The official website for the Town of Halton Hills Ontario Canada. Halton Hills includes Georgetown, Acton, Stewarttown, Glenwilliams, Norval, Hornby, Limehouse, and Terra Cotta. Get Municipal News, By-law Information, Sustainability Tips, Recreation Swimming/Skating Schedules and everything else you would need to know about living, visiting, doing business in Halton Hills Ontario.

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    School Sites Land Use Planning Study


    The School Site Land Use Planning Study was initiated in response to a number of emerging and challenging issues and trends pertaining to current and future school sites in the Town.  Council passed a resolution to:

    • initiate a study to review the current role of publicly funded school sites in the community; and,
    • determine whether the land use designations and zones in the Town's existing Official Plan and Zoning By-laws are appropriate for school sites.

    Through the approval of the recommendations of Report No. PDS-2009-0033, Council endorsed the Terms of Reference for the School Site Land Use Planning Study.

    School Sites Land Use Planning Study

    The Terms of Reference for the School Site Land Use Planning Study outlined a five phase planning process as follows:

    Phase 1 - Background Analysis and Issue Identification
    Phase 2 - Policy and Regulatory Options
    Phase 3 - Select the Preferred Policy and Regulatory Option
    Phase 4 - Initial Policy and Regulatory Formulation
    Phase 5 - Final Policy and Regulatory Formulation

    In August of 2009, Meridian Planning Consultants were retained by the Town to complete the School Site Land Use Planning Study. In June of 2010, Meridian prepared the School Site Background, Issues and Options Paper, which was received by Council and subsequently presented to the public at an open house in September of 2010. Finalization of the Background, Issues and Options Paper completed Phases 1 and 2 of the study.

    In February of 2011, a Council workshop was held where Meridian provided an overview of the five land use options which were developed through the study, as well as provided an assessment of the pros and cons associated with each option.

    Two of the key deliverables of Phases 3 and 4 of the study included the selection of the preferred policy and regulatory option as well as formulation of draft policies and/or regulations. The recommended policy revisions were included in the draft Official Plan Amendment that was available for review and comment at the second public open house and statutory public meeting held on October 24, 2011. The study process was concluded on December 12, 2011, when Council adopted Official Plan Amendment No. 14. See Notice of Adoption.

    Details of the five land use options were outlined in Report No. PDS-2011-0065. The distinguishing factor among the land use options is the range of uses that would be permitted in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law on an elementary school site. Throughout the School Site Land Use Planning Study, the Town's consultant, Meridian, reviewed the five land use options and recommended that the Town implement the fourth option which maintains the current land uses designations in the Official Plan.

    Option four was selected because it indicates a preference by Council for institutional or low density residential uses on an elementary school property, should the property not be required for a public or private school. This option also maintains a public process, through the requirement for a Zoning By-law Amendment for any non-institutional use on a school site.

    To enhance the existing policy framework, the study recommended that additional policies be included in the Official Plan which:

    • Reinforce the importance of elementary school properties as community hubs and neighbourhood gathering places.
    • Encourage the retention of schools in existing neighbourhoods in consideration of the role they play as a focus for community activity and neighbourhood interaction.
    • Require that once a school site has been identified in a newly developing area, a sign be placed on the property advising residents that a school is planned for the site but that the need for the site and timing of construction is at the sole discretion of the school board.
    • Prioritize consideration of alternative uses of elementary and secondary school sites, with other public institutional uses and parks and open spaces as the first priority, private institutional uses as the second priority,  and commercial and residential uses subject to applicable Official Plan criteria as the third priority.

    On December 12, 2011, Council passed Zoning By-law 2011-0101, which adopted Amendment No. 14 to the Town of Halton Hills Official Plan.

    To obtain further information regarding this project please visit the Planning & Sustainability Department, Town of Halton Hills, 1 Halton Hills Drive, Halton Hills, Ontario L7G 5G2 or contact:

    Tara Buonpensiero
    Senior Planner Policy
    Town of Halton Hills
    1 Halton Hills Drive
    Halton Hills ON L7G 5G2
    Email: Tara Buonpensiero
    Phone: 905-873-2601 ext. 2214


    Steve Burke
    Manager of Planning Policy
    Town of Halton Hills
    1 Halton Hills Drive
    Halton Hills ON L7G 5G2
    Email: Steve Burke
    Phone: 905-873-2601 ext. 2254



    Links to Staff Reports

    PDS-2009-0033 - School Site Land Use Planning Study - Terms of Reference
    PDS-2010-0049 - School Sites Land Use Planning Study – Background, Issues and Options Paper
    PDS-2011-0065 - Preliminary Land Use Option and Draft Official Plan Amendment
    PDS-2011-0076 - Statutory Public Meeting Report
    PDS-2011-0089 - Recommendation Report


    Links to Background Reports and Studies

    Background, Issues and Options Paper
    Memorandum – Final Recommendations School Site Study
    Draft Official Plan Amendment
    Official Plan Amendment No. 14



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