Inch by inch, Niagara-on-the-Lake is getting closer to having an approved official plan, even as the town sits at an awkward junction between the old council departing and the new one preparing to take office.
The Region of Niagara announced on its website that its official plan has been approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing with some modifications.
The region adopted its new plan June 23 before sending it to the ministry for approval.
Now that the region’s plan has been rubber stamped, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s plan is free to move forward.
Coun.-elect Gary Burroughs said NOTL’s official plan is “as close as it can be” to being done.
While incoming Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa campaigned on getting the official plan finished, Burroughs thinks the most important thing for the new council to do in the next six months is get the town’s zoning bylaws updated.
“That’s where we’re weak,” he said.
Zalepa said there is “still quite a bit of work to do” to make the plan compliant with the region’s plan, however.
He’s not sure yet how soon the new council can expect to see updates on its own official plan but that he’ll know more once he takes office on Nov. 22.
The town adopted its new official plan in 2019, but had to make changes to it after the province recalculated its density demands.
The plan was delayed again because the region was still working on its own plan and could not approve the town’s without ensuring the two documents worked together.
The new plan, when finalized, aims to make it easier for the town to develop in a way that best serves the needs of its residents.