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Official Plan

An official plan provides the blueprint for the future growth and development of a municipality. It establishes goals and ways to achieve them by taking into consideration important social, economic and environmental factors.

Town of Essex Official Plan

The Town of Essex Official Plan was adopted in 2009 to guide development and to set Council priorities and policies on land use for the next 20 years. It follows the guidelines and principals of the County of Essex Official Plan and incorporates the mandates of the Planning Act of Ontario and other legislated requirements.

Official Plan Amendments

From time to time the Planning Department will recommend changes to the Official Plan to address new legislative requirements or to better reflect new development practices and land use trends.

Land use is governed by Official Plan land use designations for each property in the Town of Essex. Site-specific property changes to the Official Plan require the submission of an Official Plan Amendment application for Council's approval. Consultation with the Town Planner prior to the acceptance of any site plan approval application is a prerequisite.

Special public meetings

As part of the Official Plan Amendment process, a prior special public meeting of Council must be held and notice given by newspaper notice or by written notice to adjacent property owners and tenants. Council must hold the special public meeting at least 20 days before it may pass a by-law approving the amendment. In most cases, the Planning Act provides for public appeal of an Official Plan Amendment granted by Council by by-law, subject to specific rules of appeal. Final approval of an Official Plan Amendment does not take effect until it is approved by the Manager of Planning Services for the County of Essex.