Norfolk County’s Planning Department is pleased to share that the Five Year Official Plan Review has now been approved by the Province. This project has been underway for about four years and we are very excited to see its conclusion and to be able to start implementing the new policies. Many of these policies will streamline the development process in Norfolk County. Some highlights are as follows:
Surplus farm dwellings proposed to be severed are no longer required to have been built before August 24, 1978. A rolling date of 10 years has been implemented. This means that any surplus farm dwelling built 10 years prior to the date of the application has the opportunity to be severed, provided it meets the other criteria in this policy.
On-farm diversified use policies have been established, which open up a wide range of new uses permitted on farm properties. These policies make the planning application process much simpler as they eliminate the need for an Official Plan Amendment to establish an on-farm diversified use.
The initial approval period for a garden suite is now 11 years instead of five, which allows the residents of garden suites an additional six year period before an extension application is required.
There are now two industrial designations: “Protected Industrial” and “Industrial”. Both areas are meant to be used for industrial purposes; however, there is more flexibility to amend the “Industrial” designation to permit other uses.
A new “Mixed Residential/Commercial” designation has been established to recognise areas of transition between downtowns and surrounding residential neighbourhoods.
An information report will be brought forward to Council on December 11, 2018. The plan will soon be available at http://www.nhttp://www.norfolkcounty.ca/government/planning/official-plan/.