Secondary Planning for Urban Expansion Areas
UPDATE: On December 6, 2023, Bill 150, the Planning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023 received royal assent enacting the Official Plan Adjustments Act, 2023.
The legislation results in all but three of the provincial modifications made on November 4, 2022, to Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment 34 and Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment 167, to accommodate population and job growth to the year 2051, as having never been made. The effect of this legislation includes restoring the no urban boundary expansion growth strategy approved by City Council in June 2022.
Staff are in the process of updating both the Urban Hamilton Official Plan and Rural Hamilton Official Plan to reflect the new legislation.
Additional information, including the City’s response to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) announcement and the introduction of Bill 150 can be found on the City’s Provincial Planning Matters Page.
Notice of Adoption and Approval of an Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment
On July 14, 2023, the City of Hamilton Council passed By-law No. 23-134 adopting Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment No. 185.
Explanation of the Purpose and Effect of By-law No. 23-134
The purpose and effect of By-law No. 23-134 is to establish a secondary planning policy framework for the Urban Expansion Areas added to the Hamilton urban area. The policy framework includes:
- Planning priorities to be addressed through secondary planning for Urban Expansion Areas; and,
- Implementation policies to guide the process of preparing secondary plans for the Urban Expansion Areas.
In June 2022, Council approved a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) for the City, along with an updated long term growth strategy (GRIDS2). The MCR is a process by which the City brings its Official Plans into conformity with updated policies of the Provincial plans that apply to Hamilton (Provincial Policy Statement, Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Niagara Escarpment Plan, Greenbelt Plan). The Municipal Comprehensive Review implemented a growth strategy in the City’s Official Plan with no expansions to the City’s existing urban boundary. This decision was forwarded to the Province for approval.
In November 2022, the Province issued a decision on the MCR, which made multiple changes to the City’s Official Plan. Modifications included changes to the City’s urban boundary which expanded the Urban Boundary to include additional lands, which were identified by the Province as “Urban Expansion Areas“. Six areas of land totaling approximately 2,200 hectares were added to the City of Hamilton’s urban area through the Provincial decision.
The Official Plan, as modified by the Province, requires that Secondary Planning be completed for the Urban Expansion Areas prior to development occurring. A Secondary Plan is a land use plan for a particular geographic area that identifies detailed land uses, densities, design requirements, and infrastructure requirements and other implementing actions appropriate for the area.
In March 2023, Council approved a staff report at Planning Committee on options for Secondary Planning approaches, and endorsed a recommendation directing City staff to lead Secondary Planning for Urban Expansion Areas.
The City is currently developing a framework and work plan to guide future Secondary Planning processes. More information about this initiative and opportunities for feedback can be found at engage.hamilton.ca/growinghamilton.