1. The Official Plan is lacking detail for what I can do with my property, or what others can do with their property.

    The Official Plan works cohesively with the Zoning Bylaw, to delegate the land uses of all properties within the Township. The Official Plan contains goals, objectives, and some policy for land uses within a municipality. The Zoning Bylaw strictly contains policy for each identified “zone” within a municipality. The Zoning Bylaw will determine your setback requirements for each land use, as well as required frontages and land coverages for each property, to list a few examples. A use may be permitted on a land within the Official Plan but not the Zoning Bylaw. For example, the Village designation within the Official Plan allows for commercial, residential, institutional and industrial uses.  If a property were designated as “Village Residential” within the Zoning Bylaw, an industrial use would not be permitted, without an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. Once the Township completes the Official Plan update, an update to the Zoning Bylaw will be required to work cohesively with the newly adopted Official Plan.


    2. Why can’t I sever my lot?

    Severance applications require the approval of the Committee of Adjustment as per Section 54 of the Planning Act R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, s. 54 (2). Township staff writes a report ensuring that the severance of a property does not offend the Provincial Policy Statement 2014, A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2019, Simcoe County Official Plan 2015, the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan 2009, and both the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw. Provincial legislation and the Simcoe County Official plan supersedes the Official Plan, and Zoning Bylaws of the Township. Currently the Official Plan 2003, is not consistent with the requirements of Simcoe County’s Official Plan, and this update is to allow for conformity, amongst all forms of land use legislation. Growth and the creation of new lots for development should be directed to settlement areas, as stated in the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 Section 1.1.3 Settlement Areas. The Township’s identified settlement areas are as followed:

    i)  Atherley-Uptergrove

    ii)  Brechin

    iii)  Coopers’s Falls

    iv)  Gamebridge

    v)  Lagoon City

    vi)  Longford Mills

    vii)  Sebright

    viii)  Udney

    ix)  Washago

    3. My property is located within an identified settlement area, when will I need to apply for a plan of subdivision application instead of a consent application through the committee of adjustment?

    Section 6  - General Development Policies of the Official Plan outlines the general development policies of the Township, with lot creation being under section 6.1.12. Section 6.1.12.3 states the following: Where there is a potential to create more than 5 abutting lots on one property, as determined by hydrogeological, servicing and environmental studies, the lots shall be created by plan of subdivision. If an applicant wishes to create more than five lots (six or more), they will be required to apply through the plan of subdivision application process, instead of the consent application process.

    4. What is the difference between the Rural Settlement and Village Settlement areas?

    Section 4.1.2 -  Classification of Settlement Areas, of the Official Plan outlines the differences between the distinguishing of the two types of settlement areas within the Township. Rural Settlement Areas, are areas within the Township, that rely on private services (well and sewer), have a lower residential population, and abut a municipal boundary. These areas have not been targeted for planned development, as they are not identified for major growth. Village Residential Areas, are areas within the Township that are on municipal services, have a higher residential population, and are areas that have been identified to have the potential for major growth.

    5. What about the existing residents, when development occurs?

    When the Township receives a planning application, staff, and our consultants ensure that, the requirements of both the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw are met, as well as ensuring the proposal does not affect the safety of the existing community. The scope of the application and the development proposal requested may require the applicant to provide reports submitted by experts in their respective field, so that an informed choice and responsible development can be made on a planning application. Some of these studies include but are not limited to traffic studies, noise studies, hydrogeological studies and odor studies.

    6. Can I have a second dwelling unit on my property?

    A second dwelling unit will be permitted in the new Official Plan; however, the creation of that dwelling unit must comply with all other applicable law (ex. Ontario Building Code). The creation of a second dwelling unit in an existing residence will be exempt from paying development charges however a new multi residential dwelling, will be required to pay the development charges at the applicable multiple dwelling development charge fee.

    7. What does this new Greenlands Designation mean?

    The Greenlands designation, section 7.2, is a new designation for the Township of Ramara’s Official Plan, and was derived from and incorporated to allow for more consistency with Simcoe County’s Official Plan.  The purpose of this designation is to protect, conserve and enhance the natural area features of the Township. This designation is still being reviewed and refined as the Province, has allowed for municipalities to refine their mapping, due to believed incongruences and objections with the mapping at the provincial level of government. Township staff and consultants are working with the staff at the County of Simcoe to refine the Greenlands designation, based on the criteria provided by the Province. This designation works in conjunction with section 6.2 Natural Area Protection Policies and section 6.3 Natural Resource Policies of the Official Plan. Existing uses within the Greenlands designation are allowed to continue.