The Town is undertaking a review of the 2010 Intensification Opportunities Study to develop and update policies and guidelines for intensification in the urban areas of Acton and Georgetown, outside of the Mature Neighbourhoods. Through this Study, the Town will be better positioned to plan how to accommodate expected residential growth within built areas beyond 2031 and provide input into the Regional Official Plan Review, which is currently underway.
Intensification means the development of a property, site or area at a higher density than currently exists through:
redevelopment, including the reuse of brownfield sites locations with unused factories or commercial buildings)
the development of vacant and/or under-utilized lots within previously developed areas;
infill development (development in remaining empty lots in the built areas)
the expansion or conversion of existing buildings.
Intensification can be a way to accommodate growth in the built areas and minimize greenfield development. This study will assess the existing transportation and servicing Infrastructure, and real estate market to help identify and reassess potential intensification areas in the Town.
Study Area in Georgetown
Study Area in Acton
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The Intensification Opportunities Study is an important component of a Halton Hills strategy for growth management linked to the Region-wide Sustainable Halton Plan, which in turn is a response to Places to Grow,the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Growth Plan.
Requirements and Project Scope
The purpose of the Intensification Opportunities Study is to critically assess the capability of the Town to address the intensification policies contained in Places to Grow. This would include evaluating the role Halton Hills should play in achieving the Halton Region-wide 40 percent intensification target contained in the GGH Growth Plan.
In particular, the Study will identify intensification areas, in keeping with the policy direction of Places to Grow, where residential and mixed use development should be directed within the established urban areas of Georgetown and Acton. In addition, the Study will update the current inventory of individual intensification sites in Halton Hills, including a re-assessment of the intensification potential of those sites.
The Study will contribute to the development of a policy framework (i.e. intensification strategy) that will form a component of a growth management strategy for Halton Hills, which provides input to the Sustainable Halton Plan process. Subsequently, the Sustainable Halton process will result in updated Official Plans for the Region of Halton and Town of Halton Hills.
Specifically, the Study will:
Identify intensification areas as the focus for intensification efforts, as well as areas where intensification should not be directed.
Update the inventory originally prepared for the 1999 Housing Intensification Opportunities Study and updated through the 2002 Municipal Housing Statement Update and ROPA 25 Ontario Municipal Board hearing preparations.
Conduct a planning policy review.
Identify successful Halton Hills examples of intensification.
Prepare a Halton Hills Intensification Strategy, which will subsequently be implemented through Sustainable Halton, as appropriate, and through a specific or overall amendment to the Halton Hills Official Plan.
The Study Terms of Reference, contained in Planning Report PDS-2007-0046, including a Process Flow Diagram, provide greater detail on the process and products of the Study.
Region of Halton Approval of Official Plan Amendment No. 9
The Region of Halton approved Halton Hills Official Plan Amendment No. 9 (Intensification Areas and Policies) on February 9, 2015. The Notice of Decision received no appeals, and therefore came into force and effect on March 3, 2015.
The Region’s approval of OPA No. 9 was subject to minor modifications, which are highlighted below:
The Acton GO Station has been added as a Major Transit Station Area in the Town as defined by the Growth Plan;
The Commuter Rail Corridor has been extended from Georgetown GO Station to the municipal boundary west of Acton; and
Greyfield sites have been included in the definition of an Intensification Area in the Town of Halton Hills. Greyfield sites are defined as lands that have been previously developed but are uncontaminated, and often consist of failing commercial or retail uses.
A detailed list of the Region’s modifications is included in the Notice of Decision. Below are the OPA No. 9 schedules that have been modified by the Region.
Final Adopted Official Plan Amendment No. 9 – Intensification Areas and Policies
The Council for the Corporation of the Town of Halton Hills passed By-law No. 2010-0056 on the 11th day of May, 2010 under Section 17 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter P.13 as amended, to adopt Official Plan Amendment No. 9, Intensification Areas and Policies. See attached Notice of Adoption.
The purpose of this Amendment is to identify areas within the Town in which to focus intensification, including the Georgetown GO Station Area, Civic Centre Area, South Acton (Maple Leaf) lands, and the Georgetown and Acton Downtown Areas, as well as identifying a portion of Guelph Street in Georgetown as an intensification corridor. The Amendment also makes some changes to the policies of the Halton Hills Official Plan, which address conformity with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and adopted Regional Official Plan Amendment No. 38. Further information is provided in Report PDS-2010-0043.
The lands affected by this Amendment generally include all land within the Town of Halton Hills, however the policies apply more specifically to areas identified within the amendment as Intensification Areas, as specified above.
In addition, re-designation of the following properties for intensification is included in the amendment:
127 Mountainview Road, legally described as Part Lot 18, Concession 10, Georgetown, from medium density to high density residential;
24 Ontario Street, legally described as Part East Half Lot 19, Concession 9, Georgetown, from low density to medium density residential;
82 to 96 Wallace Street, legally described as Lots 243, 244, 245, and 246 of Plan 1098, Acton, from low density to medium density residential (with a special policy area).