What is this Service?
Municipalities manage growth and physical form through their planning processes. The goal of planning services is the efficient and effective management of land and resources to ensure healthy and sustainable communities; economically, socially, and environmentally.
Specific services may include:
- Overseeing the creation and management of a municipality’s Official Plan (the master planning document required under Ontario’s Planning Act).
- Processing development applications received for specific projects; applications are reviewed and processed with regard to provincial legislation, Council -approved policies, and by-laws.
- Leading municipal strategic planning, including environmental initiatives, urban design, transportation planning, area studies and policy development.
- Providing Geographic Information Services (GIS) or mapping information.
- Application Variables: The type, mix and complexity (in terms of scope and magnitude) of applications received and the nature of applications under applicable legislation, may include applications that are not under The Planning Act.
- Complexity: The scope and magnitude of application.
- Government Structure: Single-tier vs. two-tier local government structures can influence comparisons between municipalities, since upper-tier municipalities do not process all types of applications.
- Legislation: Differences or variations in the applicable legislation and policy may impact application volumes, time spent on applications and the number of appeals. Examples might include: Planning Act, Places to Grow, Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment Planning Area.
- Organizational Form: Differing models can affect both the application review process, i.e. departments outside of Planning, and the number of activities beyond application processing including growth management.
- Timing: The average time to process a given type of application, scope of participation over and above the requirements of the Planning Act and regulations under the Municipal Act, and the involvement of other commenting and approval authorities.