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Public consultation on County’s Official Plan extended

The public will have additional time to review the latest draft of the Official Plan and offer feedback before a statutory public meeting set for Tuesday, Dec. 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,” said 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 is now open until Friday, Nov. 27.

The Planning Department will also host a virtual information session about the Official Plan on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 pm. Michael Michaud, Manager of Planning, is to present an overview of the plan and highlight some of the key proposals before answering questions from registered attendees.

To register, email The deadline to register is Monday, Nov. 23. The session will be recorded and shared online.

The statutory public meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15 is to start 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.

Staff intend to bring the matter forward to council with a report at the Committee of the Whole on Thursday, Jan. 7. 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 visit the County’s Have Your Say website. 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 comment welcome as County’s Official Plan enters final stage

OCT. 7 – The journey to adopt a new Official Plan is entering the final stage after several years of study and consultation.

The Official Plan guides how the County of Prince Edward will grow and develop over the next 25 years.
The public and interested parties are invited to have one last look at the plan, with consultation ongoing from Oct. 5-Nov. 5 before it goes to council’s Committee of the Whole Nov. 12 and to Council for final approval Nov. 24. The document then must be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Some 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.

The entire draft is posted on the 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.

You can also provide feedback via a letter to the County (Engineering and Development Services, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0)

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  1. John Gare says:

    The audience for both the Official Plan and Secondary Plans is the general public. This plan is written so only a person with an advanced planning degree can interpret it. We have seen that these interpretations can vary depending on councils inclinations. I found this when I appealed a project in Wellington. Write the plan in common English, notplanningize!

  2. Michelle says:

    A lot of designated prime ag is not prime at all. They take an area rather than each parcel. As a result it adversely effects severances and development.

  3. doug says:

    I went to the last open house the county had to see any changes that would be made in our township and they had all the land from the cheese factory to the Athol Township border zoned prime agricultural land which is absolutely crazy since alot of that land would not have more than 6 inches of soil .I pointed this out to the person at the booth and he said that theywould look into it and that was 3 years ago .We maintain alot of rural roads but limit and severances on poor land forcing the average working person to live outside the county so how is this new plan helping the shortage of affordable housing.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    I would also like to thank and support Councillor Hirsch for his efforts in trying to protect our more environmentally sensitive areas by asking for a freeze on the Official Plan. His motion unfortunately failed on a tie vote – which in itself shows there is much doubt on the part of Council about proceeding as usual during this time.

  5. Ian says:

    I have followed the evolution of the Strategic Plan for many years and have lamented at the painfully slow pace of the process to ratify and publish it. However, I agree with Dennis that in the current environment now is not the time to be ‘making do’ with a rather shallow, online attempt to gather views and input on such a hugely significant document. The plan as presented now, all 160+ pages plus appendices, has some fairly significant changes from earlier versions which I feel have not been adequately explained and justified and merely publishing it and asking for written comments in such a static and one sided way seems rushed and imprudent. What happens with those comments, where is the dialogue…or is this just paying lip service to final public consultation? Council have taken this long to get to this stage, surely acknowledging the limitations we are facing for proper presentation of the plan and subsequent informed community discussion would suggest taking a step back and delaying the process. We’ve taken this long, what is another 6 months in a Covid world for properly understanding and agreeing a document that is positioned to be with us for the next 25 years?

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    The Official Plan is a very important process, when the public should have a real opportunity for input. Considering the time we are living through, I believe that Council should suspend this process until such time that the public can play a much more active role. Recently, Council suspended development in Wellington for at least a year because they felt that things were happening too fast. Following this same logic, they should place a hold on the Official Plan process as well.

    As it stands right now, the only way a member of the public can have input is by writing into the municipality. This is not an effective method for both parties to communicate. The Official Plan deserves more thought and consideration than what is being allowed for – it will set the course for this community for many years. And how will it be developed – by a few comments from the public and by the will of a few politicians and their consultants? Instead of setting a good course for this community, by limiting public input this process (as being proposed) potentially will create problems for many years to come. Why not slow things down and do it right – at a time when the public can fully participate?

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