Long-range policy projects ensure Norfolk County is growing in a responsible manner that reflects best practices and complies with legislative requirements and changes.

On this page

Growth Management Study

Engage with us on the Growth Management EngageNorfolk page.

To ensure that Norfolk County plans for efficient growth over the long term, the Planning Department is embarking on a Growth Management Study that will establish long-term growth management principles as well as identify opportunities and options to consider to accommodate a made-in Norfolk vision of growth to 2051.

Read more about the Growth Management Study

What is a Growth Management Study?

A Growth Management Study:

  • provides guidance on where to direct growth within a municipality to accommodate the projected population and economic growth over the planning horizon, and
  • the study is considered a comprehensive review that will be utilized during the next five-year Official Plan review process or development of a new Official Plan.

What’s included in the study?

A review of the:

  • historic population and economic growth
  • number and type of Building Permits issued
  • existing land supply
  • infrastructure system and capacity
  • overarching policy framework

Norfolk County Workplan and Project Timeline

Phase 1: Project Initiation

  • Project Kick-Off
  • Terms of Reference
  • Engagement Strategy

Phase 2A: Policy Review & Technical Reports

  • Context Report
  • Planning Act and PPS Conformity Exercise
  • Includes a review of Short Term Rentals and Accessory Residential Dwelling Units
  • Land Evaluation Study

Phase 2B: Growth Projections

  • Watson & Associates are completing the growth projections.

Phase 3: Opportunities and Options

  • Conformity Recommendations
  • Option Reports & Land Study
  • Monitoring Options

Phase 4: Preferred Direction Reports

  • Policy Recommendations
  • Monitoring Details
  • Amendments, if required

How to be involved?

Share your ideas!


  Other Resources

Port Dover Secondary Plan

Norfolk County is undertaking a Secondary Plan to provide a clear and detailed planning framework for Port Dover’s waterfront, downtown and future residential development within the urban boundary.

The Secondary Plan will be used to guide municipal stewardship of the lake and river and natural heritage areas, create a vision for downtown and evaluate the appropriateness of development applications.

Read more about the Port Dover Secondary Plan

Port Dover Pier and Lighthouse Norfolk County Council’s vision for the Port Dover Secondary Plan is to transform Port Dover into a world-class tourist destination with a thriving economy, vibrant community spirit and protected natural heritage system.

The Secondary Plan will provide the mechanisms to enhance the beauty of its waterfront, the place-making tools to spark the unique character of the small town, and the policies to protect the long-term financial and ecological health of the area.

Norfolk County has retained The Planning Partnership: planners, landscape architects and urban designers. Their team is supported by specialists in natural heritage, transportation and municipal servicing.

The plan will be completed over the next year in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Opportunities and Constraints
  • Phase 2: Concepts
  • Phase 3: Secondary Plan

Reference Materials

Long Point Region Conversation Authority – Flood and Erosion Mapping Update

The Norfolk County Planning Department is assisting the Long Point Region Conservation Authority with two projects to update its flood and erosion mapping. These projects will update and create new riverine flood hazard mapping along 91 kilometres of watercourses, as well as flood and erosion hazard mapping along the Lake Erie shoreline in Norfolk County.

Read more about the Flood and Erosion Mapping Update

Public Information Centre

  • A Public Information Centre regarding the Lake Erie shoreline mapping was held Saturday, June 22, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the St. William’s Community Centre.
  • A second Public Information Centre regarding the Lake Erie shoreline mapping was held Saturday, November 2, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the St. William’s Community Centre.
  • A Public Information Centre regarding the watercourse flood hazard mapping was held Wednesday, November 27, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Simcoe Recreation Centre, 182 South Drive, Simcoe. 

Lake Erie Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment

On behalf of Norfolk County, the Long Point Region Conservation retained W.F. Baird & Associates Coastal Engineers to update flood, erosion, and dynamic beach hazard mapping for the County’s Lake Erie shoreline. The hazard mapping project is now complete, including the community engagement component as part of the deliverables.

Read more about the Lake Erie Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment

This project will support Norfolk County interests, including the municipal infrastructure, flood response, Official Plan, and Zoning By-law. The Lake Erie Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment is a technical document that maps the shoreline hazards using the most up-to-date information and is not a shoreline management plan. View the Hazard Mapping Technical Report

Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan

Downtown Revitalization is a key component to the growth and development of the community and economic stability. A Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan document has been drafted to provide a foundation and framework to create a vision for the future development of downtown Simcoe.

Read more about the Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan

A Downtown Secondary Plan is a comprehensive vision for revitalizing the downtown and is intended to address two important functions. First, it presents the community’s vision for the future of the Downtown to guide public and private decision-making. Second, the Plan indicates what the County’s priorities will be for publicly funded initiatives in the Downtown.

The policies are considered draft at this point and are intended to summarize the input received to date. Through additional public consultation, the policies will be reviewed and revised to ensure that they are meeting the needs and intended desires of the community. Future open house meetings will be scheduled to engage the public.

Population Projection Study

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.

Read more about the Population Projection Study

The forecast is applicable to the entire County but was 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.

Drinking Water Source Protection

The Clean Water Act was passed in 2006 by the Ontario legislature in response to the Walkerton Inquiry in order to protect municipal drinking water sources. A Source Protection Plan is required to reduce the risk posed by identified threats. In the Long Point Region Assessment Report, the sources of municipal drinking water and potential threats to water quality, the vulnerable areas around the wells and surface water intakes have been identified. Human activities have the greatest potential to cause harm to drinking water sources.

Read more about the Drinking Water Source Protection

The Long Point Region Source Protection Plan contains the policies and programs needed to reduce the risk posed by the identified activities. The Plan was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and came into effect on July 1, 2016. An update to the Plan came into effect on March 25, 2019. This will require an update to the Norfolk County Official Plan within five years. Read the updated Plan.

Planning and Building development proposals/applications are screened to ensure compliance with the Source Protection Plan policies. If a property is in a Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA) A, B or C with a high vulnerability or the Lehman Dam Intake Protection zone, the following screening form must be completed and submitted to Stephanie Davis, Water and Wastewater Compliance Supervisor – [email protected] or 519-426-5870 or 226-NORFOLK extension 1501.

The Long Point Region Assessment Report, Source Protection Plan, and further information is available from the Lake Erie Region Source Protection Committee at www.sourcewater.ca.

For more information, you can also follow this link. Norfolk County is undertaking an update to the Source Water Protection policies in the Official Plan. This will incorporate the changes made to the Long Point Region Source Protection Plan, which came into effect on March 25, 2019. Norfolk County hosted a drop-in style open house on November 13, 2019, in order to answer any questions about the proposed amendment.

Hastings Drive Zoning Study

When the Norfolk County Zoning By-law 1-Z-2014 was approved by Council, appropriate zoning for Hastings Drive was an issue. Council retained the Township of Norfolk Zoning By-law in effect for Hastings Drive in order to carry out the Hastings Drive Zoning Study. Two appeals were launched against this decision. The Hastings Drive Zoning Study was completed.
Read more about the Hastings Drive Zoning Study
The appeals of County Zoning By-law 1-Z-2014 then proceeded to an Ontario Municipal Board Hearing in January 2018. The Ontario Municipal Board Order was issued on April 16, 2018, to address the zoning on Hastings Drive.  The County of Norfolk initiated the “Hastings Drive Zoning Study” in 2015 to review the appropriate zoning for lands located west of the lot municipally addressed as 43 Hastings Drive, Long Point. MacNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson Planning Limited (MHBC) was retained by the County to lead this project. Pierre Chauvin BSc (Agr.), MA, MCIP, RPP was the Project Manager. The following are the main documents from this project:

Please note that By-law 47-Z-2016 was repealed on December 13, 2016, through By-law 2016-132. 

Rural Community Improvement Plan

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.

Read more about the Rural Community Improvement Plan

For further information, visit the Business Initiative page​ or contact:

Economic Development Coordinator
50 Colborne St S, Simcoe, ON N3Y 4H3

519-426-5870 or 226-NORFOLK ext. 1264, or 1-866-834-1726

Norfolk County Mapping

View a variety of maps on the Norfolk Maps page.

Open Data is here! Please visit opendata.norfolkcounty.ca to access the portal.