EMSDALE – Following a series of public meetings held throughout the summer, the Township of Perry is now closer to approving its official plan.
Meridian Planning Consultant planner Jim Dyment discussed modifications made to the draft official plan at the October 3 council meeting.
Dyment said the draft official plan opens a lot of opportunity for economic development and includes a much higher level of environmental protection.
Counc. Les Rowley says there is work to be done on the maps, stating that some of the seasonal roads are not identified properly.
“From looking at this you’d think they’re all year round roads,” he said.
Dyment said the mapping people at his company will work with the roads supervisor to clear that up.
“We’ll undertake to work with your staff to make sure these little niggly things are looked after,” he said, adding that they will also draft and adopting bylaw to put forward to council for approval.
Dyment said there were issues stemming from public meetings that have been resolved in the official plan, including waterfront development and wetland preservation issues.
“One of the things we can do with the official plan is set the density for commercial uses on waterfront,” he said.
Designated wetlands are also an issue of concern.
“I recognize that, particularly in this area, in the Parry Sound district, a lot of the wetlands haven’t been studied that much,” he said.
He said maps in the official plan could be updated if further provincially significant wetlands are identified.
Dyment said they improved the policies to bring them up to 2012 standards directly from the Lake Capacity handbook, as per the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“The other thing that I identified was that at the public meeting, a lot of people were saying that the Big East River and the Magnetawan River should be considered shoreline,” he said. “Those are areas that people now look toward for recreation. The shoreline designation provides a higher level of protection for water quality along those rivers.”
Dyment said people are looking to develop along the rivers and certain policies should apply.
He says the draft has been reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and says there were “no showstoppers” amongst their comments.
“We’re at a stage now where I think we’ve addressed all of the major issues with the official plan and I think we’re in shape now to be approved by council,” said Dyment. “At this stage I think this is a plan that’s in great shape. We’ve had lots of public consultation.”