Economic development and diversification are important goals for the Township of Oro-Medonte. Support for new and existing businesses and agricultural operations, as well as the economic well-being of residents, can be encouraged through Official Plan policies.
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 by supporting sustainable tourism development, viable local food and agri-product businesses, and promoting opportunities for investment readiness and innovation.
Population & Employment Allocations
The Province and County direct growth and development to settlement areas, including a significant proportion of population and employment growth. The County strategically manages the amount of designated employment lands to accommodate a range and mix of employment opportunities and other land uses to meet projected needs.
The Province and County recognize the evolving needs of a growing workforce and a changing global economy, including evolving manufacturing, resource, and service sectors, and the creative economy.
Strategies to support a growing and diversified workforce include: policies for home-based businesses, tourism and resource-based recreational activities, and wise use and management of resources, including agricultural resources.
Existing Policy & Legislation
Provincial Policy Statement, 2014
Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017
County of Simcoe Official Plan, 2016
Current Township Policies
The Township is currently in the final stages of updating its Economic Development Strategy. Supporting business and job creation while protecting the environment is a goal in the Township's Strategic Plan. The Oro Centre Industrial/Commercial combined with the Lake Simcoe Strategic Employment Lands area is the main employment area in the Township.
It is a goal of the current Official Plan to create jobs and provide opportunities for economic development. Strategic objectives include: fostering a positive business climate, ensuring the land use planning framework is supportive of development, strengthening the role of the airport, encouraging concentration of economic activity along Highway 11 (particularly at the 7th Line), and encouraging expansion and diversification of recreational uses.
The objectives of the Industrial designation and Commercial designation include: providing lands for the creation of industrial employment opportunities and commercial uses at locations that maximize the use of existing infrastructure, and to ensure that design of new industrial and commercial development is sensitive to the rural character of the Township and improves the appearance of the Highway 11 corridor. New commercial uses are directed towards the Highway 11 corridor and settlement areas. Section C8 of the current Official Plan contains policies for Industrial lands, and section C9 contains policies for Commercial lands. Current Official Plan policies provide that:
Permitted uses in the Industrial designation include: manufacturing, assembly, processing, storage/warehousing, research establishments, and wholesaling establishments, among others. Accessory retail may be permitted.
Permitted uses in the Commercial designation include land uses which are primarily oriented to vehicular traffic on Highways 11 and 12, which include: service stations, new vehicle dealerships, restaurants, retail stores, personal service shops, motels, and garden centres, among others.
New industrial or commercial uses will be subject to an amendment to the Zoning By-law, and may be subject to site plan control.
If required, site plan control will consider the following: parking and loading facilities, buffering, building design, landscaping, and screening of outdoor storage.
Home occupations and home industries are permitted in a number of land use designations, including Agricultural, Restricted Rural, various Horseshoe Valley designations, various Oro Moraine designations and Craighurst's Living Area. Development of new home industries may be subject to an amendment to the Zoning By-law.
New and revised Official Plan policies will aim to ensure that long-term economic development, diversification, and employment is supported through land use and development considerations.
What changes would you like to see?
The province provides direction for growth management, which includes ensuring that there is an adequate supply of land for employment purposes to accommodate forecasted growth. There are particular requirements which need to be satisfied to permit conversion of employment lands for other non-employment land uses, such as the demonstration of a need for the conversion, and the requirement that conversions can only take place through a municipal comprehensive review (undertaken by the upper-tier municipality). The Township may consider other approaches to supporting long term economic prosperity, through land use and development patterns which link different land uses and provide for development of compact, complete communities.
Do you think that the current policies support or restrict new and existing businesses?
Do you think there is an adequate mix of employment lands and other land use designations, including industrial, commercial and institutional uses, to support long-term needs?
Besides supporting the agricultural sector and tourism/recreational sector, what other economic sectors should be supported through Official Plan policies?
Are there any particular local industries or businesses that require special considerations?
How should the Township support home-based businesses? How should the Township accommodate new industries, such as short-term rentals and ride-sharing (e.g. Air BnB and Uber)
How else can the new Official Plan support economic development, diversification, and employment?
How should the Township consider development of lands along the major highway corridors, which are under Ministry of Transportation (MTO) jurisdiction?
Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.