Official Plan FAQ




Why do we need an Official Plan?

An Official Plan has the following major functions:

  • Reflects the expectations and aspirations of the community for the future
  • Establishes a system of land use planning applicable to all land in the Town
  • Includes a framework to manage growth
  • Identifies policies to guide how land may be used and developed
  • Establishes standards and processes to manage development
  • Furthers provincial and regional interests


What Type of Information is Contained in an Official Plan?

The Planning Act states that goals, objectives, and policies must be contained in an Official Plan. The goals, objectives, and policies are required to manage and direct physical change and the effects of this change on the social, economic, and natural environment.

The Planning Act also identifies additional criteria that may be, but does not have to be, contained in the Official Plan. This includes measures and procedures to guide planning processes.

Official Plans must further policy established at the regional and provincial levels. Each municipality has the ability to integrate and implement regional and provincial policy direction with respect to the particular pressures, unique features, local context, and specific location of the municipality.


What are the Benefits of an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Establishes an agreed position on land use planning matters for a municipality
  • Promotes sustainable growth in a manner acceptable to the community
  • Balances the interests of property owners and the needs of the wider community
  • Enables decision making on land use and development matters