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Plan Review

The Ontario Planning Act requires municipalities to determine every five years if a review of their Official Plan is necessary. The existing Municipality of Clarington Official Plan was approved in 1996. Provincial legislation has significantly changed since that time, thus it is important to renew the Official Plan to reflect our current values and aspirations and establish a plan that will guide Clarington for the next 25 years.

Why are we reviewing the Official Plan?
The Official Plan Review Process provides the opportunity to re-examine the goals and basic strategy of the Official Plan. It must be updated to conform to the following Provincial and Regional planning initiatives:

Council’s Corporate Strategic Business Plan 2007-2010
Clarington Council's 2007-2010 Corporate Strategic Business Plan provides the road map for meeting challenges and achieving economic stability and high quality of life. This Official Plan Review will seek to reflect and build on the corporate vision, mission statement, objectives and strategies that were set through the Corporate Strategic Business Plan exercise.

Local Planning for Global Stewardship
Global warming, an anticipated world-wide energy crisis, growing air pollution, erosion of the natural environment, loss of farm land, as well as rapid, ongoing urbanization pose threats to the wellbeing and sustainability of all communities and environments. At the same time, global shifts in the economy and technology create certain opportunities and challenges. Clarington is part of a global village. We need introspection in order to ask what we can do locally to promote global stewardship of our resources. The Official Plan is a very important local tool available to the Municipality and its residents to help address local planning for global stewardship and the challenges that we will face in the coming decades.

Managing Growth
Clarington has experienced rapid growth in the last decade; our population has increased from about 61,000 in 1996 to 78,000 in 2006, an increase of 28%. This population increase has resulted in the rapid growth of residential areas and the recent expansion of the commercial sector. Conservative population projections anticipate Clarington’s population will increase by 65,000 over the next 25 years. This Official Plan Review seeks to determine where and how we can accommodate this population growth and the associated demands for services and amenities.

Legislative Requirements
The Planning Act of Ontario requires that an Official Plan is to be reviewed every five years to ensure that it conforms to, or does not conflict with, Provincial plans and policies. During the last five years the Provincial Government has been actively involved in long range planning to manage the growth of Southern Ontario and has undertaken initiatives such as the Provincial Policy Statement of 2005, the Greenbelt Plan, and the Clean Water Act. A major paradigm shift has been the Province’s planning reform initiatives through Bill 51 and the Growth Plan. Another Greater Toronto Area initiative that is currently underway, that will play an integral part in the growth of our Municipality and the Region, is Metrolinx’s (the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority) Transportation Plan. This Transportation Plan is aimed at developing an integrated transportation plan for the Greater Toronto Area.

The Region of Durham
The Region of Durham reviewed the Regional Official Plan and adopted Amendment 114 on September 13, 2006. Clarington, as well as the other lower tier municipalities within the Region, is required to bring our Official Plan into conformity within three years.