Frequently Asked Questions
Note: following are answers to some of municipalities’ most frequently asked questions on permitted uses on the Oak Ridges Moraine. They are intended to be read in conjunction with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act and Conservation Plan. The Act and the Plan, in their entirety, should be the first point of reference.
- Q: Are single dwellings permitted in the ORM Plan in the Natural Core, Natural Linkage and Countryside Areas?
A: Existing single dwellings and lands which were zoned to permit single dwellings on November 15, 2001 are permitted in the ORM Plan and can continue to be zoned in municipal by-laws. New development of, and additions to these single dwellings (such as sunrooms and decks) must, to the extent possible, avoid negative impacts on environmental features and functions. To obtain more information, please refer to contact information below.
- Q: Are separate accessory buildings and structures to single dwellings, such as detached garages and swimming pools, permitted in the ORM Plan?
A: Accessory buildings and structures for a residential use are considered a component of the permitted single dwelling use. Therefore, such buildings and structures directly related to a single dwelling are also permitted. New development and additions must, to the extent possible, avoid negative impacts on environmental features and functions. To obtain more information, please refer to contact information below.
- Q: What is meant by “to the extent possible” for the development of single dwellings?
A: It means that best efforts are to be exercised to avoid negative impacts on environmental features and functions, while recognizing that the use, erection and location of single dwellings and accessory structures are permitted by the ORM Plan. Municipalities still have the discretion in determining the form of development with the least impact.
- Q: Are barns and other associated farm buildings and structures permitted in the ORM Plan?
A: Barns and other associated farm buildings and structures are considered a component of the permitted agricultural use. Therefore, such buildings and structures directly related to agriculture are permitted.
- Q: In the wellhead protection area policies of the ORM Plan certain uses are prohibited except by an individual for personal or family use. What does this exception encompass?
A: The exception to permit personal or family uses applies only to household uses that, for instance, are not for profit or commercial use. For example, the storage of small quantities of inorganic fertilizers for a household garden would be permitted, but not for a commercial greenhouse. Existing uses within the wellhead protection areas, that are now prohibited in the ORM Plan, can continue to operate. Further development of these prohibited uses must conform to the ORM Plan and may not be permitted.
- Q: Does the ORM Plan regulate ‘Permit to Take Water’ applications, such as bottled water?
A: The taking of water is not specifically regulated in the ORM Plan, as this matter is already regulated in the Permit to Take Water process of the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The watershed plans, including water budgets, that municipalities are required to complete under the ORM Plan will assist MOE in the review of these applications. The buildings or structures for water taking facilities are required to conform with the ORM Plan. Currently, MOE is reviewing the Permit to Take Water process and has prohibited the issuance of new Permits to Take Water for beverage manufacturing purposes, such as bottled water, on the ORM until March 1, 2004. Finally, the ongoing source water protection initiative may result in a future amendment to the ORM Plan to incorporate its results and recommendations into the ORM Plan’s framework.
How to Contact Us
Members of the public with questions on site specific matters relating to planning approvals are encouraged first to consult the appropriate municipality.
With respect to the official plan and zoning by-law conformity exercise, please contact the appropriate Municipal Services Office of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:
Municipal Services Office - Central Region
Municipal Services Office - Eastern Region