The biggest planning project since Niagara Region was established in 1970 is underway at regional headquarters in Thorold.
With a deadline of July 1, 2022, Region staff are updating the municipality’s official plan that will establish how Niagara grows over the coming decades.
The definition of an official planning document is simple – its council’s policies on how land in Niagara is used.
“This is about putting policies in place that cover differing land use,” said Doug Giles, acting commissioner of planning and development services.
Giles said the plan will need to balance requirements to accommodate growth while protecting the natural environment and agricultural lands.
Developers and environmentalists scrutinize every move. They are awaiting the mapping that will indicate what areas are open for development and which natural heritage zones are protected.
Though it has been updated on an ad hoc basis, this is the first time the entire official plan has had a comprehensive review in 50 years.
Take climate change. There is next to nothing on that in the current plan.