The Wood Bull Guides

Sections 16 to 16.1 [Official Plan]

Subsections amended and added by Bill 139 are marked below with (*).

Bill 139 introduced the following amendments related to policies contained in official plans:

  • Official plans shall include policies:

  • as are practicable to ensure the adequate provision of affordable housing; (s.16(1)(a.1)) and

  • relating to climate change and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions (s.16(14)).

  • Official plans may include policies that identify protected major transit station areas.  If identified, the official plan is required to also include specific policies with respect to the identified protected major transit station area (s.16(15), 16(16), 16(17)). 

Bill 139 also introduced amendments that provide that an order of the Minister to exempt an official plan or official plan amendment from his or her approval under subsection 17(9) or authorizing an approval authority to exempt an official plan or official plan amendment from its approval under subsection 17(10) does not apply to an official plan amendment relating to a protected major transit station area.


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  • 16(1) OFFICIAL PLAN [Contents - Shall Contain] (*)

    CONTENTS OF OFFICIAL PLAN

    16(1) An official plan shall contain,

    (a) goals, objectives and policies established primarily to manage and direct physical change and the effects on the social, economic, built and natural environment of the municipality or part of it, or an area that is without municipal organization;

    (a.1) such policies and measures as are practicable to ensure the adequate provision of affordable housing;

    (b) a description of the measures and procedures for informing and obtaining the views of the public in respect of,
    (i) proposed amendments to the official plan or proposed revisions of the plan,
    (ii) proposed zoning by-laws,
    (iii) proposed plans of subdivision, and
    (iv) proposed consents under section 53; and

    (c) such other matters as may be prescribed. 2015, c. 26, s. 17; 2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (1)

    Legislative History

    Bill 139 amended this subsection by adding clause (a.1).

  • 16(2) SAME [Contents of Official Plan - May Contain]

    16(2) An official plan may contain,

    (a) a description of the measures and procedures proposed to attain the objectives of the plan;

    (b) a description of the measures and procedures for informing and obtaining the views of the public in respect of planning matters not mentioned in clause (1) (b); and

    (c) such other matters as may be prescribed.  2015, c. 26, s. 17.

  • 16(3) SECOND UNIT POLICIES

    16(3) An official plan shall contain policies that authorize the use of a second residential unit by authorizing,

    (a) the use of two residential units in a detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse if no building or structure ancillary to the detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse contains a residential unit; and

    (b) the use of a residential unit in a building or structure ancillary to a detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse if the detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse contains a single residential unit.  2011, c. 6, Sched. 2, s. 2; 2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (1)
  • 16(4) INCLUSIONARY ZONING POLICIES

    16(4) An official plan of a municipality that is prescribed for the purpose of this subsection shall contain policies that authorize inclusionary zoning by,

    (a) authorizing the inclusion of affordable housing units within buildings or projects containing other residential units; and

    (b) providing for the affordable housing units to be maintained as affordable housing units over time.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2)

    Related Regulations

    O. Reg. 232/18: INCLUSIONARY ZONING, s.3 re Official plan policies

  • 16(5) SAME

    16(5) An official plan of a municipality that is not prescribed for the purpose of subsection (4) may contain the policies described in subsection (4).   2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2).

    Related Regulations
    O. Reg. 232/18: INCLUSIONARY ZONING, s.3 re Official plan policies
  • 16(6) GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    16(6) The policies described in subsection (4) shall include goals and objectives and a description of the measures and procedures proposed to attain those goals and objectives.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2).

  • 16(7) PRESCRIBED PROVISIONS AND MATTERS

    16(7) The policies described in subsection (4) shall include the prescribed provisions and provisions about the prescribed matters.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2)

    Related Regulations

    O. Reg. 232/18: INCLUSIONARY ZONING, s.3 re Official plan policies

  • 16(8) NO LIMITATION

    16(8) Each subsection of this section shall be read as not limiting what an official plan is required to or may contain under any of the other subsections.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (2).

  • 16(9) ASSESSMENT REPORT

    16(9) Before adopting the parts of an official plan which contain policies described in subsection (4), the council of the municipality shall ensure that an assessment report has been prepared.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (3).

    Related Regulations

    O. Reg. 232/18: INCLUSIONARY ZONING, s.2 re Assessment report

     

  • 16(10) UPDATING OF ASSESSMENT REPORT

    16(10) Within five years after the parts of its official plan which contain policies described in subsection (4) come into effect, the council of the municipality shall ensure that an updated assessment report is prepared for the purpose of determining whether any of those parts of the official plan should be amended.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (3).

  • 16(11) PERIODIC UPDATING

    16(11) As long as its official plan contains policies described in subsection (4), the council of the municipality shall ensure that an updated assessment report is prepared within five years after the date of the most recent updated assessment report, for the purpose of determining whether any of the parts of the official plan which contain policies described in subsection (4) should be amended.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (3).

  • 16(12) REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO ASSESSMENT REPORTS

    16(12) The council of the municipality shall ensure that the initial assessment report and every updated assessment report includes the information and documents specified in the regulations and complies with the requirements specified in the regulations.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (3)

  • 16(13) ASSESSMENT REPORTS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC

    16(13) The council of the municipality shall ensure that the initial assessment report is made available to the public before the parts of the official plan which contain policies described in subsection (4) are adopted and that every updated assessment report is made available to the public before any amendments to the parts of the official plan which contain policies described in subsection (4) are adopted.  2016, c. 25, Sched. 4, s. 1 (3).

  • 16(14) CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES (*)

    16(14) An official plan shall contain policies that identify goals, objectives and actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to provide for adaptation to a changing climate, including through increasing resiliency.  2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (2).

    Legislative History

    This subsection was introduced by Bill 139.

  • 16(15) PROTECTED TRANSIT STATION AREAS - SINGLE-TIER MUNICIPALITY (*)

    (15) The official plan of a single-tier municipality may include policies that identify the area surrounding and including an existing or planned higher order transit station or stop as a protected major transit station area and that delineate the area’s boundaries, and if the official plan includes such policies it must also contain policies that,

    (a) identify the minimum number of residents and jobs, collectively, per hectare that are planned to be accommodated within the area;

    (b) identify the authorized uses of land in the major transit station area and of buildings or structures on lands in the area; and

    (c) identify the minimum densities that are authorized with respect to buildings and structures on lands in the area.  2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (2).

    Legislative History

    This subsection was introduced by Bill 139.

    Related Sections

    Higher order transit is a defined term in the Planning Act (s.1(1)).

    There are significant limitations on appeal rights with respect to protected major transit station area policies (s.17(36.1.4)).

    Wood Bull Commentary

    An official plan of a single-tier municipality may include policies that identify an area as a protected major transit station area.  

    If a single-tier municipality chooses to include such policies, the official plan must also include policies for the protected major transit station area that identify:

    • the planned minimum number of residents and jobs, collectively, per hectare;

    • the uses of land and of buildings or structures; and

    • the minimum densities for buildings and structures. 

  • 16(16) SAME, UPPER-TIER MUNICIPALITY (*)

    16(16) The official plan of an upper-tier municipality may include policies that identify the area surrounding and including an existing or planned higher order transit station or stop as a protected major transit station area and that delineate the area’s boundaries, and if the official plan includes such policies it must also contain policies that,

    (a) identify the minimum number of residents and jobs, collectively, per hectare that are planned to be accommodated within the area; and

    (b) require official plans of the relevant lower-tier municipality or municipalities to include policies that,
    (i) identify the authorized uses of land in the area and of buildings or structures on lands in the area; and
    (ii) identify the minimum densities that are authorized with respect to buildings and structures on lands in the area.  2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (2).
    Legislative History

    This subsection was introduced by Bill 139.

    Related Sections

    Higher order transit is a defined term in the Planning Act (s.1(1)).

    There are significant limitations on appeal rights with respect to protected major transit station area policies (s.17(36.1.4)).

    Wood Bull Commentary

    Similar to a single-tier municipality, an upper tier municipality may elect to include policies in its official plan that identify an area as a protected major transit station area and establish its boundaries.  

    If an upper-tier municipality chooses to include such policies, the official plan must also include policies for the protected major transit station area that:

    • identify the planned minimum number of residents and jobs, collectively, per hectare; and

    • require the relevant lower-tier municipalities' official plans to identify

      • the uses of land and of buildings or structures; and 

      • the minimum densities for buildings and structures. 

    Notably, it is the lower tier official plan which is to identify uses and minimum densities not the upper tier plan.  

  • 16(17) FAILURE TO AMEND OFFICIAL PLAN [Lower-tier, Protected Major Transit Station Area Policies] (*)

    16(17) If an official plan of a lower-tier municipality that is required to include the policies described in subclauses (16) (b) (i) and (ii) is not amended to include those policies as required by subsection 27 (1) within one year from the day the policies identifying the relevant protected major transit station area in accordance with subsection (16) of this section come into effect, subsection 27 (2) does not apply and instead the council of the upper-tier municipality shall amend the official plan of the lower-tier municipality in the like manner and subject to the same requirements and procedures as the council that failed to make the amendment within the one-year period as required.  2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (2).

    Legislative History

    This subsection was introduced by Bill 139.

    Related Sections

    The council of a lower-tier municipality is required to amend its official plan to conform with an upper-tier municipality's official plan (s.27(1)).

    Where the lower-tier municipality does not amend its official plan in accordance with protected major transit station area policies required in subsection 16(16)(b), the requirement set out in this subsection applies instead of subsection 27(2).  Subsection 27(2) provides that the council of an upper-tier municipality may amend the official plan of the lower-tier municipality to conform with the upper-tier municipality's official plan (s.27(2)).

    Wood Bull Commentary

    If an upper-tier municipality has official plan policies for a protected major transit station area, a lower tier municipality is required to include policies in its official plan that identify:

    • the uses of land and of buildings or structures; and 

    • the minimum densities for buildings and structures, 

    within one year from the day the policies in the upper-tier municipality’s official plan identifying the protected major station area come into effect.

    If the lower-tier municipality fails to do this, the council of the upper-tier municipality shall amend the official plan of the lower-tier municipality in the like manner and subject to the same requirements and procedures as the council that failed to make the amendment within the one year period.  This is in contrast to other scenarios under section 27, where the upper-tier municipality may amend the lower-tier municipality’s official plan to conform with the upper-tier municipality’s official plan if council of the lower-tier municipality fails to make the amendment within the one-year period.

  • 16(18) NO EXEMPTION UNDER SUBS. 17 (9) [From Ministerial Approval Where Minister is Approval Authority] (*)

    16(18) An order under subsection 17 (9) does not apply to an amendment to an official plan if the amendment does any of the following:

    1. Adds all of the policies described in subsection (15) to the official plan.

    2. In the case of an official plan of an upper-tier municipality, adds all of the policies described in subsection (16) to the plan, other than the policies described in subclauses (16) (b) (i) and (ii). 

    3. In the case of an official plan of a lower-tier municipality, adds all of the policies described in subclauses (16) (b) (i) and (ii) to the plan with respect to a protected major transit station area identified in accordance with subsection (16). 

    4. Amends or revokes any of the policies described in subsection (15) or (16) with respect to a protected major transit station area identified in accordance with either of those subsections.  2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (2).

    Legislative History

    This subsection was introduced by Bill 139.

    Related Sections

    An order under subsection 17(9) exempts an official plan or proposed official plan amendment from the Minister's approval (s.17(9)).

    Wood Bull Commentary

    Bill 139 introduced amendments that provide that an order of the Minister to exempt an official plan or official plan amendment from his or her approval under subsection 17(9) does not apply to an official plan amendment that does any of the following:

    • adds all of the required policies to a single-tier municipality's official plan relating to a protected major transit station area (s.16(15)). 

    • adds all of the required policies to an official plan of an upper-tier municipality that identify a protected major transit station area and identify the minimum number of residents and jobs, collectively, per hectare that are planned to be accommodated within the area (s.16(16)(a)). 

    • adds all of the required policies to an official plan of a lower-tier municipality regarding the authorized uses of land, buildings or structures in the protected major transit station area, and the minimum densities that are authorized with respect to buildings and structures on lands in the area (s.16(16)(b)). 

    • amends or revokes any of the policies required for protected major transit station areas (s.16(15) and (16)).

  • 16(19) AUTHORIZATION UNDER SUBS. 17 (10) DOES NOT APPLY [For Exemption from Approval Authority Approval] (*)

    16(19) An authorization under subsection 17 (10) does not apply to an amendment to an official plan of a lower-tier municipality that,

    (a) adds all of the policies described in subclauses (16) (b) (i) and (ii) to the plan with respect to a protected major transit station area identified in accordance with subsection (16); or

    (b) amends or revokes any of the policies described in subclauses (16) (b) (i) and (ii) with respect to a protected major transit station area identified in accordance with subsection (16).  2017, c. 23, Sched. 3, s. 5 (2).

    Legislative History

    This subsection was introduced by Bill 139.

    Related Sections

    An order under subsection 17(10) authorizes an approval authority to pass a by-law exempting an official plan or proposed official plan amendment from its approval (s.17(10)).

    Wood Bull Commentary

    Bill 139 introduced amendments that provide that an order of the Minister authorizing an approval authority (upper-tier municipality) to exempt a lower-tier municipality's official plan or official plan amendment from its approval under subsection 17(10) does not apply to an official plan amendment that:

    • adds all of the required policies regarding the authorized uses of land, buildings or structures in the protected major transit station area, and the minimum densities that are authorized with respect to buildings and structures on lands in the area (s.16(16)(b)); or

    • amends or revokes any of the policies regarding the authorized uses of land, buildings or structures in the protected major transit station area, and the minimum densities that are authorized with respect to buildings and structures on lands in the area (s.16(16)(b)).

  • 16.1 PRESCRIBED PROCESS

    16.1 The council of a municipality or a planning board may by by-law elect to follow the prescribed processes and develop the materials prescribed for the preparation of an official plan and any processes followed or materials developed in the preparation of the plan may be considered under the Environmental Assessment Act with respect to any requirement that it must meet under that Act.  1994, c. 23, s. 9.

 


Bill 139 received Royal Assent on 12 December 2017, and came into force on 3 April 2018, the day named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor. 

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