Peterborough County council holding public meeting Wednesday on draft official plan

·2 min read

Peterborough County council will receive written and verbal submissions on its draft official plan at a virtual public meeting Wednesday starting at 9:30 a.m.

Close to 1,500 people have already taken part in a number of public engagements through surveys and open houses since the draft plan was released in January, according to a staff report being presented at the meeting which is being held online over Zoom.

The report lists a roundup of comments received so far in seven categories: agriculture, aggregates, environment, waterfront, employment, severances and mapping.

Some respondents said they would like to see less reliance on seasonal/tourism employment and more focus on year-round employment opportunities, for example.

Lack of proper infrastructure, transit and housing were seen as barriers to employment in the county.

There was overall support for expansion of agricultural lands, recognizing the important role they play in the local economy and food system, the report states.

Some felt the aggregate resource areas designated in the draft plan were too extensive, particularly where they extend into built-up areas along waterfronts, and there was some outright opposition to the aggregate industry, the report states.

But there was support for protection of wetlands and rivers, lakes, streams and recognition of the role they play mitigating climate change, the report continues.

Requests were also made to see greater protection of waterfronts, including retention of vegetation along shorelines and concern over waterfront redevelopment.

Following the public meeting, staff will make revisions based on comments received, and then provide county council with a revised draft official plan.

Next steps will be a formal release of the revised plan to the public, and then the receipt of supporting resolutions from local municipalities involved and any final changes.

Council will be asked to adopt the plan and it will be sent to the province for approval by July 1.

Anyone can attend the public meeting but registration is required to speak or make written submissions by contacting county clerk Kari Stevenson at kstevenson@ptbocounty.ca or 705-743-0380 ext. 2101 no later than 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The county initially launched an official plan review in 2017. The province is requiring all municipalities to submit updated plans confirming with provincial legislative changes by the end of June.

The draft serves as the official plan for the county and also seven of its eight municipalities, up from four in the last plan, with the addition of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Trent Lakes townships. Cavan Monaghan Township chose to keep its own.

The new plan will have a 10-year time span before it is mandatory to review it again.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at bburke@metroland.com.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting