Community planning in Clearview is conducted within an extensive policy framework and in collaboration with a number of consulting agencies and bodies. Clearview lies within a hierarchy of planning authorities, with the County of Simcoe, the Province of Ontario, and the Canadian Federal Government being upper-tier authorities to the Township. The sections below give a brief overview of the bodies and policies that are most frequently consulted regarding planning matters within the Township.
The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) regulates a vast majority of lands within the Township of Clearview, and is an important commenting agency for development applications. The NVCA is a steward of the natural environment and oversees matters relating to life safety and protection of property caused by flooding and erosion hazards. Township staff can let you know if your property is regulated by the NVCA. A development or fill permit may be required from the NVCA prior to development of regulated lands.
The Niagara Escarpment Commission
The Niagara Escarpment is a unique land formation that spans a large swath of Southern Ontario. The Escarpment was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2012. A significant portion of the Township of Clearview lies within the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area. The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) has jurisdiction over land use planning matters within these areas. This means that the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law do not apply within these areas, and also that approvals must be obtained from the NEC prior to any land development. If your property is under the jurisdiction of the NEC, please be in touch with that body for more information.
County of Simcoe
The Township of Clearview lies within the County of Simcoe. The County of Simoce Official Plan must be consulted and complied with for all development proposals within the Township. Just as with the Township Official Plan, the County Plan contains land use designations and policies regulating growth and development within the County. The County of Simcoe is an important commenting body on development proposals within the Township.
The County has jurisdiction over a number of land use planning matters that can impact lands within Clearview, including: tree cutting within County Greenlands; County Roads; and County Waste Disposal Sites.
The County has an helpful interactive mapping site for use by the public. The County mapping tool is an excellent resource and can be found on the County’s Website.
Province of Ontario
The Ontario Planning Act legislates the processes relating to land use planning within the province. The Planning Act governs when an application is required, and how applications must be processed. The primary objective of the Planning Act is to establish requirements for public engagement and to ensure that planning matters are handled equitably in all cases.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is the provincial body dealing with land use planning and housing matters.
The goal of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is an Ontario made up of safe and strong communities with abundant greenspace, thriving and prosperous economies, and a range of housing choices.
MMAH offers a very helpful series of Citizens’ Guides to Land Use Planning documents that are geared to the general public and are designed to provide information on the Planning Act, the Building Code, Land Severances, and the Ontario Municipal Board, among other matters. Visit the MMAH website to access these helpful guides and to learn more about the ministry.
The Provincial Policy Statement
The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS, 2014) is a policy document that sets out the vision for growth and development within the province. The PPS is issued under the Authority of the Ontario Planning Act and promotes the creation of healthy, sustainable, resilient, and economically viable communities. The PPS is oriented to promote the wise use and management of our land use resources, such as natural and cultural heritage, agriculture, and aggregates. The Planning Act requires that all decisions affecting planning matters shall be consistent with the PPS.
The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
The Growth Plan was created in 2006 under the authority of the Ontario Places to Grow Act. The Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest growing areas in North America, and the Growth Plan aims to regulate and guide growth and development within this region. Much like the Provincial Policy Statement, the Growth Plan sets out a strategy to promote vibrancy and growth within serviced settlement areas, and to preserve our natural heritage and agricultural lands.