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Draft - Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan

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DRAFT - November 1, 2001  

TABLE OF CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS (not part of the regulated Plan)

INTRODUCTION

About This Plan
How to Read This Plan
How to Use This Plan

SECTION 1 - VISION, PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

1.1 Vision for the Oak Ridges Moraine

1.2 Purpose of this Plan

1.3 Plan Objectives

SECTION 2 - LAND USE DESIGNATIONS

2.1 Boundaries

2.2 Natural Core Areas

2.3 Natural Linkage Areas

2.4 Countryside Areas

2.5 Settlement Areas

SECTION 3 - PROTECTING ECOLOGICAL AND HYDROLOGICAL INTEGRITY

3.1 General

3.2 Significant Natural Heritage Features

3.3 Hydrological Features

3.4 Landform Conservation Areas

3.5 Protecting Ecological and Hydrological Integrity in Settlement Areas

SECTION 4 - SPECIFIC LAND USE POLICIES

4.1 General

4.2 Existing Uses

4.3 Approved Uses

4.4 Lot Creation

4.5 Agricultural Uses

4.6 Mineral Aggregate Operations

4.7 Low-Intensity Recreation

4.8 Major Recreation

4.9 Oak Ridges Trail

4.10 Small-Scale Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Uses

4.11 Transportation, Infrastructure and Utilities

4.12 Sewage and Water Services

4.13 Stormwater Management

4.14 Specific Land Use Policies in Settlement Areas

SECTION 5 - IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

5.1 Status and Effect of This Plan

5.2 Applications Subject to This Plan

5.3 Provincial Obligations and Technical Support

5.4 Municipal Implementation

5.5 Performance Indicators and Monitoring

5.6 Plan Review and Amendment

SECTION 6 - DEFINITIONS

LAND USE DESIGNATION MAP


HIGHLIGHTS

These are selected highlights of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan. Please refer to the rest of the Plan for accurate information on the new policies for the Moraine.

The Plan

  • The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is an ecologically based plan established by the Ontario Government to provide guidance and direction for the 190,000 hectares of land and water within the Moraine.
  • The land use and resource management decisions of Provincial ministers, ministries and agencies, the Moraine's municipalities, municipal planning authorities and the Ontario Municipal Board shall conform with this Plan. Municipal official plans shall be amended to conform with this Plan.
  • The Plan takes effect when the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 comes into force and follows wide-ranging consultation with key stakeholders and the public.
  • The Vision
  • The Ontario Government's vision for the Oak Ridges Moraine is that of "a continuous band of green rolling hills that provides form and structure to south-central Ontario, while protecting the ecological and hydrological features and functions that support the health and well-being of the region's residents and ecosystems".

Land Use Designations

  • The Plan divides the Moraine into four land use designations: Natural Core Areas (38% of total area), Natural Linkage Areas (24%), Countryside Areas (30%) and Settlement Areas (8%).
  • Natural Core Areas protect those key lands with the greatest concentrations of significant natural features. Only existing uses and very restricted new resource management, agricultural, recreational, transportation and utility uses, are allowed in these areas.
  • Natural Linkage Areas protect critical natural and open space linkages between the Natural Core Areas and along rivers and streams. The only uses that are allowed are those allowed in Natural Core Areas, plus some aggregate resource operations.
  • Countryside Areas provide an agricultural and rural transition and buffer between the Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas and the urbanized Settlement Areas. Prime agricultural areas as well as natural features shall be protected. Most of the uses typically allowed in agricultural and other rural areas are allowed here.
  • Policies on creating and developing new lots in Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas are very strict. For residential purposes, only one severance is permitted from an original rural lot and none from smaller lots. The only exceptions are in the Moraine's Rural Settlements and for limited residential development in Countryside Areas in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough and Northumberland Counties once the municipality has an approved growth management study and rural economic development strategy.
  • Settlement Areas will be limited to existing and previously approved urban development to keep it from encroaching on the rest of the Moraine. Urban uses and development are allowed.

Protecting Moraine Integrity

  • The Plan identifies Significant Natural Heritage Features (such as wetlands and woodlands)and Hydrologically Sensitive Features (such as kettle lakes and springs). In Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas, only very restricted new resource management, recreational, transportation, infrastructure and utility uses are permitted within these features. Development near these features is only allowed if it will not adversely affect these features. In Settlement Areas, policies are more flexible, but are still stricter than the existing Provincial Policy Statement. Over 85 per cent of the Natural Heritage Features are within Natural Core Areas or Natural Linkage Areas.
  • Development in upper portions of watersheds, areas highly vulnerable to groundwater contamination and areas with significant landscape character in Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas shall have to meet particularly stringent review and approval standards to ensure that the Moraine is protected.
  • Some Key Land Use Policies
  • No new aggregate resource extraction is permitted in Natural Core Areas. In Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas, new aggregate resource operations shall have to meet stringent review and approval standards. New major recreation developments such as golf courses are only permitted in the Countryside Areas and shall be required to meet stringent review and approval standards.
  • New transportation and utility corridors or facilities shall only be allowed in Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas if they are shown to be necessary and there is no reasonable alternative. They shall also have to meet stringent review and approval standards.
  • The Oak Ridges Trail shall provide non-motorized recreational access and travel the full length of the Moraine.

Review and Amendment

  • The Plan shall be reviewed every 10 years to determine whether any revisions should be required.
  • The 10 year review cannot consider reducing the total areas of the Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas.


INTRODUCTION

About This Plan

The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is an ecologically based plan established by the Ontario Government to provide land use and resource management direction for the 190,000 hectares of land and water within the Moraine. The decisions and actions of provincial ministers, ministries and agencies are required to conform with this Plan.

Municipal planning decisions shall also conform with this Plan, which takes precedence over municipal official plans until they are brought into conformity with this Plan. Nothing in this Plan is intended to prevent municipalities from adopting official plan policies and zoning bylaw provisions that are more restrictive than the policies of this Plan, unless prohibited by this Plan.

The Oak Ridges Moraine is one of Ontario's most significant landforms. This irregular ridge stretches 160 kilometres from the Trent River in the east to the Niagara Escarpment in the west. The Escarpment and Moraine together form the foundation of south-central Ontario's natural heritage and greenspace systems. Strategically located north of and parallel to Lake Ontario, the Moraine divides the watersheds draining south into western Lake Ontario from those draining north into Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe and the Trent River system. The Moraine shapes the present and future form and structure of the Greater Toronto region and provides ecological functions critical to the region's continuing health.

The Moraine has a unique concentration of environmental, geological and hydrological features that make its ecosystem vital to south-central Ontario, including:

  • Clean and abundant water resources.
  • Healthy and diverse plant and animal habitat.
  • An attractive and distinct landscape.
  • Prime agricultural areas.
  • Sand and gravel resources close to market.

The Oak Ridges Moraine is also under increasing pressure for new residential, commercial, industrial and recreational uses which compete with and may impair the present natural environment. This Plan builds on years of effort by provincial ministries, municipalities and key stakeholders, to provide clarity and certainty about the long-term protection and management of this vital natural resource.

In May 2001, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing introduced the Oak Ridges Moraine Protection Act, 2001, establishing a six-month moratorium on development on the Moraine. The Ontario Legislature unanimously passed this Act, which took effect May 17.

Subsequently, the Minister appointed an Advisory Panel of 13 members drawn from key stakeholder groups, plus a Chair, to advise him on a plan for the future of the Moraine. An Inter-Ministry Team of senior Ontario Government officials was also established to work along with the Advisory Panel.

During July 2001, the Advisory Panel met eight times and developed a series of recommendations that were incorporated in a public consultation document - Share Your Vision for the Oak Ridges Moraine - which the Minister released August 14. Following the release of the consultation document, the Advisory Panel met two more times to address some unfinished aspects of its work.

From August 28 through September 13, the Advisory Panel and the Inter-Ministry Team participated in day-long stakeholder sessions and evening public meetings in Uxbridge, Caledon East, Vaughan and Cobourg.

Following this series of stakeholder and public consultation meetings, the Advisory Panel and the Inter-Ministry Team met on September 17, 2001 to finalize their findings and recommendations, which formed the basis of this Plan.

How to Read This Plan

The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan consists of:

  • Introduction
  • Six Sections
  • Land Use Designation Map.

Introduction: Background to the Plan and how to use it.

Section 1, Vision, Purpose and Objectives: Provides overall direction for the Plan.

Section 2, Land Use Designations: For each of the Moraine's four land use designations, describes its purpose, objectives, identification criteria, permitted uses and lot creation policies.

Section 3, Protecting Ecological and Hydrological Integrity: Identifies the Moraine's significant natural, hydrological and landform features and describes specific planning, design and development restrictions and requirements that need to be met to protect the integrity of those features.

Section 4, Specific Land Use Policies: Identifies specific planning, design and development restrictions and requirements that may need to be met for specific uses and activities.

Section 5, Implementation and Interpretation: Describes how the Plan will be implemented and how it may be reviewed and amended in future.

Section 6, Definitions: Defines planning or technical terms used throughout the Plan. Where these terms appear in the Plan in italics, they are defined in this Section. The names of Ontario statutes also appear in italics in the Plan.

Land Use Designation Map: Shows the four designations and the Rural Settlements described in Section 2.

How to Use this Plan

To find out how this Plan affects a specific area or land use or development proposal on the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Plan must be read in its entirety as follows:

  1. Consult the Land Use Designation Map to determine what designation applies to the area.
  2. Consult Section 2 to see the policies for that designation and consult Section 3 to determine any restrictions or requirements that shall be considered to protect ecological and hydrological integrity.
  3. Consult Section 4 to determine any additional restrictions or requirements that may apply for the specific use or activity being considered.
  4. Remember that Section 1, Section 5 (Implementation and Interpretation) and Section 6 (Definitions) apply to all other Plan policies and therefore to all land use or development proposals.

SECTION 1 - VISION, PURPOSE and OBJECTIVES

1.1 Vision for the Oak Ridges Moraine

The Ontario Government's vision for the Oak Ridges Moraine is that of a continuous band of green rolling hills that provides form and structure to south-central Ontario, while protecting the ecological and hydrological features and functions that support the health and well-being of the region's residents and ecosystems.

1.2 Purpose of This Plan

The purpose of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is to provide land use and resource management planning direction to provincial ministers, ministries, and agencies, municipalities, municipal planning authorities, landowners and other stakeholders on how to protect the Moraine's ecological and hydrological features and functions.

1.3 Plan Objectives

The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 establishes the following objectives for the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.

  1. protecting the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine Area;
  2. ensuring that only land and resource uses that maintain, improve or restore the ecological and hydrological functions of the Oak Ridges Moraine Area are permitted;
  3. maintaining, improving and restoring all the elements that contribute to the ecological and hydrological functions of the Oak Ridges Moraine Area, including the quality and quantity of its water and its other resources;
  4. ensuring that the Oak Ridges Moraine Area is maintained as a continuous natural landform and environment for the benefit of present and future generations;
  5. providing for land and resource uses and development that are compatible with these objectives;
  6. providing for continued development within existing urban settlement areas and recognizing existing rural settlements;
  7. providing for a continuous recreational trail through the Oak Ridges Moraine Area that is accessible to all including persons with disabilities; and
  8. any other objectives prescribed by regulation.

SECTION 2 - LAND USE DESIGNATIONS

2.1 Boundaries

The boundary of the Oak Ridges Moraine Area is established by regulation under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 and is shown on the Land Use Designation Map. All references in this Plan to the Oak Ridges Moraine mean the area subject to this Plan, referred to as the Oak Ridges Moraine Area in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001.

The boundary of the Oak Ridges Moraine was originally described in publications prepared by the Ontario Government in 1990 and 1991. This boundary was based on a number of topographical, geomorphological and geological attributes, including the 245 metre (above sea level) contour along the southern boundary of the Moraine from the Town of Richmond Hill to the eastern boundary of the Municipality of Clarington. This boundary has been more precisely defined by a regulation made pursuant to the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001.

This Plan divides the Oak Ridges Moraine into four designations:

  • Natural Core Areas.
  • Natural Linkage Areas.
  • Countryside Areas.
  • Settlement Areas.

Within the Countryside Areas, the Land Use Designation Map also identifies and delineates Rural Settlements. These are existing hamlets or similar small, generally long established communities, that are identified in official plans.

The Land Use Designation Map designated as Map No. ___ to Ontario Regulation ___ shows the boundaries of these designations and the Rural Settlements and their boundaries.

The designations and Rural Settlement boundaries may be more precisely delineated in official plans and zoning bylaws as they are brought into conformity with this Plan, or as otherwise required for administration of this Plan, using the identification criteria in Sections 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5, except where those boundaries are formed by precise features such as roads, railways, power lines, water bodies, or boundaries of original township lots or original township half lots.

2.2 Natural Core Areas

Purpose

The purpose of Natural Core Area designation is to maintain and where possible improve or restore, the ecological and hydrological integrity and quality of critical areas of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Natural Core Areas cover 38 per cent of the Moraine. They have the greatest concentrations of significant features and functions and are critical to maintaining the integrity of the Moraine as a whole.

Objectives

The objectives of Natural Core Areas are to:

  • Maintain, improve, or restore the health, diversity, size and connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features and functions and hydrological features and functions.
  • Maintain or restore natural self-sustaining vegetation and wildlife habitat.
  • Maintain water balance (ground and surface water quantity).
  • Maintain ground and surface water quality.
  • Maintain groundwater recharge.
  • Maintain natural stream form and flow characteristics.
  • Preserve landform character.
  • Accommodate the Oak Ridges Trail and trail connections to it.
  • Provide for limited economic development compatible with the preceding objectives.

Identification Criteria

The following criteria were used to identify Natural Core Areas:

  • Areas with the highest concentration of natural heritage features, each of which is 500 hectares or larger and is at least 50 per cent occupied by Significant Natural Heritage Features as described in Section 3.2.a.
  • Areas that have high concentrations of Hydrologically Sensitive Features as described in Section 3.3.c.
  • Areas that have high concentrations of Landform Conservation Areas (Category 1).

Permitted Uses

  • The following uses are permitted in Natural Core Areas, subject to the policies of Sections 3 and 4:
  • Fish, wildlife and forest management.
  • Conservation and flood and erosion control projects.
  • Agricultural uses.
  • Necessary transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11.
  • Existing uses including one single dwelling per lot.
  • Home businesses within a structure otherwise permitted.
  • Home industries within a structure otherwise permitted.
  • Bed and breakfast establishments and farm vacation homes within a dwelling otherwise permitted.
  • Low-intensity recreation as described in Section 4.7.
  • Accessory uses.

Lot Creation

New lots may be created in Natural Core Areas for the following purposes only and subject to the policies of Sections 3 and 4:

  • Consents to sever from original rural lots fora farm retirement lot or residence surplus to a farming operation, to a cumulative total of one per original rural lot, including all consents granted on or after January 1, 1994.
  • To enable land acquisition for necessary transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11.
  • Consents to sever to enable minor lot line adjustments or to facilitate conveyances for dedication or acquisition of natural heritage lands.
  • Consents to sever two or more original rural lots that have merged in title, provided the severance is along the original township lot or original township half lot lines.

2.3 Natural Linkage Areas

Purpose

The purpose of Natural Linkage Areas, which cover 24 per cent of the Oak Ridges Moraine, is to maintain and where possible improve or restore, the quality and integrity of critical ecological, hydrological and regional scale open space linkages between Natural Core Areas and along river valleys and stream corridors.

Objectives

The objectives of Natural Linkage Areas are to:

  • Maintain, improve, or restore the health, diversity, size and connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features and functions and hydrological features and functions.
  • Maintain or restore natural self-sustaining vegetation over large portions of this designation to facilitate movement of plants and animals.
  • Maintain a natural continuous east-west connection and additional connections to river valleys and streams north and south of the Moraine.
  • Maintain water balance (ground and surface water quantity).
  • Maintain ground and surface water quality.
  • Maintain natural stream form and flow characteristics.
  • Maintain groundwater recharge.
  • Preserve landform character.
  • Accommodate the Oak Ridges Trail and trail connections to it.
  • Provide for limited economic development compatible with the preceding objectives.

Identification Criteria

The following criteria were used to identify Natural Linkage Areas:

  • A central east-west corridor system, the majority of this system is at least two kilometres wide and that supports or has the potential to support movement of plants and animals between the Natural Core Areas and river valleys and stream corridors.
  • Significant Natural Heritage Features as described in Section 3.2.a and Hydrologically Sensitive Features as described in Section 3.3.c that support movement of plants and animals between Natural Core Areas and along river valleys and stream corridors.
  • River valleys and stream corridors that connect Natural Core Areas and other Natural Linkage Areas to significant natural areas outside the Moraine.
  • Natural Linkage Areas also have high concentrations of Hydrologically Sensitive Features as described in Section 3.3.c and other areas important for groundwater recharge.
  • Have high concentrations of Landform Conservation Areas (Categories 1 and 2) as described in Section 3.4.

Permitted Uses

The following uses are permitted in Natural Linkage Areas, subject to the policies of Sections 3 and 4:

  • All uses permitted in Natural Core Areas as specified in Section 2.2.
  • Mineral aggregate operations.
  • Wayside pits.

Lot Creation

New lots may be created in Natural Linkage Areas only as permitted in Natural Core Areas as specified in Section 2.2 and subject to the policies of Sections 3 and 4.

2.4 Countryside Areas

Purpose

The purpose of Countryside Areas, which cover 30 per cent of the Oak Ridges Moraine, is to encourage agricultural and other rural uses that support the Plan's vision and objectives.

Objectives

The objectives of Countryside Areas are to:

  • Protect prime agricultural areas.
  • Provide for the continuation of agricultural and other rural land uses and normal farm practices.
  • Maintain and where possible improve or restore, the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine.
  • Maintain, improve, or restore the health, diversity, size and connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features and functions and hydrological features and functions.
  • Maintain water balance (ground and surface water quantity).
  • Maintain ground and surface water quality.
  • Maintain natural stream form and flow characteristics.
  • Maintain groundwater recharge.
  • Maintain landform character.
  • Maintain the rural character and heritage of the Rural Settlements.
  • Provide for economic development compatible with the preceding objectives.

Identification Criteria

The following criteria were used to identify Countryside Areas:

  • Areas of rural land use such as agriculture, recreation, rural residential development, mineral aggregate extraction, parks and open space.
  • Rural Settlements and the rural areas surrounding them.

Permitted Uses

The following uses are permitted in Countryside Areas, subject to the policies of Sections 3 and 4:

  • All uses permitted in Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas as specified in Sections 2.2 and 2.3.
  • Agriculture-related uses.
  • Outside prime agricultural areas and any other lands in agricultural designations of official plans, small-scale commercial, industrial and institutional uses as described in Section 4.10.
  • Outside prime agricultural areas and any other lands in agricultural designations of official plans, major recreation as described in Section 4.8.
  • In the Palgrave Estates Community as shown on the Land Use Designation Map, rural residential development shall be permitted in accordance with the policies of Sections 3.5 and 4.14 and the Town of Caledon Official Plan.
  • In the City of Kawartha Lakes, the County of Peterborough and the County of Northumberland, rural residential development outside Rural Settlements and prime agricultural areas that is compatible with this Plan, subject to the policies below.

The following shall be in place before any rural residential development applications are considered in the City of Kawartha Lakes, County of Peterborough and County of Northumberland:

  • The municipality shall complete a comprehensive growth management study and rural economic development strategy which demonstrate the need for this type of development;
  • The municipality shall complete a water budget and water conservation plan which demonstrate among other matters, the availability of sufficient water resources to support this type of development;
  • The municipality’s official plan shall conform or be brought into conformity with this Plan and include specific, detailed policies governing this type of development. The official plan policies may further limit the areas within which such development may be permitted and may limit the extent of this type of development. These policies shall also establish strict planning and design standards for countryside residential development to:
  • Encourage clustering or other innovative design and require the disturbance to the natural landscape and environment to be minimized.
  • Maintain and where possible improve or restore, the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Lot Creation

New lots may be created in Countryside Areas for the following purposes and subject to the policies of Sections 3 and 4:

  • All uses permitted in Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas as specified in Sections 2.2 and 2.3.
  • Residential consents or subdivisions for minor infill within Rural Settlements or the minor rounding-out of those Rural Settlements designated in an official plan as appropriate for this type of lot creation. The minor rounding-out of a Rural Settlement is not permitted to encroach into a Natural Core Area or a Natural Linkage Area.
  • Residential consents or subdivisions for rural residential development where permitted in this designation.

2.5 Settlement Areas

Purpose

The purpose of Settlement Areas, which cover 8 per cent of the Oak Ridges Moraine, is to:

  • focus and contain urban growth and
  • minimize the encroachment and impact of development on ecological and hydrological functions and hydrological features.

Objectives

The objectives of Settlement Areas are to:

  • Provide for the continuation and development of urban land uses consistent with the growth management strategies identified in official plans.
  • Maintain, and where possible improve, or restore the health, diversity, size and connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features and functions and hydrological features and functions.
  • Provide for economic development compatible with the preceding objectives.

Identification Criteria

Settlement Areas are those lands designated in approved official plans, for urban type development that permit a range of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional uses.

Permitted Uses

The following uses are permitted, subject to the policies of Sections 3.5 and 4.14: -Uses permitted in urban development designations of official plans.

Lot Creation

New lots may be created in Settlement Areas, subject to the policies of Sections 3.5 and 4.14.


SECTION 3 - PROTECTING ECOLOGICAL AND HYDROLOGICAL INTEGRITY

3.1 General

The policies of Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 apply to development in the Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas only. The policies of Section 3.5 apply to development in the Settlement Areas only. The objective of these policies is to integrate environmental and land use planning in order to maintain, improve, or restore the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Despite any other provision of this Plan, no development or site alteration shall be permitted within the Moraine unless it can be demonstrated that the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine shall be maintained or, where possible, improved or restored.

3.2 Significant Natural Heritage Features

Protection and proper management of the health, diversity, size and connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features and their ecological functions are critical to the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

(a) Significant Natural Heritage Features consist of:

  • Wetlands.
  • Significant portions of the habitat of endangered and threatened species.
  • Fish habitat.
  • Areas of natural and scientific interest (Life Science).
  • Significant valleylands.
  • Significant woodlands.
  • Significant wildlife habitat.

(b) No development or site alteration shall be permitted within Significant Natural Heritage Features, except for the following uses and then only subject to a natural heritage evaluation undertaken in accordance with Section 3.2.c. or an earth science heritage evaluation undertaken in accordance with Section 3.4.f.

  • Fish, wildlife and forest management.
  • Essential conservation and flood or erosion control projects.
  • Necessary transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11.
  • Low-intensity recreation as described in Section 4.7.

(c) Except in the case of an area of natural and scientific interest (Earth Science), all applications for development or site alteration within the Minimum Area of Influence that includes and surrounds each type of Significant Natural Heritage Feature as specified in Table 1 shall be accompanied by a natural heritage evaluation. This evaluation shall:

  • Demonstrate no negative impact on the Significant Natural Heritage Feature or the functions it was identified to protect.
  • Identify planning, design and construction practices that shallmaintainand improve or restore, the health, diversity and size of the Feature and its connections with other Features.
  • If the development or site alteration is in a Natural Core Area or Natural Linkage Area, demonstrate how connections within and between Features shall be maintained, improved or restored before, during and after construction.
  • Require a Self-Sustaining Vegetation Protection Zone including and surrounding the Feature equalling or exceeding the minimum specified in Table 1 and require the maintenance or restoration of natural self-sustaining vegetation within the Zone.
  • If the Feature is fish habitat, ensure compliance with the requirements of the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

(d) All applications for development or site alteration shall incorporate planning, design and construction practices which:

  • Maintain connectivity between natural features or areas which function as natural corridors for the movement of plants and animals.
  • Ensure that no buildings or site alterations impede the movement of plants and animals between Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features or adjacent lands within Natural Core Areas or Natural Linkage Areas.

3.3 Hydrological Features

Maintenance, improvement or restoration of hydrological features and functions and sustainable use of water, in accordance with watershed plans and water budgets, are critical to the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine. These policies determine how, where and if development can be accommodated.

Watershed Plans

(a) All upper-tier and single-tier municipalities within the area to which the Plan applies shall commence preparation of watershed plans for watersheds whose headwaters are within the Plan within one year from the date the Plan takes effect. Municipalities must amend and incorporate watershed plans into their official plan as described in Section 5.4.c. All large-scale development will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis until a watershed plan is in place. After five years from the date the Plan takes effect, large-scale development will only be permitted where a watershed plan, prepared in accordance with this Plan, is completed by the municipality and such development is in conformity with the watershed plan. The goal of watershed plans is to protect the ecological and hydrological integrity of the watershed. Watershed plans shall include the following:

  • A water budget and water conservation plan as set out in Section 3.3.b.
  • Identification of land and water use and management strategies.
  • Criteria to protect water quality and quantity and hydrological features and functions.
  • A framework for implementation, which includes more detailed plans covering smaller areas such as subwatershed plans and environmental management plans.
  • An environmental monitoring plan.
  • Environmental management practices and programs such as pollution prevention, reduced pesticide use and road salt management.

Water Budgets and Water Conservation Plans

(b) All upper-tier and single-tier municipalities within the area to which the Plan applies shall commence preparation of water budgets and water conservation plans on a watershed basis within one year from the date the Plan takes effect. Municipalities must amend and incorporate water budgets and water conservation plans into their official plans as described in Section 5.4.c. After five years from the date the Plan takes effect, large-scale development will only be permitted where a water budget and water conservation plan prepared in accordance with this Plan, are completed by the municipality and where the water budget and water conservation plan demonstrate the necessary water supply for such development is sustainable without compromising the ecological and hydrological intergrity of the Moraine.

Notwithstanding, for the area of York Region served by the Yonge Street Aquifer, the water budget and water conservation plan must be completed within two years from the date the Plan takes effect. York Region must amend and incorporate the water budget and water conservation plan into its official plan as described in Section 5.4.c. After two years from the date the Plan takes effect, large-scale development will only be permitted where a water budget and water conservation plan prepared in accordance with this Plan, are completed by the municipality, and where the water budget and water conservation plan demonstrate the necessary water supply for such development is sustainable without compromising the ecological and hydrological intergrity of the Moraine.

Water budgets and water conservation plans shall include the following:

  • Quantification of components of water balance equation (precipitation, evapotranspiration, groundwater inflow and outflow, surface water outflow, change in storage, water withdrawals and water returns).
  • Modelling to characterize groundwater and surface water flow systems.
  • Identification of targets to meet water needs of ecosystems.
  • Identification of availability, quantity and quality of water sources.
  • Identification of water conservation goals.
  • Development of a water-use profile and forecast.
  • Evaluation of plans for water facilities.
  • Identification and evaluation of water conservation measures such as hardware devices or management practices.
  • Identification and evaluation of incentives for water conservation such as public education and full cost pricing.
  • Identification and promotion of opportunities for water reuse, recycling and associated practices and technologies.
  • Analysis of costs and benefits.
  • Selection of water conservation measures and incentives.
  • Implementation plan that integrates water supply and demand function.
  • Monitoring for effectiveness of the water conservation plan.

(b.1) Large-scale development may be permitted up to five years from the date the Plan takes effect only where the applicant demonstrates that an adequate water supply is available without compromising the ecological and hydrological intergrity of the Moraine, and has satisfied on a site-specific basis, the following requirements below for water budgets and water conservation plans for the development site and such parts of the abutting or nearby lands as is necessary:

  • Modelling to characterize groundwater and surface water flow systems.
  • Identification of availability, quantity and quality of water sources.
  • Identification of water conservation measures.

(b.2) Notwithstanding Section (b.1) above, for the area of York Region serviced by the Yonge Street Aquifer, large-scale development may be permitted up to two years from the date the Plan takes effect only where the applicant demonstrates that an adequate water supply is available without compromising the ecological and hydrological intergrity of the Moraine, and has satisfied on a site-specific basis, the following requirements below for water budgets and water conservation plans for the development site and such parts of the abutting or nearby lands as is necessary:

  • Modelling to characterize groundwater and surface water flow systems.
  • Identification of availability, quantity and quality of water sources.
  • Identification of water conservation measures.

(c) Hydrologically Sensitive Features consist of:

  • Permanent and intermittent streams.
  • Wetlands.
  • Kettle lakes.
  • Seepage areas and springs.

(d) No development or site alteration shall be permitted within Hydrologically Sensitive Features, and within the Minimum Area of Influence as specified on Table 1 for permanent and intermittent streams and seepage areas and springs, except for the following uses and then only subject to a hydrological evaluation undertaken in accordance with Section 3.3.e.

  • Fish, wildlife and forest management.
  • Essential conservation and flood or erosion control projects.
  • Necessary transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11.
  • Low intensity recreation as described in Section 4.7.

(e) All applications for development or site alteration within the Minimum Area of Influence for wetlands and kettle lakes as specified in Table 1, shall be accompanied by a hydrological evaluation. This evaluation shall:

  • Demonstrate no negative impact on the Hydrologically Sensitive Features or the functions it was identified to protect.
  • Identify planning, design and construction practices that shall maintain and improve or restore, the health, diversity and size of the Feature and its connections with other Features.
  • Require a Self-Sustaining Vegetation Protection Zone including and surrounding the Feature equalling or exceeding the minimum specified in Table 1 and require the maintenance or restoration of natural self-sustaining vegetation within the Zone.

(f) No development or site alteration, outside of Settlement Areas, shall be permitted that would cause the total percentage of impervious surfaces to exceed 10% of the area of any subwatershed. Notwithstanding, a watershed plan may specify a lower percentage based on a watershed study.

(g) A minimum of 30% of a subwatershed shall be maintained in, or where possible be restored to, a self-sustaining vegetative state.

(h) Despite any other provision of this Plan, the following uses and industries are not permitted within wellhead protection areas, as designated in official plans in accordance with Section 4.12.d and areas highly vulnerable to groundwater contamination:

  • Underground and above ground storage tanks not equipped with an approved secondary containment device.
  • Storage of toxic or hazardous materials.
  • Waste management systems.
  • Automobile service stations.
  • Commercial or industrial dry cleaning.
  • Warehousing or bulk storage or petroleum products, household or industrial cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemicals
  • Airports.
  • Transit or railway stations.
  • Auto wrecking and salvage yards.
  • Foundries, non-ferrous metal smelting and refining, casting operations
  • Metal finishing operations (electroplating, electrocoating, galvinizing, painting, application of baked enamel)
  • Manufacturing of motor vehicles, trucks, bus bodies, aircraft and aircraft parts, trailers, rail cars, mobile homes, ships and boats.
  • Vehicle stampings.
  • Wood and wood product preservation and wood treatment.
  • Manufacturing of the following:
  • reinforced fibreglass plastic
  • industrial chemicals
  • adhesives
  • paints and varnish
  • printing inks
  • plastics and synthetic resins
  • electronic components (semiconductors, printed circuit boards, cathode-ray tubes)
  • small electrical appliances
  • major electrical appliances
  • wet electrical equipment
  • dry electrical industrial equipment
  • unfinished fabricated metal products
  • vehicle engines
  • engine parts
  • wheels and brakes
  • motor vehicle wiring
  • leather products
  • steering and suspension products
  • pharmaceutical and medicines
  • jewellery and precious metals
  • soaps and toilet preparations
  • lighting fixtures
  • electric lamps
  • wet batteries
  • cable and wire.

(i) Municipalities may designate restricted haulage routes to protect wellhead protection areas and areas highly vulnerable to groundwater contamination.

(j) For uses listed in Section 3.3.h municipalities shall ensure that owners and operators prepare and adhere to site management and contingency plans.

3.4 Landform Conservation Areas

Protection of landform features is critical to maintaining the landform and open space character of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

(a) Two categories of Landform Conservation Areas have been identified.

(b) All applications for development or site alteration, except for mineral aggregate operations, within Landform Conservation Areas (Category 1) shall implement planning, design and construction practices that shall keep disturbance to landform character to an absolute minimum, including:

  • Maintaining significant landform features such as steep slopes, kames, kettles, ravines and ridges in their natural undisturbed form.
  • Keeping the cumulative disturbed portion of the net developable area of the site to not more than 25 per cent of the total area.
  • Keeping cumulative impervioussurfaces area within the net developable area of the site to not more than 15 per cent of the total area.

(c) All applications for development or site alteration, except for mineral aggregate operations, within Landform Conservation Areas (Category 2) shall implement planning, design and construction practices that shall keep disturbance to landform character to a minimum, including:

  • Maintaining significant landform features such as steep slopes, kames, kettles, ravines and ridges, in their natural undisturbed form.
  • Keeping the cumulative disturbed portion of the net developable area of the site to not more than 60 per cent of the total area.
  • Keeping cumulative impervioussurfaces within the net developable area of the site to not more than 20 per cent of the total area.

(d) All applications for large-scale development within Landform Conservation Areas (Categories 1 and 2) shall be accompanied by a landform conservation plan. The plan's map or maps shall include as a minimum the following:

  • Elevation contours in sufficient detail to show the basic topographic character of the site, with an interval of not more than two metres.
  • Analysis of the site by slope type.
  • Significant landform features such as steep slopes, kames, kettles, ravines and ridges.
  • Distinctive landform units or types, where appropriate.
  • All water bodies including intermittent streams and ponds.

The landform conservation plan shall alsoinclude a development strategy to implement appropriate planning, design and construction practices that minimize disruption to landform character, including:

  • Retention of distinctive landform features in an open, undisturbed form.
  • Road alignment and building placement to minimize grading requirements.
  • Concentration of development onto the less significant landform features of the site.
  • Use of innovative building design to minimize grading requirements.
  • Use of selective grading techniques.

(e) All applications for development or site alteration, except for mineral aggregate operations within Landform Conservation Areas (Categories 1 and 2) that do not constitute large-scale development shall be accompanied by a site plan that:

  • Protects areas of natural and scientific interest (Earth Science) in accordance with Section 3.4.f.
  • Identifies the areas within which all building, grading and related construction shall occur.
  • Demonstrates that buildings and structures shall be located within the site so as to minimize the amount of site alteration required.

(f) All applications for development or site alteration within the Minimum Area of Influence as specified on Table 1, that includes and surrounds an area of natural and scientific interest (Earth Science) shall be accompanied by an earth science heritage evaluation. This evaluation shall:

  • Identify planning, design and construction practices that shall ensure protection of the geological or geomorphological attributes for which the area of natural and scientific interest was identified.
  • Require a protection zone if the evaluation determines that any zone is required and maintain or restore natural self-sustaining vegetation within the zone.

3.5 Protecting Ecological and Hydrological Integrity in Settlement Areas

The Significant Natural Heritage Feature, Hydrologically Sensitive Feature and significant landform conservation requirements that apply to development and site alteration in Settlement Areas are as follows.

(a) No development or site alteration shall be permitted within Significant Natural Heritage Features as described in Section 3.2.a except as permitted in the policies of Section 3.2.b.

(b) Development or site alteration shall only be permitted within the Minimum Area of Influence that includes and surrounds each type of Significant Natural Heritage Feature subject to the policies of Section 3.2.c or 3.4.f, as appropriate.

(c) No development or site alteration shall be permitted within Hydrologically Sensitive Features as described in Sections 3.3.c and subject to the policies of Section 3.3.d. and 3.3.e, as appropriate.

(d) Section 3.3.a and 3.3.b regarding watershed plans, water budgets and water conservation plans apply to Settlement Areas.

(e) Despite any other provision of this Plan, the following uses and industries are not permitted within wellhead protection areas, as designated in official plans in accordance with Section 4.12.d and areas highly vulnerable to groundwater contamination:

  • Underground and above ground storage tanks not equipped with an approved secondary containment device.
  • Storage of toxic or hazardous materials.
  • Waste management systems.
  • Automobile service stations.
  • Commercial or industrial dry cleaning.
  • Warehousing or bulk storage or petroleum products, household or industrial cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemicals
  • Airports.
  • Transit or railway stations.
  • Auto wrecking and salvage yards.
  • Foundries, non-ferrous metal smelting and refining, casting operations
  • Metal finishing operations (electroplating, electrocoating, galvinizing, painting, application of baked enamel)
  • Manufacturing of motor vehicles, trucks, bus bodies, aircraft and aircraft parts, trailers, rail cars, mobile homes, ships and boats.
  • Vehicle stampings.
  • Wood and wood product preservation and wood treatment.
  • Manufacturing of the following:
  • reinforced fibreglass plastic
  • industrial chemicals
  • adhesives
  • paints and varnish
  • printing inks
  • plastics and synthetic resins
  • electronic components (semiconductors, printed circuit boards, cathode-ray tubes)
  • small electrical appliances
  • major electrical appliances
  • wet electrical equipment
  • dry electrical industrial equipment
  • unfinished fabricated metal products
  • vehicle engines
  • engine parts
  • wheels and brakes
  • motor vehicle wiring
  • leather products
  • steering and suspension products
  • pharmaceutical and medicines
  • jewellery and precious metals
  • soaps and toilet preparations
  • lighting fixtures
  • electric lamps
  • wet batteries
  • cable and wire.

(f) Municipalities may designate restricted haulage routes to protect wellhead protection areas and areas highly vulnerable to groundwater contamination.

(g) For uses listed in Section 3.3.h municipalities shall ensure that owners and operators prepare and adhere to site management and contingency plans.

(h) In subwatersheds containing Settlement areas, efforts shall be made as part of the development plans and construction activities to incorporate as much of the existing natural vegetation as possible as part of the development.

(i) In subwatersheds containing Settlement Areas, where the total percentage of impervious surfaces exceeds or shall ultimately exceed 10% as a result of committed development, every effort shall be made to minimize impervious surfaces and their impacts.

(j) All applications for development or site alteration within Landform Conservation Areas (Categories 1 and 2) shall identify planning, design and construction practices that shall minimize disturbance to landform character by making best efforts to achieve the objectives of Sections 3.4.b, 3.4.c, 3.4.d and/or 3.4.e, as appropriate.

TABLE 1: SIGNIFICANT NATURAL HERITAGE FEATURES AND HYDROLOGICALLY
SENSITIVE FEATURES, AREAS OF INFLUENCE AND VEGETATION PROTECTION ZONES

Feature Minimum Area of Influence
See Sections 3.2.c, 3.3.d,
3.3.e and 3.4.f
Minimum Self-Sustaining
Vegetation Protection Zone
See Sections 3.2.c,
Wetlands All lands within 120 m or the surface catchment area, whichever is greater
All lands within 30 m
Significant portions of habitat of endangered and threatened species All lands within 120 m As determined by an evaluation carried out under Section 3.2.c
Fish Habitat All lands within 120 m All lands within 30 m
Areas of natural and scientific interest (Life Science) All lands within 120 m All lands within 30 m
Areas of natural and scientific interest (Earth Science) All lands within 50 m As determined by an evaluation carried out under Section 3.4.f
Significant valleylands All lands within 120 m of stable top of bank All lands within 30 m of stable top of bank
Significant woodlands All lands within 120 m All lands within 30 m of the base of the trunks or within 10 m of the driplines of the outermost trees within the woodland, whichever is greater
Significant wildlife habitat All lands within 120 m As determined by an evaluation carried out under Section 3.2.c
Kettle lakes All lands within 120 m All lands within the surface catchment area
Permanent and intermittent streams All lands within 120 m of the meander belt  
Seepage areas and springs All lands within 120 m  

It should be noted that wherever overlap occurs between the above provisions for certain features or for multiple features, the most restrictive provisions apply.


SECTION 4 - SPECIFIC LAND USE POLICIES

4.1 General

The policies of Section 4.2, 4.3 and 4.13 apply to all development within the Oak Ridges Moraine. The policies of Sections 4.4 through 4.11 apply to development in the Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas only. The policies of Section 4.14 apply to development in the Settlement Areas only. These policies provide additional direction about specific uses and activities mentioned in Sections 2 and 3 and identify planning, design and development restrictions and requirements that may apply to those uses.

4.2 Existing Uses

(a) All existing uses, buildings and structures shall be permitted to continue.

(b) Existing buildings and structures may be permitted to expand without a change in use, provided the applicant demonstrates that the expansion shall maintain, improve, or restore the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine.

(c) An existing building or structure may be rebuilt within the same location and dimensions and without a change in use. The rebuilt building or structure shall be deemed to be an existing use provided the use is not intensified.

(d) An existing use may be converted to a similar or more compatible use, provided: -the site can support the conversion without adversely affecting the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine, or -the conversion brings the use into closer conformity with this Plan.

(e) Despite Section 4.2.d, in the Natural Core Areas, existing mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits may not be expanded beyond their existing licence or permit areas.

(f) Where an existing use has an adverse ecological or hydrological effect, the objective shall be to bring the use into closer conformity with this Plan.

(g) Existing uses, buildings and structures do not include uses, buildings and structures that existed, but did not comply with the applicable zoning on the date the Plan takes effect. Such uses shall be subject to the provisions of this Plan.

4.3 Approved Uses

Uses, buildings and structures that received planning or building approvals before the date the Plan takes effect may continue to proceed as provided for in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001.

4.4 Lot Creation

(a) Lot creation is permitted for the purposes described in Section 2 and in accordance with the policies of Section 4.4 and with official plans and zoning bylaws that conform with this Plan.

(b) Plans of subdivision in Countryside Areas as permitted by Section 2.4 shall be designed to:

  • Place Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features in large, continuous open space blocks designed to ensure connectivity of the Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features.
  • Design lots and roads to minimize stream crossings and extensions into Significant Natural Heritage Features.

The municipality shall enter into subdivision and site plan agreements with the applicant, provisions of which shall require that a natural self-sustaining vegetation zone be provided, maintained or restored to ensure the long-term protection of any Significant Natural Heritage Features or Hydrologically Sensitive Features on the lots created.

(c) When lots are to be created through a consent, the municipality shall amend its zoning by-law and/or enter into an agreement with the applicant that shall ensure there is enough net developable area on both the severed lot and the retained lot to accommodate proposed dwellings and accessory uses so that Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features shall not be encroached upon by development.

The municipality shall amend its zoning bylaw and/or enter into an agreement with the applicant, provisions of which shall require that a natural self-sustaining vegetation zone be provided, maintained or restored to ensure the long-term protection of any Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features on the lots created.

(d) Lot creation through consent that would extend or promote strip development along provincial highways or municipal roads shall not be permitted.

4.5 Agricultural Uses

Despite any other policies of this Plan, municipal official plan policies shall not be more restrictive than the Permitted Use policies in this Plan for agricultural uses as set out in Sections 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4.

(a) Permitted accessory uses to agricultural uses include, but are not limited to: -Roadside sale of produce of the farm operation. -Manufacture of value-added products from the farm operation.

(b) A second dwelling which is a temporary mobile or portable unit may be permitted as an accessory use to an agricultural use, provided the applicant can demonstrate that the dwelling:

  • Is required to house help needed on the farm operation on a seasonal or full-time basis.
  • Does not require a consent.
  • Does not adversely affect the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

4.6 Mineral Aggregate Operations

Despite any other policies of this Plan, municipal official plan policies shall not be more restrictive than the policies in this Plan for mineral aggregate operations.

(a) Applications for mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits shall demonstrate that:

  • The health, diversity, size and connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features on and adjacent to the site shall be maintained, improved, or restored,
  • Water quality and quantity shall be maintained, improved, or restored.
  • As much of the site as is feasible shall be rehabilitated to natural self-sustaining vegetation
  • Protection of the geological or geomorphological attributes for which areas of natural and scientific interest (Earth Science) have been identified

(b) Applications for mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits in Natural Linkage Areas shall demonstrate that:

  • The conditions of Section 4.6.a shall be met.
  • There shall be no extraction within 1.5 metres of the water table.
  • The entire site shall be rehabilitated to natural self-sustaining vegetation.
  • The site shall be extracted and progressively rehabilitated as quickly as possible.

(c) At least 1.25 km of the width of a Natural Linkage Area shall at all times remain outside mineral aggregate operation and wayside pit licence or permit areas, excepting those portions of licence or permit areas where rehabilitation has been completed.

(d) Applications for mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits may be considered within portions of Significant Natural Heritage Features in Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas that are occupied by young plantations or early successional habitat. Such applications shall demonstrate that:

  • The long-term ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine shall be maintained, or improved or restored where possible.
  • The area within the Significant Natural Heritage Features shall be extracted and rehabilitated as early as possible in the life of the operation.
  • The area extracted shall be rehabilitated to natural self-sustaining vegetation of equal or greater ecological value.

(e) Applications for mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits may be considered within Landform Conservation Areas (Categories 1 and 2) in Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas and shall demonstrate that:

  • The area extracted shall be rehabilitated to a landform character that blends in with the landform patterns of the adjacent lands.
  • The long-term ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine shall be maintained, or improved or restored where possible.

(f) Municipalities shall be encouraged to work with the aggregate industry to undertake comprehensive master rehabilitation plans in areas of the Moraine where there are multiple existing or potential mineral aggregate operations.

4.7 Low-Intensity Recreation

(a) Low-intensity recreation uses usually have minimal impact on the natural environment and require very little terrain or vegetation modification and few, if any, buildings or structures. These uses include, but are not limited to, non-motorized trail activities, natural heritage appreciation, picnicking activities in municipal forests and on conservation authority lands and unserviced camping on public and institutional lands.

(b) Small-scale structures that support low-intensity recreation,suchastrails, boardwalks, footbridges, docks, small parking areas, washrooms and picnic facilities and including the Oak Ridges Trail as described in Section 4.9, are permitted, provided the proponent demonstrates that impacts on the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine shall be minimized by:

  • Keeping disturbed areas to an absolute minimum.
  • Avoiding the most sensitive portions of the site, such as steep slopes, organic soils and significant portions of the habitat of endangered or threatened species.

4.8 Major Recreation

(a) Major recreation uses require large-scale terrain and/or vegetation modification and may also require major buildings and structures. These uses include, but are not limited to, golf courses, sports fields, serviced campgrounds and ski hills.

(b) Applications to establish or expand a major recreation use shall be accompanied by a plan that demonstrates that:

  • Water use for maintenance and/or snow-making shall be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Areas that shall be grassed, watered and manicured shall be limited to sports field surfaces, golf fairways, tees and greens and landscaped areas around building and structures.
  • Stream crossings, including intermittent stream crossings, shall be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Water-conserving technologies, such as low-flow toilets and shower heads, shall be used in clubhouses and restaurants.
  • Water-conserving technologies, such as timed irrigation systems designed to reduce evaporation losses and recycling of water from under greens, shall be used in the irrigation and watering of sports field surfaces, golf fairways, tees and greens and other landscaped areas.
  • Stormwater treatment facilities shall capture and treat runoff from impervious surfaces.
  • New water management technologies shall be explored and incorporated as they become available, to help maintain or improve the ecological and hydrological integrity of the development.

(c) Applications to establish or expand a major recreation use shall be accompanied by a vegetation management plan that demonstrates that:

  • Application of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides shall be kept to an absolute minimum and shall be limited to sports field surfaces, golf fairways, tees and greens and landscaped areas around buildings and structures.
  • The grass mixtures used for sports field surfaces and golf fairways shall require minimal watering and upkeep.
  • Wherever possible, intermittent stream channels and drainage swales shall be kept in a free-to-grow, low-maintenance condition.
  • New vegetation management technologies shall be explored and incorporated as they become available, to help maintain or improve the ecological and hydrological integrity of the development.

(d) All applications to establish or expand a major recreation use shall demonstrate that:

  • All recreational activities shall be compatible with the natural heritage character of the surrounding area.
  • Recreational activities shall be designed and located not to conflict with adjacent land uses.
  • New recreational technologies shall be explored and incorporated as they become available to help maintain or improve the ecological and hydrological integrity of the development.

4.9 Oak Ridges Trail

(a) An Oak Ridges Trail system shall be established to provide continuous access and travel along the entire Moraine.

(b) The Oak Ridges Trail system shall be designed so that it: -Maintains the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine. -Is located in the Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas as much as possible. -Is located away from opened road allowances as much as possible.

(c) Despite any other provision of the Plan, the following uses and structures may be permitted on the Oak Ridges Trail system:

  • Walking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, cycling and other non-motorized trail uses.
  • Parking, signage, washrooms and interpretive facilities to support access to and interpretation of the Trail. -Fencing to define and protect the Trail.
  • Works to improve access to, and remove barriers for all including persons with disabilities and use of the Trail and to protect ecologically sensitive portions of the Trail.
  • Conservation and erosion control to protect or restore natural features and functions along the Trail.

4.10 Small-Scale Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Uses

(a) Small-scale commercial, industrial and institutional uses are normally found in agricultural and other rural areas and do not require large-scale terrain and/or vegetation modification or major buildings and structures. These uses include, but are not limited to:

  • Schools, places of worship, community halls, retirement homes and cemeteries.
  • Portable aggregate crushing plants.
  • Portable asphalt plants.
  • Composting plants.

Only smaller-scale commercial and industrial uses listed as Permitted Uses in Sections 2.2 and 2.3 are permitted in Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas, and these uses are not subject to Section 4.10. These types of smaller-scale commercial and industrial uses are also permitted in Countryside Areas and these uses are also not subject to Section 4.10.

(b) Applications for small-scale commercial, industrial and institutional uses in Countryside Areas shall demonstrate that:

  • The use is normally considered supportive of, complementary to, or essential to a use permitted in Countryside Areas.
  • It is not feasible to locate the use in a Settlement Area.
  • The use shall be planned, designed and constructed to not adversely affect the rural character of the Countryside Areas or the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

4.11 Transportation, Infrastructure and Utilities

(a) Permitted transportation, infrastructure and utilities uses consist of:

  • Provincial highways and municipal roads.
  • Transit lines and facilities.
  • Railways.
  • Gas and oil pipelines.
  • Sewage and water service systems and lines.
  • Stormwater management facilities.
  • Power transmission lines.
  • Telecommunications lines and facilities.
  • Broadcasting towers.
  • Bridges, interchanges, stations and other structures, above and below ground, required for the construction, operation, or use of the preceding facilities.
  • Rights-of-way required for the preceding facilities.

(b) Necessary new transportation, infrastructure and utilities may be permitted in Natural Linkage Areas, provided the proponent demonstrates, subject to safety standards, that:

  • The area of construction disturbance shall be minimized.
  • Right-of-way widths shall be minimized, consistent with meeting other objectives such as stormwater management and locating the greatest number of transportation, infrastructure and utility uses within a single corridor.
  • The project shall allow for wildlife movement.
  • Lighting shall be focussed downwards and/or away from Natural Core Areas.
  • Planning, siting, design and construction practices adopted shall keep to an absolute minimum negative impacts on the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

(c) Necessary new transportation, infrastructure and utilities may be permitted in Natural Core Areas, provided the proponent demonstrates that:

  • The conditions of Section 4.11.b shall be met.
  • The project does not include and shall not require in the future any highway interchange or transit or railway station.
  • The project is located as close as possible to the edge of the Natural Core Areas.

(d) Except as permitted in Section 4.11.e, no new transportation, infrastructure and utilities and no upgrading or extension of existing linear transportation, infrastructure and utilities, including the opening of a road within an unopened road allowance, are permitted within Significant Natural Heritage Features or Hydrologically Sensitive Features.

(e) Necessary transportation, infrastructure and utilities may be permitted to cross Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features, provided the proponent demonstrates that:

  • Planning, siting, design and construction practices adopted shall keep negative impacts on the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine to an absolute minimum.
  • Design practices adopted shall maintain, improve, or restore key ecological, recreational and community linkages including the Oak Ridges Trail.
  • Landscape design shall adapt to site conditions and use native plant species as much as possible, especially along linear rights-of-way.
  • Long-term landscape management practices adopted shall improve or restore the health, size, diversity and connectivity of the Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features.

(f) Design and construction of service and utility trenches shall keep disruption of the natural groundwater flow to an absolute minimum.

4.12 Sewage and Water Services

(a) All applications for large-scale development shall be accompanied by a sewage and water system plan which shall demonstrate:

  • Maintenance of the integrity of hydrological features and Significant Natural Heritage Features.
  • Maintenance of ground and surface water quantity and quality.
  • Maintenance of stream base flows.
  • The application is in accordance with the watershed plan, water budget and water conservation plan.
  • That the water use is sustainable.

(b) All water and sewer service trenches shall be designed and constructed to prevent disruption to the natural groundwater flow system.

(c) No new partial services, or expansions of existing partial services, shall be permitted, except in the Palgrave Estates Community in the Town of Caledon.

(d) Municipalities shall incorporate in their official plans policies that:

  • Identify and designate wellhead protection areas around all existing and new wells for municipal water services.
  • Restrict uses within wellhead protection areas that could adversely affect the quality or quantity of groundwater reaching the well.

4.13 Stormwater Management

(a) Applications for large-scale development shall be accompanied by a stormwater management plan developed in accordance with this Plan and, where one exists, a watershed plan as described in Section 3.3.a. The stormwater management plan shall demonstrate:

  • Maintenance of groundwater and stream base flow.
  • Protection of water quality.
  • Protection of aquatic species and habitat.
  • Prevention of undesirable stream channel erosion.
  • Prevention of any increase in flood risk.

(b) All applications for development and site alteration except mineral aggregate operations shall incorporate planning, design and construction practices for site development that shall protect water resources, including:

  • Keeping vegetation removal, grading and soil compaction to an absolute minimum.
  • Retaining within the site all sediment eroded during construction.
  • Seeding or sodding exposed soils as soon as possible after construction.
  • Ensuring that chemical applications to suppress dust and control pests and vegetation are be kept to a minimum.

(c) For the purposes of stormwater management, enhanced protection shall be the minimum criterion for water quality.

(d) All large-scale development shall use an integrated treatment train approach for stormwater management. This approach involves a planned sequence of controlling stormwater and minimizing its impacts in order to meet the objectives of Section 4.13.a:

  • Within lots, for example, by directing roof discharge to rear yard ponding areas or soakaway pits.
  • During its conveyance from lots, for example, by using grassed swales.
  • Where it is finally discharged, for example, by using wet ponds.

(e) In considering applications for development and site alteration except for mineral aggregate operations municipalities shall seek to reduce impervious surfaces and increase areas retained in a natural undisturbed state as described in Sections 3.3.f and 3.3.g, to minimize stormwater volumes and contaminant loads. Municipalities shall review and revise their development standards to incorporate planning and design practices that shall allow development plans with less impervious surface and also provide the flexibility to incorporate appropriate lot level and conveyance controls.

(f) Despite any other provision of this Plan, rapid infiltration columns or rapid infiltration basins, are not permitted.

(g) Despite any other provision of this Plan, new stormwater management facilities are not permitted within Hydrologically Sensitive Features or Significant Natural Heritage Features.

4.14 Specific Land Use Policies in Settlement Areas

The specific land use policies that apply to development and site alteration in Settlement Areas and provide additional direction about specific uses and activities mentioned in Sections 2 and 3.5, are as follows.

(a) The policies of Sections 4.2, 4.3, 4.12 and 4.13 apply to Settlement Areas unless specifically mentioned otherwise.

(b) Transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11.a may be permitted to cross Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features, provided the proponent meets the requirements of Section 4.11.e.


SECTION 5 - IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

5.1 Status and Effect of This Plan

(a) The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan takes effect on the date the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 comes into force.

(b) The decisions of municipalities, municipal planning authorities, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ontario Municipal Board on applications subject to this Plan as described in Section 5.2 shall conform with the policies of this Plan. Where official plans and zoning bylaws are less restrictive than this Plan, the policies of this Plan shall take precedence.

(c) The policies of this Plan do not abrogate or derogate from any Aboriginal or treaty right recognized or affirmed by the Constitution Act. The Ontario Government shall consult with Aboriginal peoples about decisions that may affect the use of Crown land and resources that are subject to Aboriginal and treaty rights within the Oak Ridges Moraine.

5.2 Applications Subject to This Plan

(a) All applications, matters, or proceedings pertaining to lands in Settlement Areas, that were commenced but not decided upon before the date the Plan takes effect, are not subject to this Plan.

(b) All applications, matters, or proceedings pertaining to lands in Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas, that were commenced but not decided upon before the date the Plan takes effect, are subject to the policies of Sections 3.2.b, 3.2.d, 3.3(b.1) and 4.13.f.

(c) All applications, matters, or proceedings pertaining to lands in the Oak Ridges Moraine that are commenced on or after the date the Plan takes effect are subject to this Plan.

5.3 Provincial Obligations and Technical Support

(a) The decisions and actions of every Ontario Government ministry and agency in exercising authority and undertaking responsibilities relevant to this Plan shall conform with this Plan.

(b) The Ontario Government shall make available to users of this Plan maps showing the boundaries of and technical information on, the Significant Natural Heritage Features including providing criteria for the identification and mapping of these features, Hydrologically Sensitive Features and Landform Conservation Areas and areas highly vulnerable to groundwater contamination, as described in Section 3.

(c) The Ontario Government shall update existing technical guidelines or develop new ones as required to help the users of this Plan to better understand, interpret and implement the policies of this Plan. These shall include, but not be limited to, manuals on:

  • Natural heritage.
  • Landform conservation.
  • Stormwater management planning, design and implementation.
  • Water budget and water conservation plan preparation.
  • Watershed and subwatershed plan preparation

(d) The Ontario Government, in partnership with municipalities, conservation authorities and other appropriate stakeholders, shall develop and maintain a data management system to collect, store, update and share natural heritage, water resources and geotechnical information needed to interpret, apply and monitor the policies of this Plan.

5.4 Municipal Implementation

(a) The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 directs municipalities to bring their official plans into conformity with this Plan.

(b) Nothing in this Plan is intended to prevent municipalities from adopting official plan policies and zoning bylaw provisions that are more restrictive than the policies of this Plan, unless prohibited by this Plan. The Ontario Government encourages municipalities to develop additional policies for the Oak Ridges Moraine that support, complement, or exceed the policies of this Plan.

(c) Municipalities shall amend and incorporate into their official plan the watershed plans as set out in Section 3.3.a and water budgets and water conservation plans as set out in Section 3.3.b.

5.5 Performance Indicators and Monitoring

(a) The Ontario Government, in consultation with municipalities, shall over time identify performance indicators for monitoring the effectiveness of this Plan.

(b) The Ontario Government, in partnership with appropriate stakeholders, shall establish a monitoring network to collect, summarize and evaluate performance indicator data to:

  • Assess changes in the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Moraine.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the policies of this Plan in achieving the Plan's vision and objectives.
  • Help identify improvements that would address problems encountered in implementing this Plan.

5.6 Plan Review and Amendment

(a) This Plan is a long-term strategic plan that shall be formally reviewed once every 10 years and, if appropriate, amended to:

  • Include new, updated, or corrected information.
  • Improve the effectiveness and relevance of its policies.
  • Reflect changed or new priorities of the Ontario Government.

(b) The 10 year review cannot consider reducing the total areas of Natural Core Areas and Natural Linkage Areas.

(c) A 10-year review of this Plan shall consider:

  • The need to change or refine the boundaries of the Countryside Areas and Settlement Areas.
  • The continued appropriateness and relevance of the Plan's vision, purpose, objectives and policies.
  • The effectiveness of the Plan's policies in meeting the Plan's vision and objectives.
  • New, updated, or corrected information.
  • New science, technologies, or practices that shall improve the Plan's effectiveness.
  • Any other matter that the Ontario Government deems appropriate.

(d) Consideration of the need to change or refine the boundaries of Settlement Areas as part of a 10-year review shall require a justification study prepared by the upper-tier or single-tier municipality that comprehensively demonstrates that:

  • There are not enough lands designated in the official plan to meet the municipality's short-term growth needs.
  • Opportunities for infilling, intensification and redevelopmenttoaccommodate some or all of the anticipated growth in existing Settlement Areas in the municipality have been fully evaluated.
  • Opportunities for Settlement Areas in other municipalities, or for urban areas outside the Oak Ridges Moraine, to accommodate some or all of the anticipated growth have been fully evaluated.
  • The new Settlement Area boundary would not expand into or adversely affect any Natural Core Areas or Natural Linkage Areas.
  • The area proposed to be added to Settlement Areas has been kept as low as possible, by permitting development at densities that promote efficient use of existing infrastructure and minimize land consumption.
  • Water budgets and water conservation plans have been prepared in accordance with Section 3.3.b.

(e) A 10-year review may also include an examination of this Plan's policies on mineral aggregate extraction in Natural Core Areas, recognizing that mineral aggregates are a non-renewable resource that are particularly desirable this close to markets. The review may consider in particular whether to change the policies of this Plan to permit new mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits to be established and existing ones to expand in Natural Core Areas, where the ecological and hydrological integrity of those Areas can be maintained or improved. For any such policy change to be considered, studies shall need to:

  • Identify specific areas such as agricultural, young plantation, or early successional habitats where extraction could occur without long-term or permanent loss of ecological and hydrological integrity.
  • Demonstrate that where any natural self-sustaining vegetation needs to be removed for extraction, it shall be rehabilitated to natural self-sustaining vegetation of equal or greater ecological value.
  • Demonstrate that any non-agricultural area extracted shall be rehabilitated to natural self-sustaining vegetation.
  • Demonstrate that the connectivity of Significant Natural Heritage Features and Hydrologically Sensitive Features shall be maintained, or improved or restored where possible, during and after extraction.
  • Identify operational practices that shall minimize possible negative impacts, such as:
  • phasing extraction to minimize the extent of soil exposed at any one time,
  • encouraging rapid extraction and rehabilitation, especially adjacent to Significant Natural Heritage Features and
  • limiting activities on site to extraction and rehabilitation only and carrying out other activities such as processing, washing and stockpiling on sites outside the Natural Core Areas.
  • Demonstrate the successful performance of mineral aggregate operations and their rehabilitation in maintaining and improving ecological and hydrological integrity in Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas and Countryside Areas since the Plan came into effect.

(f) It is not intended that the Plan will be amended on a routine or regular basis. However, the Minister may consider amendments outside a 10-year review if:

  • The amendment would correct major or unforeseen circumstances, or would incorporate or reflect major new Ontario Government legislation, regulations, policies, or standards.
  • Deferral of the amendment to the next 10-year review would threaten the overall effectiveness or integrity of the Plan.

SECTION 6 - DEFINITIONS

Accessory use:

The use of any land, building or structure, which is subordinate to and exclusively devoted to the principal use located on the same lot.

Adverse effect:

Adverse effect as defined in the Environmental Protection Act.

Agricultural uses:

Agricultural uses as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Agriculture-related uses:

Agriculture-related uses as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Areas of natural and scientific interest (ANSIs):

Areas of natural and scientific interest as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement and identified by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Bed and breakfast establishments:

Sleeping accommodation for the travelling or vacationing public within a single dwelling which is owned by and is the principal residence of the proprietor, to a maximum of three guest rooms. Such accommodation may include the provision of breakfast and other meals and services, facilities, or amenities for the exclusive use of the occupants.

Commenced:

For the purposes of Section 5.2, an application, matter, or proceeding is commenced:
  • In the case of an official plan amendment or its amendment or repeal, when the bylaw adopting the plan, amendment, or repeal is passed.
  • In the case of a request for an official plan amendment by any person or public body, when the request is received, whether the amendment is adopted or not.
  • In the case of a zoning bylaw or its amendment, including an interim control bylaw, when the bylaw is passed.
  • In the case of an application for an amendment to a zoning bylaw, when the application is made.
  • In the case of development in a site plan control area, when the application is made.
  • In the case of an application for a minor variance, when the application is made.
  • In the case of an application for approval of a plan of subdivision, or for approval or exemption from approval of a plan of condominium, when the application is made.
  • In the case of an application for a consent, when the application is made.

Connectivity:

The degree to which Significant Natural Heritage Features are connected to one another, by linkages such as plant and animal movement corridors, hydrological and nutrient cycling, genetic interchange and energy flows within food webs.

Decided upon:

For the purposes of Section 5.2, an application, matter, or proceeding is decided upon:
  •  In the case of a request for an official plan amendment by any person or public body, when:
  • the council adopts or refuses to adopt all or part of the amendment, or
  • the approval authority approves, modifies and approves, or refuses to approve all or part of the amendment.
  • In the case of an application for an amendment to a zoning bylaw, when the council:
  • passes the amending bylaw, or
  • refuses the application.
  • In the case of a holding provision bylaw, when the council passes the bylaw applying the holding symbol.
  • In the case of an application for a minor variance, when the committee of adjustment makes its decision.
  • In the case of an application for approval of a plan of subdivision, or for approval or exemption from approval of a plan of condominium, when the approval authority makes its decision.
  • In the case of an application for consent, when the council or the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing gives or refuses to give provisional consent.
  • In the case of an application for approval of site plans and drawings, when the council gives or refuses to give its approval.

Development:

The creation of a new lot, a change in land use, or the construction of buildings and structures, requiring approval under the Planning Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, or the Drainage Act, but not including:
  • Existing drains approved under the Drainage Act.
  • Transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11 and undertaken by a public agency.

Ecological features:

Are naturally occurring land, water and biotic features that contribute to the ecological and hydrological integrity of the moraine.

Ecological functions:

Ecological functions as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement. 

Ecological integrity:

The structure, composition and function of ecosystems are unimpaired by stresses from human activity; natural ecological processes are intact and self-sustaining; and ecosystems evolve naturally.

Endangered species:

Endangered species as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Enhanced protection:

As defined in the most current version of the stormwater management manual available from the Ministry of the Environment.

Essential:

That which is deemed necessary to the public interest after all alternatives have been considered.

Existing:

Legally existing on the date the Plan takes effect.

Existing use:

A legally existing use of any land, building, or structure on the date the Plan takes effect, including an approved use as described in Section 4.3.

Farm retirement lot:

Farm retirement lot as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Farm vacation home:

Sleeping accommodation for the travelling or vacationing public within a single dwelling which is owned by the farm and is the farm’s principal farm residence, to a maximum of three guest rooms. Such accommodation may include participation in farm activities and the provision of meals and other services, facilities, or amenities for the exclusive use of the occupants. 

Fish habitat:

Fish habitat as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement and identified by the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Forest Management:

The management of woodlands to produce wood and wood products, including accessory uses such as forest access roads and maple syrup production facilities and to provide outdoor recreation, to maintain, improve, or restore conditions for wildlife and to protect water supplies.

Habitat of endangered and threatened species:

Areas where endangered or threatened species live or have the potential to live and find adequate amounts of food, water, shelter and space needed to sustain their populations.

Home business:

An occupation conducted as an accessory use within a single dwelling by one or more of its residents. Such occupations may include dressmaking, upholstering, weaving, baking, ceramic-making, painting, sculpting and the repair of personal effects.

Home industry:

A small-scale use providing a service primarily to the farming community and which is an accessory use to a single dwelling or agricultural operation. A home industry may be conducted in whole or in part in an accessory building and may include a carpentry shop, a metalworking shop, a welding shop, an electrical shop, a blacksmith's shop, but does not include an auto repair or paint shop or furniture stripping.
 

Hydrologic cycle:

The hydrologic cycle refers to the circulation of water from the atmosphere to the earth and back through precipitation, runoff, infiltration, groundwater flow and evapotranspiration. It encompasses the occurrence, distribution and the chemical and physical properties of water on the surface of the land, in the soil and underlying rocks and in the atmosphere and its interaction with the environment including its relation to living things.

Hydrological features:

Permanent and intermittent streams, wetlands, kettle lakes and their catchments, seepage areas and springs, aquifers and recharge areas.

Hydrological functions:

The functions of the hydrologic cycle which encompass the occurrence, circulation, distribution and the chemical and physical properties of water on the surface of the land, in the soil and underlying rocks, in the atmosphere and its interaction with the environment including its relation to living things.

Hydrological integrity:

Sound or unimpaired condition of the hydrological features and functions of the hydrologic cycle.

Hydrologically Sensitive Feature:

These consist of permanent and intermittent streams, wetlands, kettle lakes and seepage areas and springs, as described in Section 3.3.c.

Impervious surfaces:

Surfaces which do not permit the infiltration of water, including rooftops, sidewalks, roadways, driveways and parking lots.

Large-scale development:

Development consisting of creation of four or more lots, a building or buildings with a total floor area of 500 m² or more, or major recreation as described in Section 4.8.

Lot:

A parcel of land, or a group of adjacent parcels of land, the whole of which and no part of which can be conveyed in accordance with the Planning Act and which either was registered as of the date the Plan takes effect or was created in conformity with this Plan.

Meander belt:

The part of a stream system across which the stream shifts its channel from time to time.

Mineral aggregate operation:

Mineral aggregate operation as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Natural self-sustaining vegetation:

Self-sustaining vegetation dominated by native plant species.

Necessary:

The need for the project has been assessed and there is no reasonable alternative to the project.

Negative impacts:

Negative impacts as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Net developable area:

The area of a lot or site, less any area that is within a Significant Natural Heritage Feature as described in Section 3.2.a or a Hydrologically Sensitive Feature as described in Section 3.3.c.

Original rural lot:

An original township lot or original township half lot, less all conveyances in fee simple for transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11 and less all consents granted before January 1, 1971, such that the existing remainder is at least 97.5 per cent of the area of the original township lot or original township half lot.

Original township half lot:

Half of an original township lot where the original survey was into lots of 80.9 hectares (200 acres) more or less.

Original township lot:

A township lot as shown on an original plan where an original plan is a plan certified by the Surveyor General of Ontario as being the original plan of an original survey.

Partial services:

Partial services as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement. 

Portable asphalt plant:

Portable asphalt plant as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Prime agricultural area:

Prime agricultural area as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement. 

Provincial Policy Statement:

The Provincial Policy Statement and any other policy statements, as amended from time to time, issued under Section 3 of the Planning Act.

Residence surplus to a farming operation:

Residence surplus to a farming operation as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Retirement home:

A building providing accommodation, mainly for retired persons, in single or double rooms or suites and where common kitchen and dining facilities are provided and common lounges, recreation rooms and nursing or medical care facilities may also be provided, for the building's residents.

Rapid infiltration basins and rapid infiltration columns:

Rapid infiltration basis and rapid infiltration columns are above-ground pond systems or columns in the ground, which are constructed in highly porous soils to quickly discharge stormwater into the ground.

Self-sustaining vegetation:

Vegetation dominated by plants that can grow and persist without direct human management, protection, or tending. 

Significant:

Identified as significant by the Ministry of Natural Resources using evaluation procedures established by the Ministry.

Significant Natural Heritage Feature:

These consist of wetlands, significant portions of the habitat of endangered and threatened species, fish habitat, areas of natural and scientific interest (Life Science), significant valleylands, significant woodlands and significant wildlife habitat as described in Section 3.2.a.

Site:

The existing or proposed entire lot or group of lots that include or consist of the lands subject to an application.

Site alteration:

Site alteration as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement, but not including:
  • existing drains approved under the Drainage Act, or
  • transportation, infrastructure and utilities as described in Section 4.11 and undertaken by a public agency.

Subwatershed:

An area in which all surface water drains to or towards a tributary or some defined portion of a stream system.

Surface catchment area:

The area including and surrounding a kettle lake or wetland, from which surface runoff drains directly into the kettle lake or wetland.

Sustainable:

The natural resource is able to support a particular use or activity without adversely affecting the ecological and hydrological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Threatened species:

Threatened species as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement and designated by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Valleylands:

Valleylands as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Waste management system:

Waste management system as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Wayside pits:

Wayside pits as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Wellhead protection areas:

The surface and subsurface area surrounding a well or wellfield that supplies a public water system through which contaminants are likely to pass and eventually reach the water well or wellfield.

Wetlands:

Wetlands as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement and identified by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Wildlife habitat:

Wildlife habitat as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.

Woodlands:

Woodlands as defined in the Forestry Act.