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regards to conformation with the Province of Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
Date: To: From: Wards: Reference P:\2011\PlanningDepartment\February2011\Update Number: February 16, 2011 E. Belsey, Principle Planner, for distribution to Town of Whitby Council Derek Nawrot (500201951), Student Intern, Ryerson University All
SUMMARY: The Town of Whitby is waiting on a decision from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) regarding case PL100386. The subject of the case are lands centred on Anderson St./Conlin Rd. which have been designated as Living Areas in the Region of Durham Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) #128, and further supported by the Town. The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) rejected this designation stating that the original designation of the lands as Employment Areas is consistent with the Places to Grow Act/Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and should remain. The case regards an appeal by Highmark Homes (“Appellant”) against the MMAH to support the redesigation of affected lands. The result of the decision will determine if the lands remain as Living Areas or are reverted back to Employment Areas. If the lands are supported as Living Areas, it is recommended that Council support the amendment of Schedule P of the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan, to reflect this as well as support further land-use studies. If the lands revert back to Employment Areas, it is recommended that Council support further studies to determine the feasibility of continuing as ‘Prestige Industrial/Agriculture’ zoned lands, or trying to incorporate
mixed-uses. Regardless of the outcome, it is recommended that Council include the lands north of Anderson St./Conlin Rd. as an addition to the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan, incorporate terminology from the Places to Grow Act/Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe into the Official Plan, and work with Regional officials to amend any changes to the Regional Official Plan.
RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that pending an outcome of Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) case PL100386 favourable to the Town of Whitby, Council support: a) Schedule P of the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan, be amended so the lands in the four designated quadrants of Anderson St./Conlin Rd., which are currently designated as ‘Prestige Industrial,’ are designated as ‘Residential’; and b) Further studies be conducted on the Anderson St./Conlin Rd. lands in regards to the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan, to support their designation as ‘Residential’. It is recommended that pending an outcome of OMB case PL100386 unfavourable to the Town of Whitby, Council support: a) Further studies to the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan, to determine if Employment Areas lands should remain ‘Prestige Industrial,’ or receive another designation under Employment Areas that may contain the possibility of mixed-use including ‘Residential’. Pending either outcome of OMB case PL100386, Council support: a) To expand the scope area of the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan, to include the lands north of Anderson St./Conlin Rd., which are currently not part of the Plan and designated ‘Agricultural’ and a ‘Future Urban Development Area';
b) The Town of Whitby Planning Department to work with the Region of Durham in order to ensure that any changes resulting from the OMB decision in the Official Plan conform to the Region Plan; and c) Further analysis be done on the Official Plan to incorporate terminology from the Ontario Places to Grow Act/Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe so that it is consistent with Town terminology. Financial Impact: It is expected that there will be financial implications to the Town regardless of the OMB decision. These costs are unknown at this time. DECISION HISTORY:
On September 13, 2006, Durham Region Council resolved to designate approximately 60 acres of land at the northwest corner of Anderson St. and Conlin Rd. (see Attachment#2) as Living Areas in the Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) #114. Consistent with this decision the site was considered as part of the Living Areas inventory in the ‘Growing Durham’ land needs study. Growing Durham consultants, in assessing the Employment Areas lands that had originally been designated, concluded that the remaining lands on opposite corners should be retained as a contiguous Employment Areas block.
On November 10, 2008, a public meeting in Council was held to seek input from property owners within the Anderson St./Conlin Rd. area. At this meeting, Council moved to recommend that Town Planning Report 142-08, which suggested that Council recommend to the Region that additional land centred on the Anderson St. corridor and encompassing all four quadrants of the Anderson St./Conlin Rd. intersection be redesignated from Employment Areas to Living Areas, and forwarded to the Region. This suggestion was included in ROPA#128 as the Region supported Council’s decision in favour of the redesignation. Minutes available here:
On November 25, 2008, the Recommended Growth Scenario and Policy Directions Report, prepared by Urban Strategies, was endorsed by Regional Planning Committee and formed the basis for ROPA#128.
On June 3, 2009, ROPA#128 was submitted to the Province for approval. On March 12, 2010, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) issued a draft decision for ROPA#128. The draft proposed a number of modifications including refusing to acknowledge the designation of the affected lands as Living Areas. Reasons provided were: 1) The additional three corners proposed to be converted were not recommended through the ‘Growing Durham’ study; 2) The lands form part of a significant employment area; 3) The lands are strategically located adjacent to the future Highway 407; and 4) The lands benefit from buffers such as the natural major open space corridor to the south and west, the hydro corridor, future highway corridor and employment lands to the north, and employment lands to the east. Response available here: http://www.durham.ca/growthplan/appeal_documents_ROPA128/STAFFREPORT_FIN AL_Sep28_10.pdf
At the end of May, 2010, the Region provided area municipalities with an early release of their Commissioner’s Report, which is a response to the Province’s draft decision on ROPA#128. The report continued to support the Living Areas designation. On June 7, 2010, Council voted to support Town Planning Report 79-10 which reaffirms their support for the Living Areas designation and the Commissioner’s Report. Report available here: http://www2.whitby.ca/asset/cs-report_PL79-10-jun072010.pdf Minutes available here:
On July 29, 2010, a pre-hearing at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) begin for an appeal by Highmark Homes (“Appellant”) against the failure of the Ministry of the MMAH to make a decision regarding ROPA#128. The Appellant supports the redesignation to Living Areas as it pertains to lands at the northwest quadrant in which it has an interest. A second pre-hearing conference took place on September 10, 2010 with the continuation on November 19, 2010. As of this date, approximately seventy appeals have been filed against the MMAH decision regarding ROPA#128 which has delayed the trial as the OMB waits for the appeals. A third pre-hearing date is scheduled for February 18, 2011. OMB E-status case details available here: http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/ecs/CaseDetail.aspx?n=PL100386
ISSUE BACKGROUND: Growth Plan Conformity a) Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe On June 13, 2005, the Province passed The Places to Grow Act, 2005, which provides the legal framework necessary for the Province to designate a geographic area as a growth plan area and subsequently to develop a growth plan for that area. Ontario Regulation 416/05 was also approved which identifies the geographic area of the Greater Golden Horseshoe growth plan area. This growth plan area includes the Region of Durham as well as other upper-tier and single-tier municipalities extending generally around the western end of Lake Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure website www.placestogrow.ca provides an extensive description of the Places to Grow – Growth Plan initiative. The Growth Plan requires that area municipalities must conform to and implement their Official Plans through the following:
Allocation of population and employment growth forecasts to 2031, for upper-tier municipalities (e.g. Durham Region), to be allocated to each lower-tier area municipality (e.g. Town of Whitby);
How to effectively and efficiently manage growth; General intensification to 2031 including:
a 40% rate of residential intensification which is to occur within ‘built-up’ areas to be measured across the upper-tier, or Region; and
key locations where intensification should occur (e.g. Centres, Major Transit Station Areas, Intensification Areas, and Corridors)
Restrictive policies regarding Employment Lands; Minimum densities for designated ‘greenfield’ areas (e.g. 50 persons and jobs per hectare for development within new urban areas); and
Urban area boundary expansions.
b) Growing Durham/Durham Region Official Plan The Region’s ‘Growing Durham’ exercise was undertaken to confirm with and implement the Growth Plan, which culminated in the adoption of ROPA#128. The ‘Growing Durham’ website www.durham.ca/growthplan includes an extensive overview and documentation regarding the exercise and further documentation for ROPA#128. Implications for Whitby from ROPA#128 include the following:
Population, household, and employment forecast allocations for Whitby as follows:
2011 Urban Population Rural 122,935 2,055
2016 138,555 2,070 6
2021 154,835 2,080
2026 177,060 2,090
2031 190,760 2,100
Population Total Population Households Employment
124,990 41,705 40,650
140,625 47,750 47,795
156,915 55,240 56,745
179,150 64,570 64,975
192,860 71,650 71,310
Source: Town of Whitby
General and specific growth management and staging policies; Specific intensification targets allocated to Whitby, being 11,963 new dwelling units through intensification within the ‘Built Boundary’ between 2015 and 2031, which is approximately 45% of new residential growth in Whitby;
Special intensification policies regarding minimum densities and floor space indexes for areas of intensification (e.g. Regional Centres and Corridors, Local Centres and Corridors, Waterfront Places, Commuter Stations);
Identification of the ‘Built Boundary’ as determined by the Province of Ontario, where minimum intensification targets are to be met; and
Minimum densities for new ‘greenfield’ development Land designation map for the affected area can be seen in Appendix C.
c) Town of Whitby Official Plan The Whitby Official Plan was adopted by Council on September 28th, 1994 and subsequently approved with modifications by the Region of Durham on December 6th, 1995, with the exception of certain deferrals. The Town website http://www.whitby.ca/index.php?page=257 provides information on the Official Plan, review process, and four phase approach to amendments. The most recent amendment to the Official Plan, OPA No.90, (http://www2.whitby.ca/asset/cs-report_PL108-10-sep092010.pdf) was moved by Council on September 9, 2010. Although no amendments had to do directly with the Anderson St./Conlin Rd. lands, the following amendments have to deal with Growth Plan conformity:
Adjusted urban area boundaries and identified designated Future Urban Development Areas established by the Region of Durham through ROPA#128 to accommodate forecasted growth to 2031;
Included the ‘Built Boundary’ established by the Province of Ontario; Incorporated a new planning horizon, as well as population and employment forecasts to 2031; and
Identified areas that require the preparation of a Secondary Plan prior to any development occurring. Section 11.10 of the Official Plan is the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan,
which deals with the lands to south, but not north, of Conlin Rd. The focus area of the Secondary Plan is shown in Schedule P (see Appendix D). Current designation of the lands south of Anderson St./Conlin Rd. is ‘Prestige Industrial’. Section 126.96.36.199.2 of the Official Plan addresses ‘Prestige Industrial’ and allows generally light industrial uses with enclosed buildings, professional, corporate and industrial oriented office buildings, data processing centres, commercial or technical schools, research and development facilities, and incidental sales outlets within industrial buildings. Land north of Anderson St./Conlin Rd. is designated as ‘Agricultural’ and a ‘Future Urban Development Area’. COMMENTS: Subject Area Description Location: Four quadrants at Conlin Rd. / Anderson St. intersection (generally bounded by: the Ontario Hydro Corridor to the north; the Ontario Hydro Corridor to the east; the environmentally sensitive lands to the south (south of Conlin Rd.); and, the environmentally sensitive lands to the west (west of Anderson St.). Approximately 100 hectares (247 acres) North of Conlin Rd.: Schedule ‘A’ – Land Use: “Future Urban Development (F.U.D.A.) 2”; “Major Open Space”; and “Hazard Land”
Subject Area: Current Whitby OP Designation:
South of Conlin Rd.: Schedule ‘P’ – Taunton North Community Secondary Plan: “Prestige Industrial”; “Environmental Protection / Conservation Land”; and “Hazard Land”.
Current Durham Regional Official Plan Designation:
2008 Regional Official Plan (as amended by ROPA #128, portions under Appeal): Living Area North: Ontario Hydro Corridor South: environmentally sensitive lands West: environmentally sensitive lands East: Ontario Hydro Corridor
Surrounding Land Uses:
CONCLUSION: The objective of this briefing note is to inform Council of an instance, the Anderson St./Conlin Rd. lands, where the Region Official Plan suggests that lands on Anderson St./Conlin Rd. be designated as Living Areas, as opposed to their original designation as Employment Areas. This land conversion was rejected by the MMAH while the Town of Whitby maintains the Living Areas designation. The issue is currently before the OMB in the pre-hearing stages. At this point, no further recommendation is necessary pending the outcome of the OMB hearing. Should the OMB hearing result positively for the Town and the use is permitted to continue as Living Areas, it is suggested that Council support the amending of the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan to adjust the land designation south of Anderson St./Conlin Rd. from ‘Prestige Industrial’ to ‘Residential’. As such, further studies on land servicing should be including in the Plan. Schedule P, the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan map, should be amended to designate these lands as ‘Residential’. Regardless of the decision, it is also recommended that Council expand the scope area of the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan to include the lands north of Anderson St./Conlin Rd., which are not currently part of the Plan and designated ‘Agricultural’ and a ‘Future Urban Development Area’. Subsequently, in any decision, the Town Planning Department should work with the Region in order to ensure that any changes in the Official Plan conform to the Region Plan. Finally, it is recommended that further analysis be done on the Official Plan to incorporate terminology from the Growth Plan (such as Living Areas and Employment Areas) so that it is consistent with Town terminology.
Should the OMB decision result negatively for the Town, it is recommended that Council support further studies to determine if Employment Areas lands should remain ‘Prestige Industrial,’ or, for example, be designated as ‘Commercial’ with the possibility of ‘Residential.’
CONTACT: Derek Nawrot, Student Intern, Ryerson University firstname.lastname@example.org
SIGNATURE: _______________________________ Ed Belsey Principle Planner Town of Whitby
ATTACHMENTS: Appendix A – References Appendix B – Overview aerial photo of affected lands Appendix C – Land use designation of the Durham Region Official Plan Appendix D – Schedule P of the Taunton North Community Secondary Plan, Whitby Official Plan
Appendix A – References
Durham, Region of. (2011). Growing Durham including The Regional of Durham Official Plan. Retrieved electronically from: http://www.durham.ca/growthplan/ Ontario, Province of – Ministry of Infrastructure. (2011). Places to Grow incl. The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Retrieved electronically from: https://www.placestogrow.ca/index.php?lang=eng Ontario, Province of – Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. (2010). Ministry staff report. Retrieved electronically from: http://www.durham.ca/growthplan/appeal_documents_ROPA128/STAFFREPORT_FINAL_Sep 28_10.pdf Ontario, Province of – Ontario Municipal Board. (2010). E-status case details for Case PL100386. Retrieved electronically from: http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/ecs/CaseDetail.aspx?n=PL100386 Whitby, Town of. (2008). Minutes of a special meeting of the Planning and Development Committee held on Monday, November 10, 2008. Retrieved electronically from: http://www2.whitby.ca/asset/cs-minutes_specialplanninganddevelopmentcommitteenov102008.pdf Whitby, Town of. (2010). Recommendation report prepared by the Planning Department for June 7, 2010. Retrieved electronically from: http://www2.whitby.ca/asset/cs-report_PL79-10-jun072010.pdf Whitby, Town of. (2010). Recommendation report prepared by the Planning Department for September 9, 2010. Retrieved electronically from: http://www2.whitby.ca/asset/cs-report_PL108-10-sep092010.pdf Whitby, Town of. (2010) Minutes of a special meeting of the Council held on Monday, June 7, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www2.whitby.ca/asset/cs-minutes_specialcouncil-jun072010.pdf Whitby, Town of. (2011). Official Plan Review including the Town of Whitby Official Plan. Retrieved electronically from: http://www.whitby.ca/index.php?page=257
Appendix B – Overview aerial photo of affected lands
Source: Bing Maps
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