Official Plan Amendment Review

From time to time, the Municipality proposes amendments to the official plan and zoning by-law.

Purpose and effect

On August 9th, 2022, Council initiated the process to do just this. The purpose and effect of the General Update Amendment is to update direction in the Bluewater Official Plan and Zoning By-law regarding housing, minimum distance separation (MDS) and housekeeping items including:

  • permitting additional residential units (ARU) in agricultural, hamlet and village settings, not including Bayfield or lakeshore residential areas
  • permitting increased density and a wider range of residential building types in established neighbourhoods with full municipal services, not including Bayfield
  • permitting housing units on the main and upper floors of properties in downtown Hensall and Zurich located on side streets. Housing units will continue to be permitted above or behind commercial uses along traditional main streets (King Street in Hensall and Goshen Street N in Zurich)
  • requiring minimum density of 15 units/hectare in newly developing areas with full services
  • increasing minimum lot sizes in privately serviced area to ensure that future residential development is completed in accordance with provincial and county nitrate criteria and addresses long term water quality considerations
  • clarifying that minimum distance separation will not apply to on-farm diversified uses or agricultural commercial industrial (AG3) uses and will apply as a single, rather than double distance for all cemeteries
  • remove livestock limitations from small agricultural (AG4) properties
  • minor housekeeping items such as updates to definitions and general provisions

Public meeting and open house information

Council of the Municipality of Bluewater will hold a Public Meeting on October 3rd, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. by electronic means or teleconference to consider a proposed official plan amendment and zoning by-law amendment under Sections 17 and 34 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended. For those persons who wish to participate orally at the public meeting, there is an option to join the hearing electronically or by teleconference. For instructions on how to participate electronically or by teleconference, please contact Lindsay Whalen, Planning Coordinator.

There will be a related in-person open house on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Zurich Library, 10 Goshen Street N.  Planning staff are also available by appointment throughout September. Persons wishing to participate in the planning process are strongly encouraged to send their comments, questions or concerns via email or telephone to Planner Sarah Smith at (1-888-524-8394 ext. 3) by September 20th, 2022.

Any person may attend the public meeting and/or make written or verbal representation either in support or in opposition to the proposed zoning by-law amendment.

If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Municipality of Bluewater before the by-law is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Municipality of Bluewater or the County of Huron to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

If a person or public body does not make an oral submission at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Municipality of Bluewater before the by-law is passed, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before OLT unless, in the opinion of the Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds to do so.

If you wish to be notified of the decision of the Municipality of Bluewater on the zoning by-law amendment or the County of Huron on the official plan amendment, you must make a written request to the Municipality of Bluewater.

If you would like additional information relating to the proposed by-law amendment, it is available for inspection during regular office hours at the Municipality of Bluewater, Municipal Office, 14 Mill Avenue, Zurich and the Huron County Planning and Development Department, 57 Napier Street, 2nd floor, Goderich (1-888-524-8394 ext. 3).

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