What is an Official Plan?
An Official Plan is a statutory document which sets out the land use policy directions for long-term growth and development in a municipality. It is not to be confused with the Zoning By-law which further details the broad range of land uses set out in the Official Plan. The current Official Plan for the City of Oshawa was approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs on February 12, 1987.
The Oshawa Official Plan contains policies governing various land use designations, such as Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural and Open Space and Recreation. These designations are broadly established on a land use map. Other policies relate to Environmental Management, Transportation and Community Improvement. More detailed policies and land uses for certain areas of the City are found in Part II (Secondary) Plans.
While the Official Plan is intended to establish the policies for long-term growth, the Plan is periodically reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet the changing economic, social and environmental needs of the municipality. Occasionally, it is necessary to amend the policies and/or designations contained in the Official Plan in order to facilitate new development or redevelopment proposals. Opportunities for public review and input are provided prior to the City adopting any Official Plan Amendments.
What is the process for Official Plan amendments?
The process required to amend the City of Oshawa Official Plan is described below. Please note that, depending upon the proposal, an application may also be required to amend the Region of Durham Official Plan and/or the City of Oshawa Zoning By-law.
Step 1 - Presubmission consultation
It is recommended that potential applicants consult with staff of the Development Services Department before submitting an application to discuss the proposed amendment and the required information to accompany the application.
Step 2 - Application submission
An application to amend the Oshawa Official Plan, accompanied by the required plans and an application fee, payable to the Corporation of the City of Oshawa is submitted to the Development Services Department. The City will review the application to ensure it is complete, including the submission of any required studies or supporting materials. The applicant shall be advised within 30 days whether or not the application is deemed complete. In accordance with the Planning Act, the applicant must indicate whether the proposal conforms to the Provincial Policy Statement and applicable Provincial plans. The applicant is required to post a "Public Notice" sign on the property advising that an amendment has been submitted. It is during the process whether the proposed Amendment is "exempt" subject to final approval by the City of Oshawa, or "non-exempt" subject to final approval by the Region of Durham.
Step 3 - Newspaper notice and agency circulation
Notice of the application and a public meeting to consider the application is placed in the local newspaper within 15 days of the application being deemed complete.. In addition, comments are requested from appropriate agencies. The Development Services Department subsequently prepares a report for the public meeting outlining details of the application and, where appropriate, any agency comments.
Step 4 - Public meeting
A public meeting is held by the Development Services Committee at which time submissions may be made by the applicant and members of the public. At the conclusion of the public meeting, the application is normally referred back to the Development Services Department for further review and preparation of a subsequent report and recommendation.
Step 5 - Recommendation report
A report of the Commissioner of Development Services with associated recommendations is prepared for consideration by the Development Services Committee.
Step 6 - Development Services Committee recommendation
The Development Services Committee makes a recommendation to Council to approve or deny the application. Alternatively, the application may be tabled or referred back to the Development Services Department for further consideration.
Step 7 - Council consideration
City Council considers the recommendation of the Development Services Committee and either adopts the amendment by by-law or denies the application. If an application is denied, written reasons will be provided to the applicant within 15 days of Council's decision.
Step 8 - Notice of adoption
If the Official Plan amendment is adopted, the City gives written notice of Council's adoption and forwards the amendment and other information to the Region of Durham.
Step 9 - Consideration by Region of Durham
The Council of the Region of Durham is the approval authority for Oshawa Official Plan amendments unless the amendment is exempt from Regional approval. If the amendment is exempt, proceed to Step 10. If the amendment is not exempt, the Region may approve, modify or refuse to approve the amendment.
Step 10 - Appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board
An appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) can be made within 20 days of the notice of decision by the applicant if the application is denied, or by other interested parties if the application is approved. Only persons who have made either oral submissions at the public meeting or written submissions to Council prior to the decision may appeal. The OMB may hold a hearing on the appeal and will make a decision based on evidence presented at the hearing.
For further information on the City of Oshawa Official Plan or the process for an Official Plan amendment, please contact Planning Services staff of the Development Services Department at (905) 436-3853.
8th Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 3Z7