Advancing Additional Residential Units in Grey County

The purpose of this report is to better understand the current landscape for regulating and promoting additional residential units (ARUs) in a quickly changing environment. Based on a literature review, this report presents an understanding of ARUs as a housing affordability tool, and an analysis of the associated value and risks. This report outlines findings from a jurisdictional scan of municipal by-laws and interviews with municipal planners and other municipal staff, which leads to recommendations for developing ARU policies and promotion.

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Bruce County High Performance Policies for Climate Change

This research aimed to identify policies that Bruce County could include in its official plan to reduce its contribution to and minimize the impacts of climate change. In conducting this research two main objectives were used: the first, to compile a literature review and an updated jurisdictional scan of climate change policies in comparable municipalities, and the second, to complete a critical examination of policy and provide recommendations.

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Haldimand County Residential Intensification Report

The goals of this project were to summarize the key themes and ideas that create community members’ understanding of Haldimand County’s “small town character” and to also educate the community on residential intensification. The main objectives for the project were to identify best practices for residential intensification, highlight the key elements and present current examples of successful residential intensification best practices that Haldimand County could consider when writing official guidelines.

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This project delivers a Local Food Network Framework and Action Plan to guide New Tecumseth in developing a local food network. These recommendations build upon existing policies contained within the New Tecumseth’s Official Plan (2019) and the Economic Development Strategic Plan (2017) and will inform New Tecumseth’s Community Climate Action Plan and Official Plan update. Prescriptions within this report will help foster community engagement, improve economic vitality, increase food security, and support the community’s climate action goals.

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Policies Addressing Livestock Facilities on Severed Surplus Farm Dwelling Lots in Rural Ontario

This project, in partnership with Bruce County, aimed to develop a policy framework to address a complex policy area: Regulating the use of non-conforming livestock facilities on residential lots created by Surplus Farm Dwelling (SFD) severances. The project’s primary focus is to find a policy-based solution at the County or Municipal level to address the appropriate use of existing barns that does not conflict with the NMA. To do this, an evaluative matrix of key policy approaches in other Southwest Ontario municipalities is intended to advise Bruce County on this issue.

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Given the increasing usership of the G2G Trail and the opportunities and challenges presented by the agricultural context, the purpose of this project is to determine effective methods to raise awareness and promote interest in agriculture along the G2G trail. The principal goals are to help trail users understand the significance of the agricultural landscape, to reduce conflict between trail users and agricultural property owners, and to showcase the agricultural and food systems of Huron County.

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Analysis of Land Use Planning Practices Affecting Controlled Environment Agriculture

The objectives of this project were:
1. To explore Ontario’s current land use framework and the policies that apply to CEA operations.
2. To determine if existing land-use policies and guidelines within Ontario are sufficient for promoting various types of CEA.
3. To identify land-use planning best practices for CEA employed by municipalities in Ontario.
4. To initiate further discussion among Ontario municipalities and the agricultural community about land-use planning provisions regarding CEA.
5. To highlight next steps and recommendations for future research surrounding the land use planning considerations for CEA in Ontario.

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This report was commissioned to examine the implementation of policy regarding on-farm diversified uses (OFDU) within the Halton Regional Official Plan. 
The research provided within the report identifies influencing factors of OFDU implementation to include positive spillover effects (Vroege et al. 2020), proximity to urban boundaries (Vroege et al. 2020, Kristensen et al. 2019), attractive landscapes (Vroege, et al. 2020; Kristensen, et al. 2019; Jaarsma & de Vries, 2013) and size of farm (Kristensen et al. 2019). Land use compatibility of OFDUs was identified to decrease as the scale of the activity increased (Caldwell & Aston, 2000). Research also identifies that commercial functions have a significant impact on traffic flows, indicating these activities are of specific concern for OFDUs (Jaarsma & de Vries, 2013).

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Active transportation plan

The old city neighbourhood of Guelph, Ontario

In recognizing the relationship between public health and planning for active transportation, the City of Guelph is responding by developing and delivering an Active Transportation Plan for a predominately automobile-dependent neighbourhood – the Old City. The Old City will benefit from an Active Transportation Plan that promotes active transportation to serve present and future generations of residents and visitors in the City of Guelph. The Plan establishes a vision, goals, and priority areas to improve active transportation with a focus on walking and cycling.

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recolour grey

Healthy community & residential subdivision guidelines

These Guidelines have been created using data collected from a literature review focusing on healthy, sustainable, and supportive subdivision plans developed by both rural and urban centres in Ontario and communities across Canada. In addition, the appropriate Federal and Provincial policies pertaining to land-use and development were used to establish the Guidelines contained within this report.

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cannabis farm

township of centre wellington cannabis policies and perspectives for cannabis growth operations

This report is informed by the review of three relevant case studies: Norfolk County, Municipality of Leamington and Township of Scugog. These case studies were used to understand cannabis grow operations and inform policy considerations and recommendations for cannabis growth operations in the Township of Centre Wellington. The findings look to provide insight into the issues and opportunities for further research on this topic. Based on the research, the team has generated policy recommendations to be considered in the Township of Centre Wellington’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law review. 

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addressing homelessness in huron county

Over the past two decades, the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Canada radically increased. As of 2016, the Homeless Hub estimated that 1.3 million Canadians had experienced homelessness or housing insecurity at some point during the past five years (Adamo et al, 2016). This number has likely grown given the insufficient and deteriorating stock of affordable housing in both urban and rural municipalities across the country and its contribution to the housing crisis (Meda, 2009). This paper uses case studies to examine how planners have addressed homelessness at a municipal scale. Further, these case studies and their associated policies and methods inform recommendations for how Huron County, Ontario can integrate strategies and apply them to mitigate homelessness occurring within the region.

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town of seaforth main street community improvement plan

The historical and cultural value of the Town of Seaforth Main Street is highly recognized by the 1984 Seaforth Heritage Conservation District Plan, the Huron East Heritage Committee and its Municipal Council. Still, there is a lack of clear and stringent guidelines for private property owners on taking the proper steps for restoration on the buildings. The purpose of the Town of Seaforth CIP is to introduce guidelines regarding community improvement within the Town of Seaforth, specifically through heritage building revitalization; establish goals for community improvement that will help improve and maintain the identified heritage needs of the Town of Seaforth’s Main Street; designate a Community Improvement Project Area within the Town of Seaforth where community improvement funds and grants will be applied to; and provide implementation procedures for the CIP, which will ensure that the program is an effective and successful municipal tool. 

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policy approaches to planning for cemeteries in halton region

Death is an inevitable component of life. Consequently, there is a need to dedicate land for the use of honouring and disposing of our dead. Cemeteries meet those needs, and as a result can be considered essential to our social infrastructure. Despite this, cemeteries are often overlooked in land use planning policy. The tendency is to emphasize other land uses such as residential and economic growth in order to meet housing and employment needs, while cemeteries remain an afterthought. This is no better exemplified than in Halton Region, where the population is expected to double over the next 20 years. For the most part, Halton Region’s approach to planning focuses on developing policies that best direct growth and accommodate a larger population, while preserving the Region’s agricultural and natural heritage systems. An increased need for more cemetery space and cemeteries in Halton Region will accompany the expected growth in population, and it would be prudent of the Region to develop cemetery-specific policies in preparation for this future demand.

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grey county age friendly planning

This report is informed by our review of relevant literature and a community survey. Literature was drawn from government documents, regional and international case studies. The literature outlines various strategies and indicators for age friendly communities. The literature review provided insight into common age friendly issues. Relevant issues include transportation, healthcare provision, access to public space, suitable housing options, and communication strategies.

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community improvement plans

Best practices for CIPS in Huron County

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP), is a document most often used to support and encourage physical improvement of the community landscape. This report explores the state of CIPs in Huron County. In particular, five communities in the County were identified as having a CIP or an interest in creating a CIP. The central objective of the project is to help communicate amongst these communities the lessons learned and the challenges faced in the creation of a CIP.

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brussels streetscape master plan

Brussels is a small rural community in Huron County, Ontario located within the municipality of Huron East. Brussels is significantly affected by the lack of activity in the downtown. There are not enough shoppers and tenants, and a high turnover of business owners. However, current business owners and public officials envision a downtown core in which every storefront is occupied, well maintained, and people are drawn into the dynamic area.

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developing a social media strategy for the county of huron

Social Media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc) are becoming more popular by the day. The County of Huron has identified this trend as an opportunity to better connect its residents with information on the projects happening throughout the County. This report has been prepared to explore the potential of adding a social media component to the Huron County Planning & Development Department. 

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halton food literacy project

The goal of this project was to develop products that supported Halton Region’s current “Simply Local” initiative which aims to increase agricultural literacy through educating children and the general public about local agriculture, health, food and sustainability.

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rails to trails

Evolution of trade has rendered a significant portion of rail infrastructure abandoned. For many areas, transforming unused railway corridors into recreational trails has become a desirable initiative that brings potential economic, social and health benefits to a community. Both the Counties of Huron and Perth have sought to utilize their historical rail infrastructure to create a network of trails with the eventual goal of connecting the counties. This report seeks to provide an overview of the potential benefits, challenges and opportunities available in the establishment of trails in the County of Huron and Perth County.

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equine sector development in dufferin county

A final assessment report

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP), is a document most often used to support and encourage physical improvement of the community landscape. This report explores the state of CIPs in Huron County. In particular, five communities in the County were identified as having a CIP or an interest in creating a CIP. The central objective of the project is to help communicate amongst these communities the lessons learned and the challenges faced in the creation of a CIP.

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assessing the impact of melancthon quarry

In 2004, a Boston-based hedge fund, Baupost, under the name The Highland Companies began purchasing farms in the Township of Melancthon. These initial acquisitions were the beginning of an accumulation of roughly 3,400 hectares of prime agricultural land. After the farm acquisitions, Highland Companies became the largest grower, packer, and distributor of potatoes in the province. In April 2011, The Highland Companies applied for a license to extract aggregates from the site.  The proposal also includes plans to eventually rehabilitate some of the quarry back into agricultural land. However, since the proposed extraction sites will be well below the watertable, extensive water pumping will be required during operation and after rehabilitation, in perpetuity. 

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grey county apples

Challenges and opportunities

Apple producers throughout North America are pressured by increasing competition from international growers and rising input costs. The average North American consumed 3.08 kg of fresh apples in 2005, which represents a decline of over half a kilogram since 1991. Grey County, traditionally an important apple growing region in Ontario, has not been immune to these market conditions. Recognizing a serious decline in apple production, the County of Grey is considering this situation by consulting with graduate students at the University of Guelph to determine planning practices that could help the industry remain viable or determine alternatives.

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damage by hurricane Harvey taken just days after the storm.

guidelines for engaging the public post-disaster

This document provides recommendations and best practices for engaging a community in the planning process in the wake of a disaster. The need for such a document grew out of an observed void in literature on planning and public engagement for a post-disaster area. The target audience for this report is planners in rural and small towns in North America and their municipalities. 

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alternatives and innovation on small acreage in huron county

This report explores the potential of small acreage farms in Huron County. Currently, the County does not permit the creation of agricultural lots smaller than 30-38 hectares in size in order to prevent fragmentation of its agricultural resource and subsequently, protect the long-term viability of agriculture. While this is consistent with provincial policy, it may not be appropriate in some local contexts. For example, in Huron County there are a number of Anabaptist communities who have voiced aspirations for small agricultural lots because their youth have difficulty affording larger lot sizes. This report details a number of first steps in understanding the need and potential for small acreage farms within Huron County.

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putting vanastra on the map

This report focuses on the Community Association as the main vehicle for inspiring change in the Village of Vanastra. Community Associations have the ability to demonstrate unity and autonomy when building and exercising relationships with local government, and offer opportunities for creating community identity and pride. In the Village of Vanastra, a Community Association has the potential to focus on tangible goals and objectives, contribute to the momentum that has been growing, and ultimately, shape the future of the Village.

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