One of the major initiatives currently underway at city hall is the development of comprehensive zoning bylaws. The process began with public input, and that process continues.
At a public open house this week, members of the planning staff, senior city planners Julie Hannah and Denise Landry, along with director of planning and development, Tamara Tannis, met with the public, property owners and developers.
Hannah told ThoroldNews that the City adopted an official plan in 2016 and now must create a zoning map to conform to that plan.
The process of revamping zoning bylaws through the entire city does not happen often.
“Typically, we would deal with site specific amendments which would occur within a development such as Empire in Port Robinson, or Rolling Meadows in Thorold South. Developers would usually present zoning they wish to have on the property. We would then go through a public process to determine the best suited zones,” explained Hannah.
“It’s only when the City does a comprehensive bylaw that the planning staff would look at the entire city and review the zoning to ensure it meets the official plan. And it must meet all the provincial plans and policies,” she added. “This is standard procedure. It’s typical to develop the official plan and then go back and create official zoning bylaws. Every municipality in Ontario has either done it recently or will be soon.”
Right now, the city is looking for input from the public and developers.
“Everyone has the opportunity to discuss the zoning that is being presented instead of only having a discussion on a specific neighbourhood. We welcome all public input. Often, we meet mainly with developers. But right now is the opportunity for every resident and every property owner to look at what’s being proposed in the zoning bylaw and if they have questions or concerns they can contact planning staff and they are welcome to come to the next public meeting scheduled for April 2.”
The meeting last week was the second public meeting on the new comprehensive zoning bylaws.
“The next meeting on April 2 will be the final meeting unless directed otherwise by council,” said Hannah.
After reviewing proposed changes to the zoning, property owners who may be affected can choose to provide comments on the zoning bylaw and official plan or make application to amend the city’s official plan.
She added, “We hope to have it all done this spring so we can provide certainty to residents and the development community in terms of the standards that will be in place for construction and the permitted uses that will be allowed in specific areas.”
Information is available on the new website, www.thorold.ca, and citizens can supply written comments to the city clerk, via firstname.lastname@example.org. Hannah said that individuals are only contacted on specific properties or situations if they request to be notified directly.
“If the comprehensive zoning bylaw plan is approved by council, there will be a 20-day appeal period and if no appeals come forward then the bylaw would be put into effect,” explained Hannah.