Official Plan & Zoning By-law

Official Plan Review

Project Update

The City of Hamilton has forwarded the Council-adopted Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment No. 167 and Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment No. 34 to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for Ministerial Approval, representing the completion of Phase 1: Conformity Review – Urban Focused Review and the GRIDS2/Municipal Comprehensive Review processes.

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 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.

Binder Cover pages for UHOP & RHOP

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.

This flow chart depicts the City of Hamilton’s Municipal Comprehensive Review Process, as it relates to the GRIDS 2 process.

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).

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.

City's Municipal Comprehensive Review Process as it relates to the GRIDS 2 process

Project components

The OP Review has been broken down into 4 project phases,  each resulting in separate Official Plan Amendments, as detailed in the sections below. 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. 

Topic Areas

Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment - All UHOP conformity matters related to the Provincial Policy Statement, Growth Plan, Greenbelt Plan, and Niagara Escarpment Plan:

Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment - RHOP matters related to implementation of Council direction:

Official Plans - Tracked Changes (Draft OPAs)

Draft Policy Amendments - Urban - changes proposed to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan sections as a result of the Phase 1: Conformity Review.

Draft Policy Amendments - Rural - changes proposed to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan sections as a result of the Phase 1: Conformity Review

Note: Policy sections that are not listed above are not proposed to change. To view all sections of the Urban and Rural Hamilton Official Plans, visit hamilton.ca/uhop and hamilton.ca/rhop

Timing

  • January 2022 - Draft UHOPA - Conformity Amendment and RHOPA – Firm Urban Boundary Amendment to Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH)
  • Febuary 2022 -  Public consultation and non-statutory virtual Open Houses – visit engage.hamilton.ca/grids2mcr for more information
  • May 3, 2022 - Statutory Open House
  • May 17, 2022 - Special Meeting and Statutory Public Meeting (Planning Committee)
  • June 8, 2022 - Council Meeting (By-law Nos. 22-145 and 22-146 adopting the Urban and Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendments, respectively)
  • June 2022 - Adopted OPAs Forwarded to MMAH for Approval

Topic Areas

Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment - Conformity matters related to the Provincial Policy Statement, Niagara Escarpment Plan, Growth Plan, and Greenbelt Plan:

  • Agricultural System Mapping refinements;
  • Natural Heritage Mapping refinements;
  • Prime Agriculture and Open Space Policy updates; and, complementary RHOP updates, as per UHOP updates of Phase 1.

Timing: Q1 - 2023

Staff recognizes that updates to the City’s Official Plans will be necessary to address local community issues.  This phase will not be subject to the stringent timelines of the matters related to the MCR conformity review with the Provincial Plans and the resulting Official Plan Amendments will be exempt from the approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Once the Conformity Review component of the Official Plan Review has been completed, staff will complete the Official Plan Review process by addressing policy and mapping updates focussing on local community issues.

Topic Areas

  • Noise
  • Urban Design
  • Waste
  • Neighbourhoods
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Institutional
  • Right-of-Ways
  • Commercial/Mixed Use
  • Residential density and built form

This list may be updated or refined as additional revision areas are identified during the course of the review.

Timing: Q2, 2023

As work progresses on the development of the Light Rail Transit (LRT), an Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment will be required to delineate all of the Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA).

Topic Areas

  • Mapped delineation of all MTSAs
  • Prescribed Density Targets for MTSAs along the B-Line Route
  • Possibility of Inclusionary Zoning Policies

Timing: Q2 – 2023

*this phase may be added into Phase 3 depending on the planning and development of the LRT project.

Staff reports

Project timeline

  • 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)

Public Consultation on Phase 1: Conformity Review – Urban Focused Review has concluded. Visit engage.hamilton.ca/grids2mcr for more information.

If you would like to be added to the project mailing list and be notified of project updates and public consultation on future phases, please send your contact information to [email protected].

Contact us

Heather Travis
Senior Poject Manager
City Hall, 4th Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 4168
Email: [email protected]

Lauren Vraets
Planner
City Hall, 4th Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2634
Email: [email protected]