Skip Navigation

Regional Official Plan Amendment 49

Breadcrumbs
 

Regional Official Plan Amendment 49 (ROPA 49) helps define how and where Halton will grow by implementing the Integrated Growth Management Strategy. It is the second Amendment to be considered by Regional Council as part of the Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR) and builds on the Regional Urban Structure defined by ROPA 48.

To learn more about the updates, review the summary page below.

Regional Official Plan Amendment No. 49 - Notice of Adoption

On June 15, 2022, Regional Council adopted Regional Official Plan Amendment No. 49 (ROPA 49) with a limited number of changes as part of the Municipal Comprehensive Review. This amendment is made under Section 26 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990.

 

ROPA 49 is now with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for a decision. The decision will provide direction for the Integrated Growth Management Strategy, which will help the Region plan for future population and job growth as mandated by A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (external link) under the Places to Grow Act, 2005.

About Regional Official Plan Amendment 49

The purpose of this Amendment is to implement the results of the Region’s Integrated Growth Management Strategy (IGMS). This strategy considers how to accommodate growth in Halton to the year 2051 as part of the Municipal Comprehensive Review process. The Amendment implements Regional Council’s direction to:

  • accommodate population and employment growth within Halton’s existing Regional Urban Boundary to 2041; and
  • develop a framework for planning for growth from 2041 to 2051.

The Amendment also provides changes to achieve conformity with the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Among other things, this includes updates to policies and mapping related to:

  • existing Settlement Area boundaries;
  • the Regional Urban Structure;
  • Strategic Growth Areas; and
  • Employment Areas.

It also includes updated forecasts and targets for population and employment growth, intensification, density and Regional phasing.

What are settlement areas?

These are urban areas and rural communities where development is already concentrated and which have a mix of land uses. Focusing growth in settlement areas helps protect our natural heritage system and preserve agricultural lands.

The current Regional Official Plan guides growth and development to the year 2031. All upper- and single-tier municipalities that are subject to 'A Place to Grow: The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2019 (external link)', prepared under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, must plan to accommodate population and employment growth projected to 2051. For Halton Region, this represents an additional 332,000 people and 150,000 jobs.

The Integrated Growth Management Strategy (IGMS) has been an important part of the ROPR process, which was initiated by Halton in 2014. Following an overall Directions Report (external PDF) in 2016 and the consideration of subsequent changes to the Provincial planning framework, significant analysis and consultation was undertaken in developing a series of milestone IGMS reports.

A Regional Urban Structure Discussion Paper was presented to Regional Council as part of a series of ROPR theme area discussion papers in July 2020. The paper addressed:

  • the importance of directing growth to key locations within the Region’s existing urban areas;
  • implementing the requirements of the Provincial Growth Plan; and
  • supporting Local Municipal Plans and Priorities.

Consultations were held on the discussion paper with Local Municipalities, agencies and the public in 2020.

What is an Urban Structure?

An urban structure is how the land use of a region, city or town is determined. It guides how and where our community develops buildings, spaces or municipal infrastructure as Halton grows. An urban structure can consist of:

  • residential areas;
  • employment areas;
  • strategic growth areas; and
  • transportation and growth corridors that connect these areas.

The Regional Urban Structure Discussion Paper and consultations identified strong support for directing higher-density, transit-supportive growth to key areas in Halton Region, namely around GO Transit Stations and existing or planned transit corridors.

Regional Council directed staff to develop an initial scoped Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA 48) to advance select local municipal planning priorities related to urban structure. ROPA 48 was adopted by Regional Council in July 2021 and approved by the Province in November 2021. The Regional Urban Structure will help plan for a significant share of the growth in Halton, forming an integral part of Halton’s growth strategy.

In 2019 and 2020, Regional Council received information on a set of Growth Scenarios (external PDF). These scenarios were developed to assess a range of approaches to accommodate growth in Halton. The Growth Scenarios and the Evaluation Framework (external PDF) set a strong foundation for the IGMS by highlighting the importance of:

  • advancing local plans and priorities; and
  • identifying objectives and measures to use when evaluating options for how Halton could grow.

What are Strategic Growth Areas?

These are areas where population and job growth will be focused. They include areas such as:

  • Urban Growth Centres;
  • Major Transit Station Areas;
  • Regional Nodes; and
  • Intensification Corridors.

Building on the direction from Regional Council in response to the Growth Scenarios and Evaluation Framework, Regional staff prepared a Growth Concepts Discussion Paper. The paper identified and evaluated different approaches to accommodating growth in Halton to the year 2051 using the endorsed Evaluation Framework. By identifying the distinctions between each approach, the Region was able to gather valuable input from Local Municipalities, public agencies and the public.

On November 17, 2021 and February 9, 2022, Council Workshops were held to provide Regional Council and the public with information on a Draft Preferred Growth Concept prepared by Regional staff based on the IGMS work to date. The Workshops provided an overview of the evaluated Growth Concepts, a summary of the public engagement process and the feedback received from the public, Advisory Committees and Local Municipalities.

At its February 16, 2022 meeting, Regional Council adopted a motion directing staff to prepare a Regional Official Plan Amendment to implement a Modified Preferred Growth Concept that advances growth in Halton to 2051 in two phases:

  • for growth prior to 2041, where population and employment growth will be directed to the existing approved urban boundary; and
  • for growth between 2041 and 2051, where a clear framework is provided for when and how planned growth will be distributed based on principles of minimizing land consumption, making the most efficient use of land and infrastructure, and achieving other principles of the Growth Plan.

The motion also stated that:

  • the framework is to consider the findings of the Provincial Affordable Housing Task Force, Natural Heritage and Water Resources Impact Assessment and Agricultural Impact Assessment; and
  • growth post-2041 will be defined in detail through a ROPA prior to, or in parallel with, the next statutory five-year official plan review.

ROPA 49 proposes to update the Regional Official Plan to incorporate this Council direction in alignment with Provincial policies.

Updates

ROPA 49 updates the current Regional Official Plan by revising or adding the following elements:

1. Planning for Population and Employment Growth

Halton’s Regional Official Plan determines how and when Halton grows. The Region’s growth strategy currently plans to the year 2031.

What is changing?

ROPA 49 updates Halton Region’s growth strategy to plan for how growth is accommodated beyond 2031. The updated Regional Official Plan accommodates population and employment growth within Halton’s existing urban boundaries to 2041 and also contains a framework for how growth may be planned for in the 2041-2051 planning period. Table 1 identifies how growth will be allocated amongst the four Local Municipalities.

The framework enables future expansions of the Regional Urban Boundary to be permitted only when it can be demonstrated that:

  • sufficient opportunities for accommodating population and employment identified in Table 1 are not available based on the minimum intensification rate and density targets identified in the Regional Official Plan;
  • the expansion would make available sufficient lands to accommodate growth not exceeding the time horizon of the Regional Official Plan (2051); and
  • the timing of expansion and phasing of development in Designated Greenfield Areas will not adversely affect the achievement of the minimum intensification and density targets of the Regional Official Plan.

In addition, the framework also requires future expansion of the Regional Urban Boundary to be permitted only on the basis of consideration for:

  • impacts of any changes to the Provincial land use planning framework and their impact on the ability to accommodate growth within the Regional Urban Boundary;
  • an enhanced growth monitoring program; or
  • the findings of a Natural Heritage and Water Resources Impact Assessment, the Agricultural Impact Assessment, and the impacts of any updates to the policies of this Plan related to the Natural Heritage System and Agricultural System.

  Population Employment

Municipality

2021

2041

2051*

2021

2041

2051*

Burlington

193,000

240,500

*

98,500

115,500

*

Oakville

220,00

331,500

*

110,500

161,000

*

Milton

137,00

264,500

*

44,500

97,000

*

Halton Hills

65,000

95,000

*

24,500

46,500

*

Halton Region

615,000

931,00

1,100,000

278,000

420,000

500,000

2. Updates to Intensification and Density Targets

The Regional Official Plan contains forecasts and targets for population and employment growth, intensification, density, and Regional phasing to support its growth strategy.

What is changing?

ROPA 49 revises a series of targets applied at a range of geographic scales to support accommodation of growth within the existing Regional Urban Boundary.

The Built-up Area intensification rate determines the proportion of housing units which must be built within the Built Boundary annually. The Region-wide target is revised to 45 per cent under ROPA 49. This is a lower alternative target than contained in the Growth Plan. The lower target supports greater densification in existing Designated Greenfield Areas which is consistent with the ‘intensification first’ objectives of the Growth Plan and limits the need for urban boundary expansion.

In support of the ‘intensification first’ approach, Table 2 (Intensification and Density Targets) is updated to include not only the Intensification Target by Local Municipality, but also a Designated Greenfield Area Density Target and an Employment Area Density Target.

Table 2A (Regional Phasing) is also updated to provide general direction on how growth allocated under Table 1 is to be planned for in each Local Municipality with further detail for Strategic Growth Areas provided in Table 2B.

ROPA 48 introduced Table 2B (Strategic Growth Area Targets) to include minimum density targets for jobs and residents as well as general target ratios for jobs and residents for certain Strategic Growth Areas. ROPA 49 updates Table 2B to include targets for all Primary Regional Nodes as well as Milton-Trafalgar GO MTSA, which were not previously delineated in the Regional Official Plan and are described in the following sections.

Target

Halton Region

Burlington

Oakville

Milton

Halton Hills

Intensification Target

Housing Units in Built-Up Area1

53,300

20,500

19,400

9,800

3,600

Designated Greenfield Area Density Target

People and Jobs per Hectare in the Designated Greenfield Area2

62

76

70

59

53

Employment Area Density Target

Jobs per Hectare in the Employment Areas3

26

33

36

19

24

1 Target for the number of new housing units occurring with the Built-Up Area as shown on Map 1H between 2022 and 2041 and representing 45% of all new units during this period.

2 Target for the number of people and jobs per hectare in the Designated Greenfield Area by 2041, consisting of the lands within the Regional Urban Boundary and outside of the Built-Up Area as shown on Map 1H and measured in accordance with Section 227.1 of this Plan.

3 Target for the number of jobs per hectare in the Employment Areas by 2041, as shown on Map 1H and measured in accordance with Section 227.1 of this Plan.

Municipality

2022-2026

2027-2031

2032-2036

2037-2041

Halton Region

Units in the Designated Greenfield Area

14,970

15,900

16,470

16,810

Low Density Units

5,920

6,270

6,560

6,690

Medium & High Density Units

9,050

9,610

9,920

10,120

Units in the Built-Up Area

12,430

13,200

13,680

13,950

Employment

34,700

36,800

34,700

35,400

Oakville

Units in the Designated Greenfield Area

6,460

6,860

6,010

6,130

Low Density Units

2,120

2,250

2,090

2,130

Medium & High Density Units

4,340

4,610

3,920

4,000

Units in the Built-Up Area

4,500

4,780

4,980

5,080

Employment

13,500

14,300

11,300

11,500

Burlington

Units in the Designated Greenfield Area

590

620

450

460

Low Density Units

220

230

20

20

Medium & High Density Units

370

390

430

440

Units in the Built-Up Area

4,790

5,090

5,170

5,270

Employment

4,000

4,200

4,200

4,300

Milton

Units in the Designated Greenfield Area

5,760

6,120

8,780

8,960

Low Density Units

2,560

2,710

3,960

4,040

Medium & High Density Units

3,200

3,400

4,820

4,920

Units in the Built-Up Area

2,360

2,500

2,480

2,530

Employment

11,700

12,500

14,000

14,300

Halton Hills

Units in the Designated Greenfield Area

2,160

2,300

1,230

1,260

Low Density Units

1,020

1,080

490

500

Medium & High Density Units

1,140

1,210

750

760

Units in the Built-Up Area

780

830

1,050

1,070

Employment

5,500

5,900

5,200

5,300

Strategic Growth Area

Minimum Density Target*
(Residents and Jobs Combined Per Hectare)

Residents

Jobs

Urban Growth Centres/Major Tranit Station Areas on a Priority Transit Corridor

Midtown Oakville/Oakville Go

200

65%

35%

Downtown Burlington/Burlington Go

200

65%

35%

Urban Growth Centres/Major Transit Station Areas on a Commuter Rail Corridor

Downtown Milton/Milton Go

200

80%

20%

Major Transit Station Areas on a Priority Transit Corridor

Bronte GO

150

40%

60%

Appleby GO

120

40%

60%

Major Transit Station Areas on a Commuter Rail Corridor

Aldershot GO

150

80%

20%

Milton-Trafalgar GO

150

TBD

TBD

Georgetown GO

TBD

TBD

TBD

Acton GO

TBD

TBD

TBD

Primary Regional Nodes

Uptown Core, Oakville

160

85%

15%

Trafalgar Urban Core, Oakville

160

85%

15%

Hospital District, Oakville

160

40%

60%

Palermo Village, Oakville

160

85%

15%

Neyagawa Urban Core, Oakville

160

85%

15%

Dundas Urban Core, Oakville

160

85%

15%

Milton Education Village Innovation District

130

55%

45%

3. Major Transit Station Areas

ROPA 48 updated the Regional Official Plan by delineating Major Transit Station Areas to ensure conformity with the Growth Plan, 2019 and to provide direction for Local Municipalities to implement area-specific plans for these important Strategic Growth Areas:

  • Midtown Oakville GO UGC/MTSA
  • Downtown Burlington UGC/Burlington GO MTSA
  • Milton GO UGC/MTSA
  • Aldershot GO MTSA
  • Appleby GO MTSA
  • Bronte GO MTSA
  • Georgetown GO MTSA
  • Acton GO MTSA

What are Major Transit Station Areas?

These are the areas within a 500 to 800-metre radius (about a 10-minute walk) from a major transit station. They are primarily located along existing or planned transit corridors.

Major Transit Station Areas are intended to be developed as higher density, mixed-use communities. These areas enable people to rely on transit to access local amenities, housing and work.

 

What is changing?

ROPA 49 builds on the framework introduced under ROPA 48 and identifies and delineates an additional Major Transit Station Area: Milton-Trafalgar GO (see Map 6i).

Consideration is being given to the Agerton area near Steeles Avenue and Trafalgar Road in the Town of Milton. The area is identified as a priority for growth by the Town of Milton and contains the location of a future GO Transit Station and a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA).

Given the location of the Agerton Lands to be identified within an MTSA, their role as part of the Regional Urban Structure, their potential to accommodate high-density mixed use development supportive of investments in transit and existing infrastructure, and their current use as a rail yard owned by Canadian Pacific Railway, considering the inclusion of these lands within the Regional Urban Boundary may be warranted, subject to further direction from Regional Council.

Mapping for all other Major Transit Station and Urban Growth Centre areas is also updated to delineate Regional Corridors and changes to the Regional Employment Area resulting from conversions and additions.

 

Map 6i – Milton-Trafalgar GO (NEW)

Map 6i – Milton-Trafalgar GO (NEW)
 

4. Primary Regional Nodes

ROPA 48 updated the Regional Official Plan by identifying Primary and Secondary Regional Nodes on Map 1H. Through their decision, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing made modifications to these policies, which are revised by ROPA 49.

What are Regional Nodes?

These are strategic growth areas which have a role in accommodating mixed-use intensification and supporting the regional transit network.

 

What is changing?

ROPA 49 updates the policy framework associated with Primary Regional Nodes by delineating and assigning targets to these Strategic Growth Areas. Halton’s Local Municipalities are required to plan for growth in these locations in accordance with targets listed under Table 2B. Halton’s Local Municipalities are encouraged to set density and employment targets for Secondary Regional Nodes which are not currently delineated.

ROPA 49 adds two new Primary Regional Nodes in Oakville (Hospital District and Palermo Village) and identifies Neyagawa Urban Core as a Primary Regional Node rather than a Secondary Node. ROPA 49 also identifies Burlington Uptown Urban Centre as a Secondary Regional Node rather than as a Primary Regional Node.

Map 1H is updated to delineate all Primary Regional Nodes and continues to identify all Primary Regional Nodes as symbols. Detailed mapping for all other Primary Regional Nodes is also updated to delineate Regional Corridors and changes to the Regional Employment Area resulting from conversions and additions.

 

Map 6j – Uptown Core Primary Regional Node

Map 6j – Uptown Core Primary Regional Node

Map 6k – Trafalgar Urban Core Primary Regional Node

Map 6k – Trafalgar Urban Core Primary Regional Node

Map 6l– Hospital District Primary Regional Node (NEW)

Map 6l– Hospital District Primary Regional Node (NEW)
 

Map 6m – Palermo Village Primary Regional Node (NEW)

Map 6m – Palermo Village Primary Regional Node (NEW)

Map 6n – Neyagawa Urban Core Primary Regional Node (NEW – Formerly a Secondary Regional Node)

Map 6n – Neyagawa Urban Core Primary Regional Node (NEW – Formerly a Secondary Regional Node)

Map 6p – Milton Education Village Innovation District Primary Regional Node

Map 6p – Milton Education Village Innovation District Primary Regional Node
 

5. Regional Intensification Corridors

ROPA 48 identified Regional Corridors within the hierarchy of Strategic Growth Areas. It also provided updates to objectives and mapping to recognize the role of these corridors in the Regional Urban Structure.

What are Regional Intensification Corridors?

These are Strategic Growth Areas identified along major roads, arterials or higher order transit corridors.

These areas are planned to accommodate a significant amount of growth to provide access to frequent transit and support future transit projects.

 

What is changing?

ROPA 49 updates policies for these important Strategic Growth Areas and renames them Regional Intensification Corridors. These updates support the corridors’ role in accommodating growth in the Urban Area along routes connecting Regional Nodes, Major Transit Station Areas and Urban Growth Centres.

Specific density targets are not set for these areas. The Regional Plan will, however, contain policies requiring these areas to be planned to accommodate growth at a scale appropriate for their context and existing and planned transit service.

Map 1H – Regional Urban Structure

Map 1H – Regional Urban Structure
 

6. Additional Residential Units

Currently, the Regional Official Plan contains few policies related to permitting additional residential units within an existing dwelling in a residential neighbourhood.

What is an Additional Residential Unit?

These are self-contained separate dwelling units with full kitchens and bath facilities as part of an existing detached, semi-detached or row house, or in a structure ancillary to a detached, semi-detached or row house (also referred to as second units or secondary suites).

 

What is changing?

ROPA 49 broadens policies related to additional residential units, sometimes referred to as secondary units or secondary suites.

Additional residential units are permitted both within a primary dwelling and an ancillary structure. This allows for up to three permanent housing units on a lot permitting detached, semi-detached or row housing, subject to criteria balancing other land-use planning priorities including health and safety as well as environmental protection.

 

7. Employment Areas

The Regional Official Plan Review provides an opportunity to assess the planning approach for Employment Areas as well as the location of lands that should be identified and protected as Employment Areas or converted for other uses.

What is an Employment Area Conversion?

Employment Areas are areas designated in an official plan for clusters of business and economic activities. These activities include, but are not limited to:

  • manufacturing
  • warehousing
  • offices
  • associated retail
  • additional facilities

An Employment Area conversion means re-designating lands in an Employment Area to permit non-employment uses, such as:

  • residential;
  • major retail; or
  • mixed uses.
 

What is changing?

ROPA 49 provides greater direction to help plan for jobs both within Regional Employment Area and Local Municipal employment lands.

New policies require Local Municipal Official Plans to identify a range of employment uses, ancillary uses and sensitive land uses for the planned function of specific land-use designations.

In addition, Local Municipalities are required to plan for employment within Regional Employment Areas by prohibiting specific non-employment uses, limiting sensitive uses and only permitting them under limited circumstances where land-use compatibility can be maintained, such as at the periphery of Employment Areas.

ROPA 49 also includes changes to the Employment Area as shown on Maps 1C and 1H, which result from conversions and additions.

 

8. Additional Mapping Changes: Urban Boundary  Delineation

ROPA 49 updates the Regional Official Plan Map 1 and Maps 3-5 to delineate the existing Regional Urban Boundary.

Map 1

Map 1

Map 1B

Map 1B

Map 1C

Map 1C
 

Map 1D

Map 1D

Map 1E

Map 1E

Map 1F

Map 1F
 

Map 1G

Map 1G

Map 1H

Map 1H

Map 3

Map 3
 

Map 4

Map 4

Map 5

Map 5
 

Policy Updates Document

Regional Official Plan Amendment 49 is now available for review:

Public Engagement

Thank you to those who provided comments and submissions. The Regional Official Plan shapes how and where Halton grows—your input is valuable as we make these decisions for our community.

For more information, including information about appeal rights, contact Planning Services by email at ropr@halton.ca or call 311. If you require an alternative format or need accessibility-related accommodation to access or comment on ROPR materials, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311, 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833.

TOP