Neighbourhood / Secondary Plan Program
Here you will find information on the progress of neighbourhood / secondary plans as they unfold, times and locations of information and public meetings, background information and/or reports prepared in support of neighbourhood plans, links to other relevant websites and information on how YOU can become a more active participant in the revitalization of our Fort Erie neighbourhoods!
The following links will take you to your Neighbourhood / Secondary Plan of interest:
What is a Secondary Plan?
A Secondary Plan serves a very similar purpose to a Neighbourhood Plan by examining and planning for land use of a specific geographic area in greater detail to that of the parent Official Plan. Secondary Plans provide detailed mapping of the various components found within their specific Plan Areas such as natural and environmental features, open space and parks, transportation networks (roads, bicycle lanes and trails), as well as more specific land use designations that illustrate type and density of housing, commercial, mixed uses and employment. A Secondary Plan can provide specific policies for select areas within that Plan Area, designed to take advantage or assist in meeting with certain objectives and goals as the Town seeks to ensure sustainable communities well into the future.
A Secondary Plan includes consultation and participation with requirements for public input. Municipal staff encourages and engage resident or stakeholder groups to solicit feedback and prompt dialogue that will help staff in defining and articulating goals set out at the beginning of the process. There are commenting periods for agencies and public when a draft document is advanced and circulated. Results from all parties making submission comments or participating in the consultation process make their way to Town Council through Information or Recommendation Reports as the process and Plan are refined.
At the conclusion of this iterative process, a Statutory Public Meeting is conducted on a final draft Secondary Plan where any member of the public has the opportunity to speak directly to members of Council in providing their position of support or non-support prior to Council making a decision on the final draft document.
In order for a Secondary Plan to be implemented, a Planning Act process known as an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) is carried out. Should Town Council adopt an OPA involving a Secondary Plan, it must also receive Regional Council approval, unless the Region delegates approval authority for a specific OPA to the Town, which has happened recently. Because the Secondary Plan process is conducted under the Planning Act, a decision of Council can be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which has just recently replaced the role of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Once approved, each Secondary Plan will have its own section within the Town’s current/parent Official Plan.
Public participation and consultations are often an effective means of reducing opposition, as all stakeholders including the public are afforded the opportunity to have input and provide opinions for staff and Council consideration prior to any decision being made.
In simple terms, a Secondary Plan represents the land use vision of Council for a select neighbourhood area, backed up by the policies of the Official Plan and the authority of the Planning Act.
Town of Fort Erie Council has determined that development and approval of Secondary Plans is a priority item, and has allocated appropriate funding and staff resources to accomplish the task. Council has also considered and prioritized which neighbourhoods it wishes to devote staff resources towards.
Having just wrapped up the Southend Secondary Plan, Town staff are currently working on the Crystal Beach Secondary Plan, which shares its boundaries with the Ridgeway and Thunder Bay neighbourhoods.
For more information on the status of Fort Erie’s Secondary Plans, click here for a recent status report to Council.