What is an Official Plan?

    An Official Plan is a statutory document required by the province that describes a city's land-use strategy to 2031 and beyond. It addresses the location and form of new housing, industry, offices and shops as well as anticipated needs for infrastructure. Streets, parks, transit, schools, community amenities, and other elements of a growing city are all considered in the Official Plan.

    Why did the City adopt a new Official Plan in 2018?

    a.  The Planning Act requires every city to update its Official Plan at least once every five years, or every 10 years after the approval of a new Official Plan. Burlington's last Official Plan review began in 2002, and the revised document was approved by Halton Region in 2008.

    As the city continues to change and grow, we must regularly revisit the Official Plan to ensure we are realizing the City's collective vision and responding to our community's needs.

    On April 11, 2016, Burlington City Council unanimously approved Burlington's Strategic Plan 2015-2040, which captures the priorities of the city's residents and community leaders for the next 25 years.

    Among these priorities is that Burlington is A City that Grows - a city that attracts talent, good jobs and economic opportunity while having achieved intensification and a balanced, targeted population growth for youth, families, newcomers and seniors.

    To implement this vision, the City of Burlington adopted a new Official Plan in April 2018 to guide growth in Burlington. When it comes into effect (after being approved by Halton Region), the new Official Plan will help the city plan for the type of growth it wants in the locations it wants to ensure Burlington continues to be a thriving city in the 21st century.

    What is the status of the adopted Official Plan?

    The new Official Plan was adopted by Council in April 2018. It was then sent to Halton Region for approval. Regional approval of the Adopted Official Plan is necessary before it can come into effect.

    On December 5th,2018, Halton Region advised that their review of the Adopted Official Plan would be paused until some conformity issues are addressed. City staff continue to work with the Region on addressing these issues.

    Additionally, City staff are conducting a Scoped Re-examination of certain policies in the Adopted Official Plan, as directed by Council on February 7, 2019. The scope of the re-examination was determined through a Council workshop on March 18, 2019. The Terms of Reference for the Scoped Re-examination were then approved by Council on May 21, 2019. The Scoped Re-examination will result in proposed modifications to the policies of the Adopted Official Plan. City Council will approve these modifications by March 2020 and will then send them to the Region for consideration and final approval.

    What parts of the Adopted Official Plan is the City re-examining?

    The City is re-examining the adopted Official Plan policies for the downtown urban centre. The Waterfront Hotel site and Old Lakeshore Road precinct are not included, as these areas will be studied in greater detail through separate processes subject to Council approval.

    What is the status of the Mobility Hubs Study?

    Work on the Mobility Hubs Study, including the development of the Area-Specific Plans (secondary plans), has been placed on hold, given Council’s focus on the re-examination of the adopted Official Plan and the Interim Control By-law, passed on March 5, 2019.

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed their ideas and feedback to the Mobility Hubs initiative so far. Please visit https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/mobility-hubs.asp and subscribe to that page to be advised when the Mobility Hubs study resumes.

    How does the Scoped Re-examination of the Official Plan relate to the Interim Control By-law?

    The scoped re-examination of the Official Plan will occur at the same time as the Interim Control By-law study. These two initiatives focus on similar study areas (both include a focus on Downtown Burlington). Findings from both initiatives may inform each other. For more information on the Interim Control By-law study, visit https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/interim-control-bylaw-icbl.asp