An Official Plan is a policy document that guides a municipality’s land use objectives and goals to direct future growth and development. The policies in the Official Plan are intended to balance the relationships between environmental, economic and social factors and help enhance the quality of life of North Bay’s citizens. These policies are related to land uses, heritage, culture, the natural environment, transportation and infrastructure. The Official Plan is also used to guide the development of municipal services and programs.
The Plan is based on the findings of background studies & public consultation. This Plan and it's policy framework is used by Council and City Staff to make well informed land use decisions in North Bay.
Before July 1, 2016, municipalities needed to review their Official Plans every five years. Municipalities are now required to review Official Plans 10 years after their approval and then every 5 years after that. The Official Plan was approved by City Council on September 8 2009 and received final approval by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in January 2012.
An Official Plan is given its authority through the Planning Act. The Planning Act establishes policies, regulations and procedures that must be included in a municipality’s Official Plan. The Planning Act requires that municipalities conduct a mandatory review of established Official Plans.
The policies of the Official Plan Review will rely on the Official Plan Policy recommendations found in extensive background studies prepared for the purpose of the Official Plan.
The requirement to complete a formal Official Plan review has now been extended. However, the City of North Bay must make sure that our Official Plan policies are well aligned with provincial plans & policy. This means that the City must now complete a provincial plan conformity exercise under a separate review. Specific Provincial Plans and Policy include the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario (GPNO, 2011), the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS, 2020) and other changes made to provincial legislation in land use planning since 2009.
The Provincial Policy Statement provides policy direction on matters of provincial interest
related to land use planning and development. The Provincial Policy Statement provides for appropriate development while protecting resources of provincial interest, public health and safety, and the quality of the natural & built environment. The Provincial Policy Statement supports improved land use planning and management, which contributes to a more effective and efficient land use planning system.
Official plans shall identify provincial interests and set out appropriate land use designations and
policies. In order to protect provincial interests, planning authorities shall keep their official plans up-to-date with Provincial Policy Statement 2020.
The Provincial Policy Statement is issued under the authority of section 3 of the Planning Act
and came into effect on May 1, 2020.
Click here to access the Provincial Policy Statement.
The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, released March 3, 2011, is a 25-year plan that provides guidance to align provincial decision-making and investment for economic and population growth in Northern Ontario.
The key growth management goals for the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario include:
The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, 2011, was prepared and approved under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, to take effect on March 3, 2011.
Click here to read Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.
Although the requirement to complete a formal Official Plan review has now been extended, the City of North Bay is required to ensure our planning documents conform to provincial plans and policy. In particular, the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, 2011 (GPNO) came into effect after the Official Plan was adopted in 2009, meaning it has not yet been incorporated into the Official Plan. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ deadline for municipalities, including the City of North Bay, to incorporate the GPNO was March 3, 2016. Planning Staff originally planned to incorporate this as part of the five year review.
As a formal five year review is no longer required, the City must now complete a provincial plan conformity exercise under a separate review. This review will include an update to incorporate the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario (GPNO, 2011), the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS, 2020) and other changes made to provincial legislation in land use planning since 2009.