News and Important Dates

Draft Amendments to the Official Plan

The County has released draft amendments to the Official Plan in track changes version. A planning report was presented to Council on April 18, which can be found here:

Staff Report DCS 17-35 Five Year Official Plan Review - Draft Policy


The text of Sections 1 to 10 and Schedules A, B, C, and E are to be revised. Although to the Lakeshore Special Policy Area Secondary Plan was not included in the Five Year Review, two pages of the Lakeshore Secondary Plan and one page of Appendix D – Community Design Guidelines are to be revised. The documents can be found here:

Part 1 Draft OPA - Track Changes Version
Part 1 Schedule A
Part 1 Schedule B
Part 1 Schedule C (A)
Part 1 Schedule C (B)
Part 1 Schedule E
Part 1 Schedule I
Part II Lakeshore Special Policy Area Section 11 - Draft Amendments
Part II Lakeshore Special Policy Area Appendix D 5.3 Resort Community Design Guidelines


Written comments are welcome until May 25 at or either Community Planning office to the attention of Mary Elder for inclusion in a comments summary report planned for the June 6 Council-in-Committee meeting. Comments can also be submitted to the attention of the County Clerk, Norfolk County, 50 Colborne Street South, Simcoe, ON N3Y 4H3. Deputations may be arranged for the June 6 meeting through the County Clerk.


Posted on Thursday, April 6, 2017:

Housing Study – Official Plan Review – Notice of Public Open House and Public Meeting

Public Open House

Date:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Time:  4:00 to 6:00 pm

Location:  Board Room, Health & Social Services Building, 12 Gilbertson Drive, Simcoe

File:  OPNPL2016230

The County has released a Draft Proposed Official Plan Amendment to the Norfolk County Official Plan, which outlines proposed policy changes recommended as part of the 2016 Norfolk County Housing Study, completed as part of the overall Five-Year Official Plan Review process.

The purpose and effect of the Amendment is to update the Norfolk Official Plan to be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, provincial policy directions, and the 2016 Norfolk County Housing Study as directed by County Council. The Draft Proposed Official Plan Amendment is County-wide and therefore no key map is provided. This Amendment concludes an extensive review and engagement process.

You are invited to attend the Public Open House which will provide the public with an opportunity to review and discuss the Amendment with County staff in an informal setting.  There will be no formal presentations.

Statutory Public Meeting

A Statutory Public Meeting regarding the Draft Recommended Amendment will be held:

Date:  Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Time:  5:00 p.m.

Location:  Council Chambers, County Administration Building, 50 Colborne St S, Simcoe (Talbot St. Entrance)

File:  OPNPL2016230

The Public Meeting will provide an opportunity for Council to receive input from the public and stakeholders.  The Community Planning Division will then present the Final Recommended Amendment for adoption to Council for consideration.

Additional Information

The Draft Proposed Official Plan Amendment can be found here:

Draft OPA For Housing

Other additional information related to the Housing Study and Official Plan Review is available further down on this page.

Community Planning Division, Robinson Administration Building, 185 Robinson Street, Suite 200, Phone: (519) 426-5870, Email:, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


To receive further notification regarding the County’s Official Plan review, please email a request to or call extension 1341.

The formal notice can be found here:

Notice of Public Open House and Public Meeting

Action Table

March 17, 2017 – An action table has been prepared by staff to outline the recommendations from the Issues and Options Final Report as revised by Council resolutions. This table allows the community and Council to check what was planned to be revised against the draft policy when it becomes available.

Issues And Options Action Table - Recommendations and Council Directions

Grow Norfolk

Norfolk County is following the legislative requirement to review its existing Official Plan (NCOP) to make sure that the policies of the Official Plan meet provincial requirements as well as ensuring the creation of a “made in Norfolk” document.

The overall project objectives are:

  • To provide opportunity and avenues for community participation and engagement;
  • To review all policy within the NCOP to ensure that the planning vision and strategic goals and objectives remain a reflection of those of the community;
  • To review all policy within the NCOP to ensure consistency with provincial policy;
  • To review key policy areas to ensure the direction remains relevant and reflective of the land use trends within the County; and
  • To develop key policy recommendations to revise, add, or remove policy within the existing NCOP document, where it has been identified in the Terms of Reference that revisions and updates are necessary.

For specific details about the project timeline process, see the Terms of Reference. OPR Terms Of Reference Approved December 2015

We Want To Hear From You – Your Input is Valued

Official Plan Review Team
Community Planning Division
22 Albert Street, Langton

Phone number: 519.426.5870 or 519.875.4485 or 519.582.2100

Email Address:

Please contact us if you require any of the project information in an accessible format.  We are happy to book time with you to review the project documents, if that is of assistance.  To stay up-to-date with the status of this project, come back and check out the website!

Please email your thoughts to: or drop off your written thoughts at any of the County Administration Buildings, to the attention of “Official Plan Review Team, Community Planning”. If you are mailing your letter, please send it to 22 Albert Street, Langton ON N0E 1G0.

Background Reports and Documents

Project Kick-off and Terms of Reference Related Reports and Presentations

Report 1 DCS 15-04 OPR
Presentation 1 January 20 2015 CouncilChambers
Report 2 DCS 15-24 Statutory Public Meeting
Presentation 2 March 10 2015
Report 3 DCS 15-39 TOR Finalization
OPR Terms Of Reference Approved April 2015
DCS 15-110 Official Plan Review Progress Report
OPR Terms Of Reference Approved December 2015

Stakeholder Visioning Workshops — April 30, 2015 and May 1, 2015

Presentation Stakholder Workshop Economic April 30 2015
Norfolk County OPR Feedback Report From Business Stakeholder Workshop
Presentation Stakholder Workshop Social April 30 2015
Norfolk County OPR Feedback Report From Social Services Housing And Healthy Communities Stakeholder Workshop
Presentation Stakholder Workshop Agri May 1 2015
Norfolk County OPR Feedback Report From Agricultural Stakeholder Workshop
Norfolk County OPR Interdepartmental Meeting#1 Held On May 29 2015 - Feedback Summary

Community Engagement Visioning Workshop — May 30, 2015

Presentation Norfolk Community Visioning Day Workshop May 30 2015
May 30 2015 Community Visioning Workshop Feedback Report Final

Agricultural Review Key Findings Workshop — March 24, 2016

Agricultural Lands Workshop - Presentation March 24, 2016
Norfolk County OPR Feedback Report From Agricultural Stakeholder Workshop Held March 24, 2016

Five background reports were presented to Council on April 19, 2016.

County Plans Review and Conformity Exercise
Provincial Policy Statement Consistency Review Report
Agricultural Lands Study Report
Surplus Farm Dwelling Severance Policy Report
Farm Size and Farm Split Policies Report

Business Review Key Findings Workshop – May 30, 2016

Business Stakeholder Workshop Presentation 1
Business Stakeholder Workshop Presentation 2
Feedback Report From Business Stakeholder Workshop

Housing Study Stakeholder Consultation – June 1, 2016

Norfolk Housing Study Stakeholder Consultation Slides - June 1, 2016

Background Report – Commercial Policy Review and Industrial Lands Review – August 16, 2016

DCS 16-70 Official Plan Review Background Report
DCS 16-70 Appendix A - Commercial Policy Review
DCS 16-70 Appendix B - Industrial Lands Policy Review
DCS 16-70 Appendix C - OPR Feedback Report From Business Stakeholder Workshop Held May 30 2016

Housing Study Report and Presentation – October 3, 2016

Norfolk Housing Study Presentation To Council (Final) - Sep 26 16
Housing Study, 2016
Housing Study - Proposed Official Plan Amendment

Draft Issues and Options Report – November 2, 2016

Issues and Options Final Report – February 7, 2017

DCS 17-18 Staff Report - Issues And Options Final Report
DCS 17-18 Attachment 1 - Norfolk County OPR Issues And Options Public Open House Held November 30 2016
DCS 17-18 Attachment 2 - Norfolk County Official Plan Issues And Options Survey Feedback Report, January 2017
DCS 17-18 Attachment 3 - Norfolk County OPR Interdepartmental Meeting#2 Held On December 1 2016 - Feedback Summary
DCS 17-18 Attachment 4 - Addendum Comments - Housing
DCS 17-18 Attachment 4 - Addtional Interdepartmental Team Comments
DCS 17-18 Attachment 5 - Advisory Committees Comments
DCS 17-18 Attachment 6 - Public Comments and Oxford County
DCS 17-18 Attachment 7 - Residential Land Supply Analysis
DCS 17-18 Attachment 8 - Issues And Options Final Report
Residential Land Supply Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a statutory document that has status in law pursuant to provisions of the Planning Act.  It provides for a long-term comprehensive framework for land use decision-making in our community.  The Official Plan is a statement of goals, objectives and policies intended to guide existing and future land use, physical development, and growth within the municipal boundaries of the County.  The policies of the Plan are designed to provide the essential tools to enhance future growth, development and change in the County and to create the community envisioned by Norfolk’s residents.

It affects your everyday life through polices about where and how new housing, industry, offices and shops as well as anticipated needs for infrastructure. It shapes how our neighbourhoods will look and feel in the long term.  Think: streets, parks, transit, schools, community amenities, all needed for growing our community.

Why are we doing the review now?

The Planning Act requires every municipality to update its Official Plan at least every five years. Norfolk County, following its establishment in January 2001, started the development of a new Official Plan in August 2002 to replace the four existing official plan documents, to represent the new municipality.  After a detailed community consultation process, the new Official Plan was approved by Norfolk County Council in May 2006, and received Provincial approval in December 2008.

As the County continues to change and grow, we must regularly revisit the Official Plan document to make sure we are realizing the County’s collective vision and responding to the community’s needs.

Why is the Official Plan important to me?

Either living or working in Norfolk, the Official Plan affects just about every aspect of your everyday life.  The Official Plan determines where new houses, stores, industries, schools, cultural facilities, parks, trails, location of roads and other land uses will be built; it protects our natural environment; and it directs the construction of new infrastructure such as sewers, water mains, transit and roads.  It sets out the community’s vision for the future.

How can I provide input and learn more about the Official Plan?

The voice of the community is the foundation to the overall direction of the project.  At each stages of the program, there will be opportunity for participation and engagement.

There are several ways that you can be involved:

All feedback received will be responded to and documented as part of the public record.

Related County Projects, Studies, and Master Plans

Integrated Sustainable Master Plan (ISMP), 2015

Led by the Engineering Division, the County concluded the ISMP project. It has been being developed to act as a blueprint and guide to help inform future decision making in the County about water / wastewater, transportation and active transportation infrastructure. The Master Plan study has been completed consistent with Phases 1 and 2 of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Process (2007 & amended in 2011).

Within the existing Official Plan, Section 8 outlines the “Transportation Network” which outlines policy related to the movement of goods, hierarchy and classification of roads, provincial highways, and policies in relation to county roads, arterial roads, collector roads, local roads, parking, walking cycling and trails. There is policy in regards to water and waste water services, servicing allocation and phasing, storm water management, and waste management. Once the ISMP has been completed, the new findings from this process will lead to updates within the Official Plan to reflect the new and up-to-date information gained through the ISMP process.

Findings from the ISMP will be applied into the OPR process with specific updates to Section 8 “Networks and Infrastructure” of the Official Plan, as appropriate. There may be the addition of a new section within the Official Plan, in regards to Active Transportation.

Parks, Facilities and Recreation Master Plan, 2015

In 2005 Norfolk County completed its first Parks, Facilities and Recreation Master Plan. In the spring of 2014, the County started the process to create a more comprehensive master plan. Over the course of the project timeline, a situational analysis report has been prepared; the draft document including community review was completed, with the final proposed Parks, Facilities and Recreation Master Plan being presented to Council in the coming months.

Components from this project will be included in the Official Plan, once the final Master Plan has been approved by Council.

Rural Community Improvement Plan, 2015

Norfolk County has developed a Rural Community Improvement Plan intended to focus on incentives and programs to promote investment in tourism, agri-business, and the revitalization of downtown and hamlet areas.

Norfolk County Accessibility Design Guidelines, 2014

This policy is to address the accessibility requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and is intended to provide the overarching framework to guide the review and development of other Norfolk County goods, services, programs and facilities in an inclusive manner that takes into account the needs of people with disabilities.

Population Projection Study, Norfolk County, 2014

In June 2014, Council approved the Norfolk County Population Projection Study, as prepared by Hemson Consulting. The projections include long-term forecasts of population, housing and employment. The forecast is applicable to the entire County, but were also prepared for each specific urban area within the County from the year 2011 to 2031 and to 2041 time horizons. These years were selected as they provide a basis for planning within the 20 year provincial planning policy horizon as well as correspond with census years. The projections are intended to provide a likely “reference” scenario for a consistent basis for future growth planning of all departments within the County.

Haldimand & Norfolk 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, 2013

This report was developed to address the community’s needs in regards to housing and homelessness. The Province of Ontario requires each Service Manager to produce a 10-year housing and homelessness plan. These plans are required to include:
• An assessment of current and future housing needs in the Service Manager area;
• Objectives and targets related to housing needs;
• A description of the measures proposed to meet the objectives and targets;
• A description of how progress will be measured.

As part of the on-going Official Plan Review program, a specific Housing Study will be completed in relation to Norfolk only. This study will use the Housing and Homelessness Plan, 2013 as a starting point, and provide specific recommendations for Norfolk County that will be pulled into the Official Plan policy.

Economic Development Strategy, 2011

Norfolk County’s Tourism & Economic Development Division undertook the strategic planning process to help better define the Norfolk County business community, identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the local economy, create partnerships, identify new initiatives in Norfolk County’s target industries, and update the municipality’s economic goals and objectives.

Trails Master Plan, 2009

Trails are an integral component of healthy communities which provide health, environmental, economic and social benefits. Trails also conserve open space; separate walking and bicycling from vehicle traffic (except in on-road bicycle lanes) promote public health through exercise and provide wildlife corridors.

Components of this document are addressed as part of the ISMP project.

Related Information

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

Citizens Guide to an Official Plan:

Long Point Region Conservation Authority:

Grand River Conservation Authority:

The Planning Act: