Lonely Oak

Lonely Oak

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ontario: Provincial Planning Act Policy Statement undergoing 5-year review


The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the document that guides municipalities in planning decisions (including severances from farm properties) is undergoing its regular 5-year review.  Draft policies have been released for public review (see Draft Policies).  The main draft policy on agricultural areas is as follows:

2.3 Agriculture

2.3.1 Prime agricultural areas shall be protected for long-term use for agriculture.
Prime agricultural areas are areas where prime agricultural lands predominate. Specialty crop areas shall be given the highest priority for protection, followed by Canada Land Inventory Classes 1, 2, and 3, and any associated Class 4 to 7 soils within the prime agricultural area, in this order of priority.
2.3.2 Planning authorities shall designate prime agricultural areas and specialty crop areas in accordance with guidelines developed by the Province, as amended from time to time.
2.3.3 Permitted Uses
2.3.3.1 In prime agricultural areas, permitted uses and activities are: agricultural uses, agriculture-related uses and on-farm diversified uses.
Proposed agriculture-related uses and on-farm diversified uses shall be compatible with, and shall not hinder, surrounding agricultural operations. Criteria for these uses may be based on guidelines developed by the Province or municipal approaches, as set out in municipal planning documents, which achieve the same objectives.
2.3.3.2 In prime agricultural areas, all types, sizes and intensities of agricultural uses and normal farm practices shall be promoted and protected in accordance with provincial standards.
2.3.3.3 New land uses, including the creation of lots, and new or expanding livestock facilities shall comply with the minimum distance separation formulae.
2.3.4 Lot Creation and Lot Adjustments
2.3.4.1 Lot creation in prime agricultural areas is discouraged and may only be permitted for:
a) agricultural uses, provided that the lots are of a size appropriate for the type of agricultural use(s) common in the area and are sufficiently large to maintain flexibility for future changes in the type or size of agricultural operations;
b) agriculture-related uses, provided that any new lot will be limited to a minimum size needed to accommodate the use and appropriate sewage and water services;
c) a residence surplus to a farming operation as a result of farm consolidation, provided that:
1. the new lot will be limited to a minimum size needed to accommodate the use and appropriate sewage and water services; and
2. the planning authority ensures that new residential dwellings are prohibited on any vacant remnant parcel of farmland created by the severance. The approach used to ensure that no new residential dwellings are permitted on the vacant remnant parcel may be recommended by the Province, or based on municipal approaches which achieve the same objective; and
d) infrastructure, where the facility or corridor cannot be accommodated through the use of easements or rights-of-way.
2.3.4.2 Lot adjustments in prime agricultural areas may be permitted for legal or technical reasons.
2.3.4.3 The creation of new residential lots in prime agricultural areas shall not be permitted, except in accordance with policy 2.3.4.1(c).
2.3.5 Removal of Land from Prime Agricultural Areas
2.3.5.1 Planning authorities may only exclude land from prime agricultural areas for:
a) expansions of or identification of settlement areas in accordance with policy 1.1.3.8;
b) extraction of minerals, petroleum resources and mineral aggregate resources, in accordance with policies 2.4 and 2.5; and
c) limited non-residential uses, provided that:
1. the land does not comprise a specialty crop area;
2. the proposed use complies with the minimum distance separation formulae;
3. there is a demonstrated need within the planning horizon provided for in policy 1.1.2 for additional land to be designated to accommodate the proposed use; and
4. alternative locations have been evaluated, and
i. there are no reasonable alternative locations which avoid prime agricultural areas; and
ii. there are no reasonable alternative locations in prime agricultural areas with lower priority agricultural lands.
2.3.5.2 Impacts from any new or expanding non-agricultural uses on surrounding agricultural operations and lands are to be mitigated to the extent feasible.

There are also other aspects of the proposed PPS that deal with agriculture, such as extraction of petroleum or aggregates from prime agricultural lands.

You can participate in the PPS review up to November 23, 2012:

Ontario is holding workshops in communities across the province. Please visit the regional workshops page or call 1-877-711-8208 if you have any questions.

To submit your comments electronically, complete this online questionnaire, or you can send written comments to:

Provincial Policy Statement Review
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay Street, 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
Tel: 416-585-6014 or 1-877-711-8208
Fax: 416-585-6870
E-mail: PPSreview@ontario.ca

Please note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record.

Comments must be received no later than November 23, 2012.