The southern part of the Township of Oro-Medonte is within the Lake Simcoe watershed, while the northern portion of the Township is within the Seven Sound Watershed. The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan (LSPP) and Severn Sound Sustainability Plan (SSSP) provide polices and approaches to protecting water quality/quantity, and supporting community sustainability more broadly.
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, as well as "designated" policies and "have regard to" policies in LSPP. SSSP is not a Provincial plan in the same sense as the LSPP, but SSSP provides goals and strategies to consider in municipal decision-making and planning.
PPS, Growth Plan & County Official Plan
A coordinated, integrated approach should be used when dealing with matters such as ecosystem, shoreline, watershed, and Great Lakes related issues.
The Township shall protect, improve or restore the quality and quantity of water by: using the watershed as an ecologically meaningful scale for integrated and long term planning; maintaining features, linkages and related functions; and ensuring consideration of environmental lake capacity. Watershed planning will inform the identification and protection of water resource systems.
All Official Plans must conform to the LSPP; however, local municipalities are not prevented from being more restrictive in their Official Plan or Zoning By-laws than the LSPP. Section 3.13 of the County Official Plan provides policies which conform to LSPP, and provide objectives and policies addressing a range of interrelated pressures, including excessive nutrients, pollutants, invasive species, climate change, and anthropogenic impacts.
In addition to Provincial and County policies, the Township intends to incorporate policies and approaches from the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, 2009 and the Severn Sound Sustainability Plan, 2009, which provide the following:
Lake Simcoe Protection
Key policy areas include: 1) Aquatic Life, 2) Water Quality, 3) Water Quantity, 4) Shoreline and Natural Heritage, 5) Other Threats and Activities, including Invasive Species, Climate Change, and Recreational Activities. There are "designated" polices and "have regard to" policies for Water Quality, Water Quantity, Shoreline and Natural Heritage, and Recreational Activities to be implemented at the municipal level.
Severn Sound Sustainability
The pillars of the SSSP are: 1) Environmental Sustainability, 2) Community Well-being, and 3) Economic Prosperity. There are goals, assessments of current states, strategic directions, actions, targets, and indicators for all pillars.
The 10 Sustainability Building Blocks are discussed in the Seven Sound Municipal Sustainability Report Card, including:
1) Climate Change,
2) Community Economic Development,
3) Energy Efficiency and Renewables,
4) Green Building,
5) Greener, Food-secure Communities,
6) Housing and Community Development,
7) Land Use, Urban Form & Community Design
8) Transportation Planning and traffic management,
9) Waste Reduction and Recycling, and
10) Water and Sewage.
Existing Policy & Legislation
Provincial Policy Statement, 2014
Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017
County of Simcoe Official Plan, 2016
Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008
Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, 2009
Severn Sound Sustainability Plan, 2009
Current Township Policies
Currently, the Township's Official Plan does not refer to LSPP or SSSP. It is a key strategic goal of the Township to incorporate policies of LSPP into the Official Plan.
Section B5.1.5 provides objectives for watershed planning, subwatershed planning, contents of Water Resource Management reports in support of applications for major development. Section C5 provides policies for the Shoreline land use designation, including objectives to protect character and natural features, ensure appropriate servicing, provide for protection of tree cover and setbacks from Lake Simcoe and Bass Lake. Policies for the Oro Moraine and groundwater protection are discussed in the Township's Source Protection & Water Visioning Discussion Paper for the Official Plan Review.
What changes would you like to see?
Lake Simcoe Protection Act, Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, and subwatershed plans developed under the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan will all inform land use planning and infrastructure decisions. LSPP is considered to be a provincial plan, similar to the Growth Plan. In Oro-Medonte, some areas are within the Nottawasaga Valley watershed, and other areas are within the Severn Sound watershed. Given new provincial direction in the Growth Plan for municipalities to ensure that watershed planning is undertaken, the Township needs to consider how it will implement the results of existing and future watershed plans into its policy framework.
What concerns do you have about the ecological health of Lake Simcoe? What concerns do you have about access to the Lake Simcoe shoreline or development near the Lake?
Are the LSPP and SSSP doing enough to protect water quality and quantity? What else would you like to see?
Have you undertaken development or work on your property that has been subject to LSPP? What did you think of the policies?
For areas outside of the LSPP area/Lake Simcoe watershed, should policies from LSPP be applied anywhere else in the Township? For areas outside of the Seven Sound watershed, should policies from SSSP be applied throughout the Township?
Which of the Severn Sound Sustainability Building Blocks should be priorities for new policy development? Are current policies doing enough to support sustainability goals throughout the Severn Sound watershed?
Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.