Official Plan Review
COMPLETION OF PHASE 1: CONFORMITY REVIEW - URBAN
PROJECT UPDATE (Jan. 10, 2023): The Urban Hamilton Official Plan (UHOP) and Rural Hamilton Official Plan (RHOP) have been updated to reflect the Amendments contained in OPA 167 (Urban) and OPA 34 (Rural) as well as the modifications provided by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to the respective Official Plan Amendments.
PROJECT UPDATE (Nov. 4, 2022): The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) issued decisions to the City of Hamilton on November 4, 2022 in response to the Council-adopted Official Plan Amendments (OPA) to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan (OPA 167) and Rural Hamilton Official Plan (OPA 34) which represented Phase 1 of the City’s Official Plan Review and the GRIDS 2 / Municipal Comprehensive Review processes.
The decision issued by MMAH includes these notable changes to the Council-adopted OPAs:
- Expansion of the urban boundary by 2,200 gross hectares
- Development in the new expansion areas cannot proceed until Secondary Planning work is completed
- Removal of City-wide intensification and density targets (new targets to be added through a future OPA)
- Amendment to the height and density permissions in the City’s Community Nodes, including the Ancaster Community Node, to allow up to 6 storeys as-of-right, and up to 8 storeys subject to certain design policies, without amendment to the Plan
- Removal of the proposed 30 storey City-wide height limit
- Further expansions to the Urban Area of 40 hectares or less without needing a MCR
The complete MMAH approved Official Plan Amendments can be viewed through the Environmental Registry of Ontario webpage:
Planning Staff are reviewing the details of the Province’s modifications and will be reporting to Council on November 29, 2022 to provide details about implementation.
View the Communication Update to the Mayor and members of City Council regarding the MMAH decision for OPA 167 and OPA 34
Municipalities review their Official Plans on a regular basis to ensure they remain up-to-date, reflect current provincial policy, and represent the long term vision of the municipality.
The City of Hamilton's Rural Hamilton Official Plan and Urban Hamilton Official Plan were approved by the Ontario Municipal Board and came into effect on March 7, 2012 and August 16, 2013, respectively.
The Planning Act, the Places to Grow Act, and the Greenbelt Act all contain municipal requirements to undertake Official Plan reviews and conformity exercises to ensure the City’s official plans are reflective of community goals and objectives, and that they implement the provincial policies contained in the Provincial Policy Statement, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and the Greenbelt Plan.
Changes to the Official Plans that implement provincial policies are referred to as a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) or the “Conformity Review”. Changes that are reflective of community goals and objectives are referred to as the “Official Plan Review - Local Context”.
The Official Plan Review is not intended to be a rewrite of the City’s Official Plans, but rather a targeted update to only those sections and policies that require changes to address provincial policies and significant locally-identified issues. The organization and structure of the Official Plans will remain the same.
The City is undertaking an update to GRIDS, known as GRIDS 2, which is a long term growth strategy to allocate forecasted population and employment growth to the year 2051. Many of the studies that are required as part of the City’s growth strategy are also part of the City’s Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). As such, the MCR will be completed concurrently with GRIDS 2, which has the benefit of combining the public and stakeholder consultation into one process, and efficiently utilizes staff time and resources.The outcome of the MCR and GRIDS 2 will be implemented through Official Plan Amendments to the Urban and Rural Hamilton Official Plans.
The Conformity Review is a key component of the MCR. The MCR will result in official plan amendments to each of the Urban and Rural Hamilton Official Plans that comprehensively apply all the necessary changes to reflect the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement and Provincial Plans. Under Section 26 of the Planning Act, MCR amendments require the approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. These amendments are unlike other Official Plan Amendments adopted by Council that are exempt from the approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Ontario Regulation 525/97).
This flow chart depicts the City of Hamilton’s Municipal Comprehensive Review Process, as it relates to the GRIDS 2 process.
The Province has set July 1, 2022 as the date by which municipalities must submit to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing those Official Plan Amendments that address conformity matters as part of the MCR.
The OP Review has been broken down into 4 project phases, each resulting in separate Official Plan Amendments. Review of the City’s Official Plan policies will occur at the same time as the GRIDS 2 project completes the necessary steps to determine how and where the City will accommodate additional growth.
May 17, 2022 - Municipal Comprehensive Review/Official Plan Review - Amendments to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan and Rural Hamilton Official Plan - Firm Urban Boundary - Revised May 5, 2022 (PED21067(b))
- Appendix A - Draft Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment - Revised May 5, 2022
- Appendix B - Draft Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment
- Appendix C - Public Consultation Summary Document
- Appendix C1 - First Nations and Indigenous Communities Comments - Summary of Discussions
- Appendix C2 - Agency Comments - Email
- Appendix C3 - Stakeholder Comments - Email - Revised May 5, 2022
- Appendix C4 - Public Comments - Email
- Appendix C5 - Public Comments - Engage Hamilton
- Appendix C6 - Public and Stakeholder Engagement Round 4 - Spring 2022 - Addendum
- Appendix D - Revisions to Proposed Amendments to the UHOP Text - By Topic Area - Municipal Comprehensive Review - Revised May 5, 2022
- Appendix D1 - Revisions to Proposed Amendments to UHOP Schedules, Appendices and Maps - Municipal Comprehensive Review - Revised May 5, 2022
- Appendix E - Revisions to Proposed Amendments to RHOP Schedules, Appendices and Maps - Municipal Comprehensive Review
- Appendix F - Permitted and Proposed Uses in Existing Low Density Residential Zones
- Appendix G - Relationship between Converted Dwellings, SDUs, and D-SDUs
- Appendix H - Proposed Amendments to the Former Community Zoning By-laws
January 11, 2022 (January 19, 2022 - Council) - Municipal Comprehensive Review/Official Plan Review – Proposed Amendments to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan and Rural Hamilton Official Plan (PED21067(a))
- Appendix A - Proposed UHOP Amendment
- Appendix B - Proposed RHOP Amendment
- Appendix C - Growth Management Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C1 - Employment Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C2 - Cultural Heritage Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C3 - Provincial Plans Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C4 - Housing Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C5 - Climate Related Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C6 - Urban Structure Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C7 - Infrastructure Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix C8 - Transportation Topic Area Amendments Table
- Appendix D - Glossary Updates
- Appendix E - Proposed Amendments to Urban Hamilton Official Plan Schedules, Appendices and Maps
- Appendix F - Table of Departments Circulated by Topic Area
- Appendix G - Table of Proposed Amendments to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan
- Appendix H - Table of Proposed Amendments to Rural Hamilton Official Plan Schedules, Appendices and Maps
- Appendix I – Table of Proposed Amendments to Zoning By-laws to the Former Communities
- Appendix J – MCR / GRIDS 2 Workplan
- May 2021: General Issues Committee: Commencement of Official Plan Review
- Fall 2021: Staff Drafting of Conformity Review Official Plan Amendments
- January 2022: Planning Committee: Draft MCR Conformity Review - Official Plan Amendments and Authorization to Consult, Public Open House (Non-statutory): Public and Stakeholder Consultation on Draft Conformity Official Plan Amendments
- February - March 2022: Public and stakeholder consultation
- May 17, 2022: Planning Committee: Special Meeting and Statutory Public Meeting for MCR / OP Review (Sec. 26 Planning Act: Draft Conformity Official Plan Amendments)
- June 2022: Submission of Conformity Official Plan Amendments to the Province (Urban Focus)