Official Plan Review

Official Plan Review Logo (IMAGE)The Township of Springwater is reviewing its Official Plan; the key policy document for planning and land use in the Township. The review is being undertaken to comply with the Planning Act and to conform with and implement new Provincial and County plans and policies.  This review is also an opportunity to ensure that Springwater’s Official Plan reflects the needs and aspirations of our community.  The first step will be to define this community's vision for Springwater for the next 20 years.

Draft Discussion Paper and Draft Growth Management Strategy

As part of the Official Plan Review process, the Township has completed a draft Discussion Paper and draft Growth Management Strategy for review and comment.

The Discussion Paper is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • Outline key issues to be addressed in the new Official Plan
  • Summarize input received from Official Plan Visioning Workshops to develop a vision and guiding principles for the new Official Plan
  • Identify key recommended policy directions and additional background studies that should be undertaken in Phase 2 of the process to inform the policies within the new Official Plan

The Growth Management Strategy is intended and required to accomplish the following:

  • Confirm that sufficient lands are available for development up to 2031
  • Determine the extent and demand for development upto 2031
  • Review the adequacy of Springwater’s designated land supply to accommodate growth
  • Provide recommendations regarding the management of growth to be established within the new Official Plan

Comments regarding the documents are welcomed and encouraged. Comments should be directed to so that your comments can form part of the record and be considered through the process.

What is an Official Plan?
An Official Plan is a planning document required by the Province of Ontario which describes a municipality’s land-use strategy for growth and development. It addresses the location and form of new housing, industry, offices and shops as well as anticipated needs for infrastructure and community amenities. Streets, parks, transit, schools and everything else needed for a growing municipality are all considered in the Official Plan.

Why are we reviewing the Official Plan?
The Planning Act requires every municipality to update its Official Plan at least once every five years. The Township of Springwater’s current Official Plan took effect on February 19th, 1998 with a purpose to manage development and physical change in the Township of Springwater for a twenty year period to 2016. The Township’s Official Plan has undergone a number of minor amendments including Secondary Plans for Midhurst, Centre Vespra and Hillsdale, as well as a review in 2008, but has not undergone a major revision/update in nearly 20 years.

The Official Plan Review addresses the opportunities and challenges of planning and building in the Municipality and must periodically be brought into conformity with Provincial and County legislation that has been introduced or revised in recent years. Provincial legislation includes the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 and the Places to Grow Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe along with the new County of Simcoe Official Plan. The Township Official Plan Review process is scheduled began in 2016 and will be undertaken over a period of approximately two years.

What is involved in the Official Plan Review Process?
As the Township continues to change and grow, we must regularly revisit the Official Plan to ensure we are realizing the Township’s collective vision and responding to our community's needs.

Through the review process the Township and its consultant will be undertaking some of the following:
  • Visioning Workshops
  • Stakeholder meetings;
  • Public Open Houses
  • Review all existing policy to ensure the newest upper-tier (County and Provincial) legislation is being met; 
  • Growth Management Strategy (GMS) to examine how Springwater is growing and where shortfalls may exist;
  • Various Background Studies designed to examine specific local planning issues including:
    • Settlement Area Hierarchy
    • Natural Heritage and Environment
    • Agriculture
    • Cultural Heritage/Archaeological
    • Affordable Housing and Second Suites
    • Intensification Study Areas
    • Employment Lands
    • Commercial Corridor Areas
    • Traffic/Transportation 
    • Aggregate (Sand, Stone & Gravel);
  • Meetings with County and Provincial staff to ensure Springwater meets its legal responsibilities; and
  • Preparation of new Official Plan policies, maps and schedule

How Will the Official Plan Be Developed?

Official Plan Review Process Chart


June 13, 2016 - Official Plan Kickoff Session Presentation by MMM Group
Draft Communication Strategy - Presentation to Council
Final Communication Strategy (2016-Nov-03) 
Official Plan Review Reference Materials

Existing Official Plan (OP) & Schedules
2004 Growth Management Strategy
Long Range Financial Plan (in progress)
Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update (in progress)
Community Improvement Plan (in progress)
Economic Development Strategy - 2010
Municipal Cultural Plan - 2012
Development Charges Study - 2013