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Written By Andrew Jeanrie and Stephanie Brazzell
Land use compatibility in the planning context is achieved where industrial and other major facilities can coexist with sensitive land uses to contribute to healthy, livable and sustainable communities. The statutory and policy background that informs land use compatibility issues includes the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan), the relevant Official Plan and, somewhat unique to land use compatibility, provincial land use compatibility guidelines.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the Ministry) is responsible for preparing these guidelines including the current “D-Series” Environmental Land Use Compatibility Guidelines (D-Series guidelines) and the Environmental Noise Guideline—Stationary and Transportation Noise Sources—Approval and Planning (NPC-300). Accordingly, the Ministry plays an integral role in land use compatibility by providing guidance on achieving and maintaining compatibility between industrial facilities and sensitive land uses.
While these guidelines lack the force of law such that they require compliance, unless incorporated into an Official Plan, developers and landowners are often required by municipalities to undergo land use compatibility assessments when proposing a change to existing land use, typically through an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) or Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA). The criteria and standards in the guidelines can be persuasive evidence for such assessments and for appeals relating to land use compatibility. Accordingly, familiarity with these guidelines is essential to understanding and responding to land use compatibility issues.
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Please note that this publication presents an overview of notable legal trends and related updates. It is intended for informational purposes and not as a replacement for detailed legal advice. If you need guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, please contact one of the authors to explore how we can help you navigate your legal needs.
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