Rama Road Corridor

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This is a map outlining the Rama Road Corridor

CURRENT DESIGNATION

The area identified as the Rama Road Corridor, is designated as an Economic Employment District and is subject to the following provisions in the identified legislation, as it pertains to the permitted land uses:

The current zoning of Destination Commercial allows for the following mixed uses within the corridor:

  • Active Recreation
  • Boat house, boat dock, shorewall
  • Commercial parking lot
  • Day nursery
  • Eating establishment
  • Financial institution
  • Four season destination resort establishment
  • Hotel, Motel
  • Marina including seasonal boat storage facility
  • Motor vehicle fuel bar
  • Motor vehicle rental
  • Motor vehicle service station
  • Multiple dwellings on a lot
  • Passive recreation
  • Place of assembly
  • Place of entertainment
  • Place of recreation
  • Recreation camp
  • Seasonal cabin rental and housekeeping cottage
  • Seasonal camping establishment
  • Tourism and entertainment retail establishment
  • Transportation terminal or depot
  • Retail commercial establishment accessory to a permitted use
  • Personal service establishment accessory to a permitted use
  • Accessory dwelling
  • Uses accessory to permitted uses

PROBLEM

Further to these permitted uses, the Rama Road Secondary Plan and A Place to Grow contain provisions for residential uses to be ancillary to a permitted use, and NO residential unit shall be permitted as a primary residence. This means that ONLY seasonal residents would be permitted. The policies do not discourage a mix of commercial and residential uses; however, the order and phasing of potential development has proven difficult, as it has been challenging for a commitment to a commercial project without the necessary residents in the area to support the commercial operations.


THE PROBLEM IS PERMITTING ONLY SEASONAL RESIDENTS TO BE BUILT IN THE AREA UNLESS COMMERCIAL PROJECTS ARE BUILT FIRST.


SOLUTION

Because of the repeated challenges, staff discussed internally possible methods to a solution, which resulted in the approval of Council to initiate discussion with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), to determine an approach to strategic and responsible development within the Rama Road Corridor.

In November 2020, Council granted staff permission to conduct a review, and initiate conversation with the MMAH , regarding the special development policies of the Rama Road Economic Employment District (Rama Road Corridor). The purpose of this review was to inquire the inclination of the MMAH, to change the provincial policies, affecting the Rama Road Corridor.

FEBRUARY 18TH, 2021 UPDATE

On February 18th, 2021, The Township of Ramara and MMAH had discussions regarding the letter asking for changes to the Rama Road Corridor development phasing. This request was to allow changes to the phasing of permitted uses; however, both the Township and MMAH agreed that using an MZO was not the best path to take for this situation.

The Township and the Province are in agreement that the 25 year old designation has not stimulated the growth that was envisioned. To that end, the Township will continue to consult with the appropriate authorities to determine future activities. We will continue to discuss and evaluate policy options and potential next steps while updating Ramara’s Official Plan. Remember to follow our Official Plan project page to stay up to date on changes.

Why Now?

The Township is in the process of updating its Official Plan, which has been placed on hold, to develop a strategic plan to incorporate with the vision and policies of the municipality, as it pertains to responsible growth and development. The Official Plan of a municipality contains goals, objectives, and policies, which direct and govern how and where a municipality can plan and accommodate various types of developments. The Rama Road Corridor is a provincially recognized Economic Employment District, in A Place to Grow, and is one of the few areas within the municipality that is intended for growth and development.


Map of Rama Road Economic Employment District


HISTORY

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2006, first identified and defined the Rama Road Economic Employment District as a result of Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Simcoe Sub-area. This amendment was prepared and approved under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 13 and came into effect on January 19, 2012. The basis of this amendment, was through the establishment of the Township's Secondary Plan for the Rama Road Corridor, which came into effect in 2007.The current uses and designations for the Rama Road Corridor have been in effect for over a decade and recognized by the province for the last 8 years.

Potential development

The plans submitted by developers that were attached to the letter to MMAH are merely concept plans, and do not illustrate any of the technical requirements for a complete site plan application. Additional studies will be required as part of the site plan approval process, which will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Environmental Impact Study
  • Traffic Study
  • Functional Servicing Report
  • Archeological Study

In addition to the required studies, a complete site plan application will be required to submit a site grading plan which, will display all proposed structures and their elevations, the drainage patterns of the lot, emergency vehicle access routes, the required parking spaces, and more. Please note that the site plan approval process, as described in Section 41 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13 does not have the same public consultation process as other planning applications in the Planning Act. A site plan application is an application and/or agreement between the municipality and the applicant, and does not require a formal public meeting.

The Rama Road Corridor, has several environmental constraints that must be considered and every development will require the review of both staff and technical consultants for their respective areas of expertise. The Township, will not approve of a site plan until both staff and our consultants are satisfied with the proposed plan from a legislative and technical perspective.

MUNICIPALITIES REQUIREMENTS/RESPONSIBILITIES FOR SITE PLAN APPROVAL

Any development proposal within the Rama Road Corridor will be subject to the requirements of the Township’s Site Plan Control Bylaw #2019.69. Both the Township’s Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement require the protection of provincially significant wetlands and natural heritage features, as well as consultation with First Nations. There are no “short cuts” being proposed to the requirements of any proposed development. The Township initiated this discussion so that any potential commitment to the installation of infrastructure will be done as an overall development project, accounting for the water and wastewater servicing requirements of all development projects, as opposed to each developer exclusively looking at their own proposal. Public input is always encouraged and this project is not meant to go around the process, it is simply to revise a policy that has hindered development instead of promoting it.


THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR A ZONING CHANGE, RATHER IT IS A REQUEST TO CHANGE THE ORDER IN WHICH ALREADY APPROVED LAND USES CAN TAKE PLACE.




CURRENT DESIGNATION

The area identified as the Rama Road Corridor, is designated as an Economic Employment District and is subject to the following provisions in the identified legislation, as it pertains to the permitted land uses:

The current zoning of Destination Commercial allows for the following mixed uses within the corridor:

  • Active Recreation
  • Boat house, boat dock, shorewall
  • Commercial parking lot
  • Day nursery
  • Eating establishment
  • Financial institution
  • Four season destination resort establishment
  • Hotel, Motel
  • Marina including seasonal boat storage facility
  • Motor vehicle fuel bar
  • Motor vehicle rental
  • Motor vehicle service station
  • Multiple dwellings on a lot
  • Passive recreation
  • Place of assembly
  • Place of entertainment
  • Place of recreation
  • Recreation camp
  • Seasonal cabin rental and housekeeping cottage
  • Seasonal camping establishment
  • Tourism and entertainment retail establishment
  • Transportation terminal or depot
  • Retail commercial establishment accessory to a permitted use
  • Personal service establishment accessory to a permitted use
  • Accessory dwelling
  • Uses accessory to permitted uses

PROBLEM

Further to these permitted uses, the Rama Road Secondary Plan and A Place to Grow contain provisions for residential uses to be ancillary to a permitted use, and NO residential unit shall be permitted as a primary residence. This means that ONLY seasonal residents would be permitted. The policies do not discourage a mix of commercial and residential uses; however, the order and phasing of potential development has proven difficult, as it has been challenging for a commitment to a commercial project without the necessary residents in the area to support the commercial operations.


THE PROBLEM IS PERMITTING ONLY SEASONAL RESIDENTS TO BE BUILT IN THE AREA UNLESS COMMERCIAL PROJECTS ARE BUILT FIRST.


SOLUTION

Because of the repeated challenges, staff discussed internally possible methods to a solution, which resulted in the approval of Council to initiate discussion with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), to determine an approach to strategic and responsible development within the Rama Road Corridor.

In November 2020, Council granted staff permission to conduct a review, and initiate conversation with the MMAH , regarding the special development policies of the Rama Road Economic Employment District (Rama Road Corridor). The purpose of this review was to inquire the inclination of the MMAH, to change the provincial policies, affecting the Rama Road Corridor.

FEBRUARY 18TH, 2021 UPDATE

On February 18th, 2021, The Township of Ramara and MMAH had discussions regarding the letter asking for changes to the Rama Road Corridor development phasing. This request was to allow changes to the phasing of permitted uses; however, both the Township and MMAH agreed that using an MZO was not the best path to take for this situation.

The Township and the Province are in agreement that the 25 year old designation has not stimulated the growth that was envisioned. To that end, the Township will continue to consult with the appropriate authorities to determine future activities. We will continue to discuss and evaluate policy options and potential next steps while updating Ramara’s Official Plan. Remember to follow our Official Plan project page to stay up to date on changes.

Why Now?

The Township is in the process of updating its Official Plan, which has been placed on hold, to develop a strategic plan to incorporate with the vision and policies of the municipality, as it pertains to responsible growth and development. The Official Plan of a municipality contains goals, objectives, and policies, which direct and govern how and where a municipality can plan and accommodate various types of developments. The Rama Road Corridor is a provincially recognized Economic Employment District, in A Place to Grow, and is one of the few areas within the municipality that is intended for growth and development.


Map of Rama Road Economic Employment District


HISTORY

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2006, first identified and defined the Rama Road Economic Employment District as a result of Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Simcoe Sub-area. This amendment was prepared and approved under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 13 and came into effect on January 19, 2012. The basis of this amendment, was through the establishment of the Township's Secondary Plan for the Rama Road Corridor, which came into effect in 2007.The current uses and designations for the Rama Road Corridor have been in effect for over a decade and recognized by the province for the last 8 years.

Potential development

The plans submitted by developers that were attached to the letter to MMAH are merely concept plans, and do not illustrate any of the technical requirements for a complete site plan application. Additional studies will be required as part of the site plan approval process, which will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Environmental Impact Study
  • Traffic Study
  • Functional Servicing Report
  • Archeological Study

In addition to the required studies, a complete site plan application will be required to submit a site grading plan which, will display all proposed structures and their elevations, the drainage patterns of the lot, emergency vehicle access routes, the required parking spaces, and more. Please note that the site plan approval process, as described in Section 41 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13 does not have the same public consultation process as other planning applications in the Planning Act. A site plan application is an application and/or agreement between the municipality and the applicant, and does not require a formal public meeting.

The Rama Road Corridor, has several environmental constraints that must be considered and every development will require the review of both staff and technical consultants for their respective areas of expertise. The Township, will not approve of a site plan until both staff and our consultants are satisfied with the proposed plan from a legislative and technical perspective.

MUNICIPALITIES REQUIREMENTS/RESPONSIBILITIES FOR SITE PLAN APPROVAL

Any development proposal within the Rama Road Corridor will be subject to the requirements of the Township’s Site Plan Control Bylaw #2019.69. Both the Township’s Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement require the protection of provincially significant wetlands and natural heritage features, as well as consultation with First Nations. There are no “short cuts” being proposed to the requirements of any proposed development. The Township initiated this discussion so that any potential commitment to the installation of infrastructure will be done as an overall development project, accounting for the water and wastewater servicing requirements of all development projects, as opposed to each developer exclusively looking at their own proposal. Public input is always encouraged and this project is not meant to go around the process, it is simply to revise a policy that has hindered development instead of promoting it.


THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR A ZONING CHANGE, RATHER IT IS A REQUEST TO CHANGE THE ORDER IN WHICH ALREADY APPROVED LAND USES CAN TAKE PLACE.




CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Have a question regarding the the change in designation with Rama Road or the process with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, we want to hear from you. Submit your question, and staff will respond within three business days. 

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    the media release link does not work

    David Funnell, 5608 Gray's Bay, Ramara asked 3 months ago

    Please try the link below that will take you to the media release on our website

    https://www.ramara.ca/en/news/media-release-ramara-s-follow-up-with-province-regarding-rama-road.aspx



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    Did Ramara hire a lobbyist to push for the MZO that was not applied for?

    David Funnell, 5608 Gray's Bay, Ramara asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and voice your concerns. Today, the Township had a follow up discussion with the Province regarding Rama Road Corridor.  Please see the media release that provides information on the results of the discussion. Visit here.  Please note that an FAQ will be produced regarding questions we heard about Rama Road Corridor. Subscribe to the project page to be notified when the FAQ is produced.  

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    In one of The Township of Ramara's replies they admit to having requesting an MZO, BUT not applying for an MZO. To define the word requesting....''to politely or formally ask for ''. a synonym for that word is..'' put in an application for'' Would someone please clear the air and rescind the Townships previous letters to the Minister and make it clear what the Township is after. Development is good...it is needed..... BUT NOT with the use of an MZO

    Pat Heslin asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and voice your concerns. Today, the Township had a follow up discussion with the Province regarding Rama Road Corridor.  Please see the media release that provides information on the results of the discussion. Visit here.  Please note that an FAQ will be produced regarding questions we heard about Rama Road Corridor. Subscribe to the project page to be notified when the FAQ is produced.  

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    There are many groups and many more residents of Ramara and Orillia who have ''serious'' concerns with development through the use of an MZO. I was disappointed to read in Orillia Matters that Mr. Pinsent the CAO of Ramara viewed the people's concerns as perceived and not real. The article by Nathan Taylor showed Mr. Pinsent as saying.( to Orillia Council) '' I understand the concerns, but they're perceived concerns from our point of view, and to be completely honest, I don't think they're real concerns.'' Is this true.? Is the loss of creeks and wetlands and wildlife and the elimination of productive farm land from improper development by way of an MZO not real? The impact from development on the aquifer that current residents rely on for their drinking water not a real concern? The residents concern for the preservation of their existing Lifestyle not real as uncontrolled development rolls in because an MZO has been issued. . Our concerns are that the following words be kept. Nov 3 2020. Mayor Basil Clarke '' preserving our natural assets''. The largest natural assets we have are clean fresh air and the waters of Lake Couchiching. So, preventing more environmental stress on the lake is critical. In the Fall as the sun sets on the Western shore and the lake calms to a polished glass surface, it appears, a weed bed. The tops of the weeds looking like a wheat field, stretching from Sucker Creek into Fawn Bay and from the Eastern shoreline to half way to Garnet Island. This never existed before and gets worse every year. Protection of Lake Couchiching from developers taking water from the lake for new residential areas, AND preventing them from disposing of treated waste water back into the lake. This is a serious concern for residents, Orillia and Rama First Nation who rely on the lake for drinking water. Concerns that words be kept.'' growth must be done properly''. ''Don't hurt the people currently living there. '' ''right growth, not growth at any cost.'' ''Projects must protect the waterway and people currently living in the area.'' Due diligence be done on any developer so any project started will be completed and meeting all the current rules and regulations. There are more listed on The Township of Ramara's information site. So, are all of these or just some of these, ''perceived'' and not ''real''?

    Pat Heslin asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and voice your concerns. Today, the Township had a follow up discussion with the Province regarding Rama Road Corridor.  Please see the media release that provides information on the results of the discussion. Visit here.  Please note that an FAQ will be produced regarding questions we heard about Rama Road Corridor. Subscribe to the project page to be notified when the FAQ is produced.  

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    During the recent Township of Ramara council meeting held on the evening of February 8 2021, there was a brief discussion about the use of the term MZO. In particular, one councillor was admonished for using the term. May I remind council that, at present, the official position of the township is that it has made a formal request (albeit possibly unintentional) for the provincial government to issue a MZO to expedite development of the Rama Road Economic Employment District. Until the township clarifies its position by formally notifying the provincial government that it has decided to rescind the original request for a MZO, it is entirely appropriate to use that term. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate.

    Brent Williamson asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and voice your concerns. Today, the Township had a follow up discussion with the Province regarding Rama Road Corridor.  Please see the media release that provides information on the results of the discussion. Visit here.  Please note that an FAQ will be produced regarding questions we heard about Rama Road Corridor. Subscribe to the project page to be notified when the FAQ is produced.  

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    Feb 8 2021 council meeting. Council is discussing hiring of a lobbyist. Please explain why they are doing this? For what specific approvals or changes to current development plans? Does it have anything to do with an MZO?

    P H asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and voice your concerns. Today, the Township had a follow up discussion with the Province regarding Rama Road Corridor.  Please see the media release that provides information on the results of the discussion. Visit here.  Please note that an FAQ will be produced regarding questions we heard about Rama Road Corridor. Subscribe to the project page to be notified when the FAQ is produced.  

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    In the Township's February 8, 2021 Council meeting at about the 2:45 mark, Deputy Mayor Gough stated, re: the Rama Road Corridor, that this is not an MZO application. It is obviously clear to the Township Council. The fix and clarification on this issue is simple in my view. Mayor Clarke write to Minister Clark to clarify “the November 3, 2020 letter was not, nor will it be construed to be an application for an MZO. The Township is looking for rezoning by way of an amendment to the official plan, keeping all control with the Township of Ramara.”

    SW asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and voice your concerns. Today, the Township had a follow up discussion with the Province regarding Rama Road Corridor.  Please see the media release that provides information on the results of the discussion. Visit here.  Please note that an FAQ will be produced regarding questions we heard about Rama Road Corridor. Subscribe to the project page to be notified when the FAQ is produced.  

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    why are there no replies to the emails you are receiving. ?

    P H asked 3 months ago

    Thank you very much for reaching out.

    Staff are working on responses to each of the questions presented.

    We apologize for any inconvenience.


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    My concern over this Rama Rd. Corridor is the traffic on Fawn Bay Rd. When I spoke with the person at City Hall in regard to the poor condition of Fawn Bay Rd. he explained that Ramara Township is only responsible for Fawn Bay Rd from Rama Rd down to the lake. The remainder of the road was originally a dirt road and has been upgraded over the years to its condition that it is today. When looking at the site plans for the development along Fawn Bay Rd. it shows access to Fawn Bay along with townhouses being built. This will increase traffic on Fawn Bay Rd. Will Ramara township upgrade the existing road to accommodate the extra wear on the existing road? Will MTO place traffic lights on the corner of Fawn Bay Rd and Rama Rd?

    Duane Billings Fawn Bay Rd. asked 3 months ago

    A traffic study will be required as part of the Planning application process, to be approved by not only the Township of Ramara but also the County of Simcoe, as Rama Road is a County Road.  Any upgrades to the intersection as well as Fawn Bay Road will be determined by the municipal engineers and County of Simcoe engineers at the time of submission of the required planning applications.  This will include the consideration of all required safety measures.  The outcome of the traffic study will determine a favourable location for the main ingress and egress from the property as well as required upgrades, at the developer's expense, of adjacent roads.

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    There seems to be confusion about whether or not the Township of Ramara has or will apply for a MZO for the Rama Road Corridor. The Township has stated it has not. SO, a letter from Mayor Basil Clark to Minister Clark stating something to the effect " The Township of Ramara has not and will not apply for a MZO for the Rama Road Corridor" Make this declaration public. This will clear up some of the conflicting and confusing information disseminated.

    SW asked 3 months ago

    I can confirm that yes, the letter did state "requesting" an MZO.  This by no means indicates the Township of Ramara has "applied" for an MZO.  This is just a request for the Minister to consider this as an option and not a formal application for an MZO.   It was in fact the Ministry that recommended the consideration of an MZO, as a tool to start individual proposals along the Planning application path.

    The Township would like to stress that the preferred option to get development moving forward with the Economic Employment District is to include the requested change in sequence to the permitted uses within the Official Plan and subsequently a Secondary Plan for the Economic Employment District.  The uses that are being considered are all permitted uses and have been in effect since the enactment of the Growth Plan in 2006, with the intent of commercial development along the corridor.  What we are suggesting is that the Province consider the option of allowing residential development prior to the commercial growth.