Healthy, livable communities should be promoted by planning for safe, connected and accessible places which support active transportation and recreational opportunities. A range of recreation settings should be provided, including parks, trails and shoreline areas.
Provincial & County Policy
The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 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.
Public open space system
Municipalities, with Conservation Authorities and other organizations, are encouraged to develop a system of publicly-accessible parkland, open space, and trails (including in shoreline areas).
Municipalities are encouraged to establish an open space system within settlement areas, which may include opportunities for urban agriculture, rooftop gardens, communal courtyards and public parks.
Public streets and spaces are planned to be safe, meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, foster social interaction and facilitate active transportation and community connectivity.
Municipalities are to provide for a full range and equitable distribution of publicly-accessible built and natural settings for recreation, including facilities, parklands, public spaces, open space areas, trails and linkages, and water-based resources.
Development form shall facilitate accessibility for persons with disabilities and older persons by identifying, preventing and removing land use barriers which restrict their full participation in society.
Existing Policy & Legislation
Provincial Policy Statement 2014
Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017
County of Simcoe Official Plan, 2016
County of Simcoe Transportation Master Plan & County of Simcoe Trails Strategy
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
Current Township Policies
The current Official Plan contains goals for open space in Section A3.1.4, policies for open space in Section B4, policies for public parkland in Section D7, policies for recreational areas in Section C7 and other park policies throughout other sections (including in the Craighurst Secondary Plan and in the shoreline designation). Current Official Plan policies provide:
The Open Space designation applies to lands that are the site of land holdings owned by public authorities that can be used for recreational or resource uses. Permitted uses include passive and active recreational uses, conservation uses, and forestry uses. Natural features and functions of these areas should be protected and/or enhanced.
The Recreational designation applies to lands that are the site of major private recreational uses. Permitted uses include passive and active recreational uses, including golf courses, cross country ski facilities, mountain bike facilities, conservation uses, and forestry uses. Accessory accommodation facilities and corporate meeting facilities may be permitted.
In the Shoreline designation, the Township owns a number of parcels, and Council intends to retain these parcels in accordance with a Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
In the Craighurst Secondary Plan Area, the Community Use Area designation permits community uses, including public parks and trails, public schools, public recreation facilities, and places of worship. The Public Parkland objectives aim to establish and maintain a system of public open spaces, parkland, and recreational facilities, promote establishment of a continuous linear open space system, and encourage development of a walking and cycling trail system within the open space system.
New and revised Official Plan policies will promote a healthy community in the Township by planning for safe and accessible recreation settings and facilities. Consideration will be had for place-making opportunities (such as public art) and development of open space systems which could provide opportunities for urban agriculture, rooftop gardens, and communal courtyards, for example.
What changes would you like to see?
The province provides some direction with respect to provision of parkland and ensuring an adequate distribution of recreational facilities. There is flexibility in determining how the Township’s open space systems will be planned and managed. For example, the Township could set out a hierarchy of park typologies (e.g. parkette, neighbourhood park, community park, etc.) and ensure that the various types of parks are distributed so residents and visitors can access a range of active and passive recreational opportunities.
Do you think that there is currently enough land designated for parks and trails? Are existing parks and trails in appropriate locations?
Do you think the current policies address accessibility concerns? Do you think public spaces are age-friendly?
Should there be differences in policies inside settlement areas versus outside settlement areas? What differences?
Should the Township consider policies prioritising community parks rather than neighbourhood parks in settlement areas?
Should the Township consider development of a Parks Strategy? Should the Township consider use of alternative parkland dedication rates?
Should the Township consider policies to increase opportunities for public access to shoreline areas?
Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.