2017 Soybean Harvest

2017 Soybean Harvest

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Municipal Board upholds County decision to refuse surplus farm dwelling severances

Better Farming has a report on an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decision backing Perth County's policy against severances of surplus farm dwellings (click here).  Two Perth municipalities - the Municipality of West Perth and the Township of Perth South - had appealed County council's refusal to amend the Perth Official Plan to allow severances under certain conditions.  The OMB dismissed the appeal, finding that the County's policy was not unreasonable:
The Board finds that the SSFDs [severance of surplus farm dwellings] are permitted in many of the surrounding agricultural focused municipalities through their official plans. However, in the case of the County of Perth, the upper tier municipality with a single county-wide official plan covering all the lower tier municipalities, the Board finds that the refusal to approve an OPA to permit the SSFDs is not unreasonable. The PPS [Provincial Policy Statement] makes the SSFDs permissive, it also allows the municipality to go beyond the minimum requirements in the PPS. Therefore, it is the County’s prerogative to implement a strict prohibition on the SSFDs. The Board finds this acceptable because it is permitted to do so and their position does not conflict with other PPS policies. In fact, the PPS recognizes the importance of agriculture and strongly discourages lot creation on agricultural lands and directs settlement activities to designated settlement areas. The Board finds that the COP [County of Perth Official Plan] does just that, when looking at the County as a whole, there are sufficiently designated settlement areas and the policies of the PPS are being maintained. The Board notes that it is Mr. Hanly’s evidence that an individual can still apply for a site specific OPA [official plan amendment] for a SSFD.
Read the OMB decision at: County of Perth.