Ontario is proposing to require municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to integrate climate change policies into municipal official plans and to conduct climate change vulnerability risk assessments when they are planning or replacing infrastructure.
The changes are in response to a report from the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review advisory panel, chaired by former mayor of Toronto David Crombie. They target four plans: the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
“I am happy to see the province has embraced the advisory panel’s recommendations to co-ordinate land use planning with transit planning and infrastructure investments,” said David Crombie. “The pace and growth of the Greater Golden Horseshoe could be sustained for decades to come with the adoption of the proposed land use plans.”
Other changes would:
- Require zoning along transit corridors to provide adequate density to support transit.
- Protect clean water by adding the lands within 21 major urban river valleys to the Greenbelt, along with seven coastal wetlands, and establish a process for further expanding the Greenbelt to protect key water features.
- Establish Greenbelt-level protections for natural heritage systems – such as wetlands, woodlands and rivers – beyond the Greenbelt, with the provincial government taking a lead in mapping those areas.
- Support agricultural viability and preserve farmland by setting strict requirements for the expansion of urban areas and allowing more flexibility for agricultural use in the Greenbelt.
Stakeholders and the public can now comment on the proposed changes.