Mayor Dave Augustyn’s Column Week of 25 July 2016
Ever wonder what controls the heights and sizes of buildings in a community? What rules allow certain type of uses – like a gas station or an apartment building or townhouse – in one area, but not in another? Or, where do the rules come from for the amount of parking a store or an apartment or a church must have?
In Ontario, it’s a community’s Zoning Bylaw that contains detailed information on what kind of land use and what kinds of physical structures are allowed on each property in the Town. The Zoning Bylaw puts into effect the Town’s “Official Plan” or Secondary Plans (like the East Fonthill Secondary Plan or the North-West Fonthill Secondary Plan).
The details include the height and “massing” of buildings, the distance buildings must be set back from the street or other yards, and any landscaping requirements.
Since Zoning By-laws are legally enforceable (under the Ontario Planning Act), proposed developments that do not fit the By-law’s requirements are not allowed to proceed – unless they receive a variance. Thus, this important Bylaw helps achieve Council’s objectives for a successful, vibrant, and livable community.
The existing Zoning Bylaw was approved in 1987 and contains hundreds of exemptions and variances.
Since we recently updated the Town’s Official Plan – via Ontario Municipal Board approval in 2014 – Staff have been working on re-drafting a new Zoning Bylaw. That draft was presented publicly on Monday.
Staff proposed that we begin the consultation process on the draft By-law and receive feedback from you and other members of the community and agencies this Fall. We will schedule public open houses, meetings with the development community, and a special meeting with Council to receive agency input.
Following this type of consultation with the community, agencies and Council, Staff will revise the draft Zoning By-law to address the comments and feedback received. Then, Council will likely undertake a
second round of community consultation.
As you will appreciate, the Town’s new Zoning Bylaw will be an important document that will oversee growth and development in the Town for many, many years.
If you are interested in reviewing Staff’s first public draft, please check out our July 25 Policy & Priorities Committee agenda at https://pelham-pub.escribemeetings.com . Alternatively, please watch both
traditional and “social” media for further information about meetings and updates.
Council and I look forward to working together with you and other residents and business owners to update our Zoning Bylaw to ensure that Pelham continues to be a successful, vibrant, and livable and with a unique blend of residential housing types, commercial-mixed uses, and agricultural operations and uses.
You may contact Mayor Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or read past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com .