Official Plan Amendment Review

From time to time, the Municipality proposes amendments to the official plan and zoning by-law.

Purpose and effect

On August 9th, 2022, Council initiated the process to do just this. The purpose and effect of the General Update Amendment is to update direction in the Bluewater Official Plan and Zoning By-law regarding housing, minimum distance separation (MDS) and housekeeping items including:

  • permitting additional residential units (ARU) in agricultural, hamlet and village settings, not including Bayfield or lakeshore residential areas
  • permitting increased density and a wider range of residential building types in established neighbourhoods with full municipal services, not including Bayfield
  • permitting housing units on the main and upper floors of properties in downtown Hensall and Zurich located on side streets. Housing units will continue to be permitted above or behind commercial uses along traditional main streets (King Street in Hensall and Goshen Street N in Zurich)
  • requiring minimum density of 15 units/hectare in newly developing areas with full services
  • increasing minimum lot sizes in privately serviced area to ensure that future residential development is completed in accordance with provincial and county nitrate criteria and addresses long term water quality considerations
  • clarifying that minimum distance separation will not apply to on-farm diversified uses or agricultural commercial industrial (AG3) uses and will apply as a single, rather than double distance for all cemeteries
  • remove livestock limitations from small agricultural (AG4) properties
  • minor housekeeping items such as updates to definitions and general provisions

Public meeting and open house information

Council of the Municipality of Bluewater held a public meeting on October 3rd, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. by electronic means or teleconference to consider a proposed official plan amendment and zoning by-law amendment under Sections 17 and 34 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended.

There was a related in-person open house held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Zurich Library, 10 Goshen Street N. 

Planning staff were also available by appointment throughout September. The public consultation period for the General Amendment has ended.

Next steps

On January 16th, 2023, Council passed the General Amendment to update the Official Plan and Zoning By-law in line with the stated purpose and effect.

The Official Plan amendment will now require the approval of County of Huron.

The appeal deadline for the updated Zoning By-law is February 9th, 2023.

If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Municipality of Bluewater before the by-law is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Municipality of Bluewater or the County of Huron to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

If a person or public body does not make an oral submission at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Municipality of Bluewater before the by-law is passed, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before OLT unless, in the opinion of the Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds to do so.

If you wish to be notified of the decision of the Municipality of Bluewater on the zoning by-law amendment or the County of Huron on the official plan amendment, you must make a written request to the Municipality of Bluewater.

If you would like additional information relating to the proposed by-law amendment, it is available for inspection during regular office hours at the Municipality of Bluewater, Municipal Office, 14 Mill Avenue, Zurich and the Huron County Planning and Development Department, 57 Napier Street, 2nd floor, Goderich (1-888-524-8394 ext. 3).

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