It is important to minimize public health and safety risks, by protecting people and property from hazards such as flooding and erosion. A number of environmentally significant landforms, natural heritage, and water resource areas are present in the Township. These features may also present hazardous slopes and floodplains, where growth and development could pose an unacceptable hazard to public health and safety.
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:
Provincial Policy directs development away from areas of natural and human-made hazards to protect public health and safety, and to reduce potential costs and risks to residents.
Consideration must be given to the potential impacts of climate change, which may increase risks associated with natural hazards.
Development may be permitted in certain areas where the effects and risks to public safety are minor and could be mitigated in accordance with provincial standards.
Development on some lands may only be permitted if rehabilitation or other mitigation measures have been completed. Sites with contaminants must be assessed and remediated so that there will be no adverse effects.
Existing Policy & Legislation
Provincial Policy Statement 2014
County of Simcoe Official Plan, 2016
Conservation Authorities Act
Current Township Policies
Section B5 of the Current Official Plan contains Environmental Management Objectives, including policies for Rivers and Streams in section B5.1.2, Floodplain Management in section B5.1.3, and Hazardous Slopes in section B5.1.4. Current Official Plan policies require that:
Development will not occur on lands that are unstable or susceptible to flooding, or on hazardous slopes. Development may be permitted in the flood fringe, if particular criteria are met.
The implementing Zoning By-law will place all lands below the top of bank into a specific Environmental Protection zone, and that no buildings or structures will be permitted in this zone (except those required for flood or erosion control). All lands within an identified floodplain will be subject to a Holding provision.
Development must be set back from top of bank of slopes greater than 33% or 3:1. The setback distance will be established in consultation with Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority and/or the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.
New and revised Official Plan policies will aim to reduce risks to health and safety as a result of natural hazards, including reducing risks associated with a changing climate.
What changes would you like to see?
Management of risks to human life and property as a result of man-made and natural hazards has been a key policy direction of the province for many years. Working in cooperation with Conservation Authorities, the Township has a solid basis for management of natural hazards, particularly flooding, erosion, and dynamic beach hazards in Conservation Authority-regulated lands. Updated policy direction in the Growth Plan, 2017 reiterates the need for municipalities to consider the impacts of a changing climate that may increase risks associated with hazardous lands. Hazardous lands are defined in PPS and the Growth Plan as “property or lands that could be unsafe for development due to naturally-occurring processes” along the shoreline of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System, along the shorelines of large inland lakes, and along river, stream, and small inland lake systems.
Do you think that the current policies are sufficient to protect people and property against flooding, erosion, and slope hazards?
Are there areas of natural or man-made hazards that you think should be identified in the Official Plan? For example, are there any Conservation Authority-regulated floodplain areas, special policy areas, or other vulnerable areas which require delineation in the updated Official Plan?
Do you think there are other natural hazards that should be considered in policy development (i.e. ice storms)?
Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.