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Planning Services

Planning Policy Formulation/Monitoring

The department formulates, recommends, defends and monitors a variety of planning policies.  The Durham Regional Official Plan is the principal planning instrument that guides the growth and development of the Region.  The Plan:

  • Establishes comprehensive growth management policies, a land use structure and an integrated  transportation network that facilitates the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.
  • Gives paramount consideration to the natural environment and the conservation of resources.
  • Provides advice on the preparation and approval of local official plans and various development applications.
  • Forms the basis for the planning and delivery of infrastructure, including water, sewer, roads, transit and other community services.

The department engages in numerous activities that deal with emerging land use and transportation planning policy issues.  These activities include collecting data, analyzing and forecasting, evaluating policy and recommending policy change. Each activity involves stakeholder consultation, the pursuit of new planning directions and, ultimately, the development of recommendations for consideration by Regional Council.  In the case of an appeal, the department defends policy initiatives before the Ontario Municipal Board, by providing expert planning evidence.

The Regional Official Plan Review is in the final stage of approval.  In 2010, the department will pursue the resolution of the remaining appeals to Amendment 114.  This will involve further negotiation, where appropriate settlement, and defence of Regional Council’s approval before the Ontario Municipal Board.

In accordance with the Places to Grow Act, Regional Council adopted Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 128 in June 2009.  In 2010, the department will continue with implementing the Growth Plan, through: the provincial approval of ROPA 128; and in collaboration with the Works and Finance Departments, advance the Infrastructure and Fiscal Impact Analysis of the Preferred Growth Scenario for the Region.

In 2010, as part of the Regional Transportation Demand Management (TDM) function and mandate of Smart Commute Durham, the department will continue to market to Durham employers and the public to promote the use of sustainable modes of transportation in the Region.  As well, the department, in collaboration with the Transit and Works Departments, will be responsible for key aspects of the Long Term Transit Strategy Study to establish a rapid transit network in Durham.

The department will continue to support the activities of the Durham Environmental Advisory Committee and the Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee.  The committees provide Planning Committee and Council advice on planning related matters dealing with the environment and agriculture respectively.  The department will also continue to support the deliberations of the Durham Trails Coordinating Committee, to facilitate the implementation of the Regional Trails Network.