Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) and policies are tools that municipalities can use to plan and finance development activities which reuse, revitalize, and restore lands, buildings, and infrastructure. Community Improvement Plan Areas (CIPAs) can be identified so that improvements to the physical, social, and economic conditions can be targeted towards the places that need it the most and where the community can enjoy the benefits. CIPs can be used to enable intensification, community revitalization, affordable housing, and green development through a combination of municipal actions (e.g. property acquisition and site preparation) and incentive programs (e.g. façade improvement grant, property tax waivers).
Provincial & County Policy
The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies provide direction on specific issues. The Township Official Plan policies must conform to the PPS and County Official Plan, which set out the following policies:
Long-term Economic Prosperity
Provincial Policy provides for economic prosperity through promotion of opportunities for economic development and investment readiness
Authority to Designate Community Improvement Areas
Section 28 of the Planning Act allows municipalities to designate community improvement project areas.
Existing Policy & Legislation
Provincial Policy Statement, 2014
County of Simcoe Official Plan, 2016
Current Township Policies
The Township Official Plan does not contain any policies or references to Community Improvement Plans.
The Township does have an Economic Development Plan (September 2011) to assist Township staff with prioritizing economic development initiatives and activities; however, these do not currently form policies for the Official Plan.
New and revised Official Plan policies will aim to provide tools for community improvement that take into account the character and needs of the communities.
What changes would you like to see?
Typically, municipalities are not permitted to provide incentives for reuse and redevelopment of lands, although Section 28 of the Planning Act allows for use of CIPs. There is some flexibility for the Township to consider which areas it might consider for CIPs, and which tools it will use to encourage reuse and revitalization. Ministry of Municipal Affairs released its Community Improvement Planning Handbook 2008 to assist with implementation of CIPs, which will be a useful resource for the Township’s Official Plan Review.
Do you think that identifying CIP areas will support new and existing businesses?
Are there any particular neighbourhoods or settlements that could benefit from CIPs? For example, should the Township consider a CIP for Gasoline Alley?
Should CIPs in the Township be used to support commercial, institutional, residential, Settlement Areas, or other areas in particular?
What criteria should be used for delineating community improvement areas? For example, the Township could consider criteria such as: known or potential contamination requiring remediation, significant heritage features or landscapes requiring repair, inadequate mix of housing including affordable housing, deficiencies in infrastructure or public service facilities, significant underutilized vacant or brownfield sites with redevelopment potential, significant needs for aesthetic improvements, and others. Should any other factors be considered?
Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.