refer to the planning staff prior to submitting an application.

    To process an amendment to the Official Plan several steps are prescribed by the Planning Act. The planning staff will be able to explain these steps. The process takes up to 120 days.