The City of North Bay has initiated a review to the City's Official Plan.
An Official Plan is a policy document that guides a municipality’s land use objectives and goals to direct future growth and development. The policies within the Official Plan are intended to balance the inter-relationships among environmental, economic and social factors in planning to enhance the quality of life of North Bay’s citizens. These policies are related to land uses, heritage, culture, the natural environment, transportation and infrastructure. The City’s Official Plan is also used to guide the development of municipal services and programs.
On September 8, 2009 the City of North Bay’s Official Plan was approved by Council. The Plan received final approval with modifications by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in January 2012. It is based on the findings of background studies and public consultation with the primary goal of maintaining and enhancing the quality of life of North Bay citizens. This Plan was created to form the policy framework to be used by Council and Staff to make well informed land use decisions in North Bay.
An Official Plan is given its authority through the Planning Act. The Planning Act establishes policies, regulations and procedures that must be included in a municipality’s Official Plan. Section 26(1) of the Planning Act requires that municipalities conduct a mandatory review of established Official Plans.
Prior to July 1, 2016, municipalities were required to undertake a review of their Official Plans every five years. The Planning Act now requires a review of new Official Plans after 10 years and then every five years thereafter.
Required Official Plan Review
Although the requirement to complete a formal Official Plan review has now been extended, the City of North Bay is required to ensure our planning documents conform to provincial plans and policy. In particular, the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, 2011 (GPNO) came into effect after the Official Plan was adopted in 2009, meaning it has not yet been incorporated into the Official Plan. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ deadline for municipalities, including the City of North Bay, to incorporate the GPNO was March 3, 2016. Planning Staff originally planned to incorporate this as part of the five year review.
As a formal five year review is no longer required, the City must now complete a provincial plan conformity exercise under a separate review. This review will include an update to incorporate the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario as well as additional changes made to provincial legislation in land use planning since 2009.