June 25, 2009
Media Release

Draft of Official Plan released for public consultation

A decisive step in Planning for Tomorrow growth management initiative commenced in 2005

Draft Official Plan
NEWMARKET …quot; The Regional Municipality of York has released a draft of its new official plan and will circulate it throughout the summer and early fall to residents, partners and stakeholders for discussion and consultation.  The final version will be back to Regional Council for approval by the end of this year.
 
“York Regional Council is taking steps to ensure that our high growth communities remain healthy, environmentally protected and economically competitive in the future,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “The draft Official Plan reflects our residents’ commitment to sustainability and will help ensure that the generations who come after us may also enjoy a high quality of life.”
 
The draft York Region Official Plan is the final outcome of the Planning for Tomorrow initiative, a growth management planning exercise commenced in 2005 that has featured more than 80 meetings, including town hall meetings with various stakeholder groups, municipal councils and technical committees as part of three phases of consultation with the public in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
 
“Updating our Official Plan has been a complex exercise, taking a comprehensive, integrated and public-focused approach that involved detailed studies and extensive public consultations,” said Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor, Vice-Chair of York Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “This is a very important document that is vital to how we manage growth and development across York Region for many years to come.”
 
Several new pieces of Provincial legislation, including the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001, the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the Places to Grow Act, 2005, the Clean Water Act, 2006, the Metrolinx Act, 2006 and the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008 have fundamentally changed the way planning occurs in south-central Ontario and York Region.
 
In addition, the draft Official Plan integrates York Region’s new master plans for Transportation and for Water and Wastewater, as well as a series of research studies and reports on all aspects of growth management that were part of the Planning for Tomorrow initiative. 
 
Throughout the fall, York Region staff will host a number of public meetings, and further details will be provided.
 
Regional staff members are also available to present highlights of the draft Official Plan to local municipal councils and special interest groups.
 
Formal comments on the draft Official Plan must be submitted to the Region by September 30th.  Comments resulting from the statutory meeting must be submitted by October 14th.  These timelines will permit consideration of the submissions in time for Regional staff to report back to Planning and Economic Development Committee on November 4th.
 
The draft Official Plan, along with the background studies and reports, are available on the Region’s website.  Click on the Draft Official Plan banner on the home page.  For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
                       Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                       Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca
 
Backgrounder: Details in Official Plan supported by extensive background work

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