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Official Plan Review

What's happening now!

The South Pickering Intensification Study is underway to review where and to what extent growth and development should occur in South Pickering outside of the City Centre. In Phase 1 of the Study, we asked for the community's input on growth and intensification. Thank you to everyone who participated in the community roundtables and online survey. The input provided will help shape a vision and strategic directions for growth and intensification in South Pickering. City Development staff will report to Council on what you told us through the roundtables and survey.

The City has also recently concluded a comprehensive amendment to revise natural heritage and other Environment and Countryside policies. Proposed Amendment 27 will implement the relevant Provincial Policies, Region of Durham Official Plan, Conservation Authority Regulations, and a series of related legislative changes and initiatives.

About the Official Plan Review (OP Review)

The Planning Act of Ontario requires municipalities to regularly review their official plans to reflect updates to Legislation, Provincial plans and policies, upper-tier municipal plans (Region of Durham), and other changes that impact municipal planning decisions. A comprehensive review of the City of Pickering Official Plan is underway, and is proceeding through a series of individual amendments addressing key topic areas.

The key amendment topics include:

  1. Planning Application Pre-Submission Consultation Requirements;
  2. A revised vision for the Duffin Heights Neighbourhood;
  3. Environment and Countryside policies (including the Provincial Greenbelt Plan);
  4. A Growth Strategy for the urban, City Centre and newly developing areas (to implement the Provincial Growth Plan);
  5. Implementation of the Central Pickering Development Plan (Seaton and the Agricultural Preserve);
  6. Planning Tools for Sustainable Placemaking; and
  7. A general review of remaining policy topics.

There are many public consultation opportunities during the review process to allow for comments from stakeholders, agencies and the general public, including Workshops, Open Houses, Statutory Public Meetings (at Planning and Development Committee) and Council Meetings. Please contact the City Development Department for more information or notification of Official Plan Review amendment meetings.

Official Plan Review Amendments

1.  Implementation of new Planning Act (Bill 51) Provisions

Revisions to the Ontario Planning Act in 2006 (through Bill 51) provided new tools for municipalities to improve the efficiency of the planning approvals process. On April 20, 2009 the Council approved Amendment 17 and adopted the implementing by-law. The adopted policies require applicants to consult with the City prior to submitting development applications and to provide supporting information and studies at the time of submission in order for an application to be considered complete.

2. Duffin Heights

Duffin Heights Neighbourhood land use designations and policies were revised to implement the findings of the Environmental Servicing Plan for open space system, transportation system, residential densities, community facilities, sustainable development objectives and mixed use development matters in Duffin Heights (located along Brock Road, north of Third Concession Road). On November 4, 2009 the Ontario Municipal Board approved Amendment 18.

Development Guidelines were also adopted by Council to govern subdivision, rezoning, site plan and building permit applications in Duffin Heights.

3. Environment and Countryside

Research has been conducted, a background report considered, and a comprehensive amendment to revise natural heritage and other environmental and countryside policies has been prepared and presented to the public and members of Council at a Public Meeting on December 7, 2015.  

Amendment 27 to the Pickering Official Plan will implement the relevant Provincial Policy Statement, Region of Durham Official Plan, Greenbelt Plan, Conservation Authority regulations, a series of related legislative changes, updated natural heritage systems mapping, a series of watershed strategies and a number of City initiatives.

Following the review of all public and agency submissions and comments, staff made various modifications to Proposed Amendment 27, and presented Recommended Amendment 27 and the associated Recommended Informational Revision 22 to the Planning & Development Committee of Council on November 14, 2016.

For more information, see Recommendation Report PLN 17-16 and the memorandum regarding proposed modification to Schedule I - Land Use Structure in Recommended Amendment 27.

On November 21, 2016, Council passed By-law 7524/16 to adopt Amendment 27 to the Pickering Official Plan, and approved Informational Revision 22 to the Pickering Official Plan.

The City has forwarded Official Plan Amendment 27 to the Region of Durham for approval. The Region of Durham may approve, modify, or refuse the amendment.

4.  Growth Strategy Program

The City has initiated a Growth Strategy Program to implement the Provincial Growth Plan and the Region of Durham Growth Plan conformity amendment (Amendment 128). The Provincial Growth Plan emphasizes intensification and the use of existing land supply to accommodate future growth.

The City's program will determine the appropriate locations for intensified development, establish guidelines that will ensure transitions to established neighbourhoods and provide recommendations supporting a sustainable Pickering that promotes walkable neighbourhoods, accessible parks, public transit, and unique and distinctive communities.

On July 14, 2014 Council approved Amendment 26 and adopted the implementing by-law for the Pickering City Centre. On March 4, 2015 Ontario Municipal Board approved Amendment 26.

In January 2015 the City initiated the South Pickering Intensification Study to identify where and to what extent growth and development should occur in South Pickering, outside the City Centre.

5.  Central Pickering Development Plan

The Central Pickering Development Plan, prepared by the Province of Ontario under the authority of the Ontario Planning and Development Act, 1994, establishes a comprehensive new vision for Central Pickering: that of a sustainable urban community in Seaton integrated with a thriving agricultural community in the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve and an extensive Natural Heritage System. Amendment 22 to the Pickering Official Plan provides detailed policies for developing and managing the Seaton community, and was approved through various Ontario Municipal Board decisions which were confirmed by the Lieutenant Governor by Order in Council on March 26, 2014.

6.  Planning Tools for Sustainable Placemaking

The Province, through legislative changes to the Planning Act in 2007 (Bill 51), provided area municipalities with additional planning and development control tools to use in the land use planning process, and to help create more environmentally sustainable, vibrant, and healthy communities. In order to implement these new tools, the City initiated Amendment 23 to the Pickering Official Plan. On June 16, 2014 Council approved Amendment 23 and adopted the implementing by-law. Following an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board and a subsequent settlement hearing on July 7, 2016, the Ontario Municipal Board approved Amendment 23 on July 22, 2016, subject to certain minor modifications.