Why are the Planning Act Applications being processed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    The Province has deemed municipal services to be essential. Niagara-on-the-Lake Town Hall is closed to the public due to COVID-19 and in-person meetings have been cancelled. As permitted under Provincial legislation and the Town’s Procedural By-law, Council and Committee meetings are being conducted electronically. Town Council has been holding electronic meetings to conduct municipal business, including the processing of development applications with public participation, since April 2020. These meetings can be viewed at https://livestream.com/notl.

    Why are the Planning Act applications being reviewed before the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly Conservation Review Board) has issued a decision regarding the Notice of Intention to Designate under the Ontario Heritage Act?

    The Town cannot refuse a complete application submitted under the Planning Act. When a complete application (including identified studies, plans and reports) is received, the Town processes the application. A Council decision on the application needs to be made according to timelines set out in the Planning Act. If Planning Act timelines are not followed, the applicant may appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal). Council’s position on the cultural heritage features of the subject land has been detailed in the Notices of Intention to Designate.

    What impact will the delay of the Ontario Land Tribunal hearing until December cause?

    The Provincial Policy Statement requires that significant built heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes shall be conserved. The Council issued Notices of Intention to Designate 200 John Street East and 588 Charlotte Street will be used to inform the consideration of these planning applications if a recommendation report is prepared in advance of the Tribunal hearing and recommendations or decisions that may result.

    Will this proposal be taken to the Municipal Heritage and Urban Design Committees?

    Yes. It is standard practice for these Committees to provide advice to Staff and Council on such Planning applications. The dates for consideration have not been scheduled, in part, due to the statements made by the applicant representatives that modifications may be made following the Open House and Public Meeting input.

    As future meetings are scheduled, the “Key Date” section on this page will be updated to give the public advance notice.

    Please note: the Municipal Heritage and Urban Design Committees were not established for the purpose of accommodating or debating public delegations. 

    The reason for this is to focus public engagement at the Council level and to avoid unnecessarily weighing volunteers with controversial matters.

    Municipal Heritage Committee – Terms of Reference 


    • Delegations will be limited to the following:
      1. Applicants seeking comments on their applications under the Planning Act
      2. Proponents of heritage permit applications and those seeking comments on their future heritage permit applications.
      3. Proponents seeking the designation of properties under their ownership.
    • Delegations shall be limited to a ten (10) minute presentation after which the MHC shall make its comments and recommendations.
    • Written comments may be submitted to the Committee through the Staff liaison to the Municipal Heritage Committee on other heritage matters.
    • The Committee can request to receive a delegation. The request shall be voted and approved by a majority of the members. 


    Urban Design Committee – Terms of Reference

    7.4 - Meetings are open to the public. In accordance with the Town’s Procedural By-law, the Committee can request to receive a delegation. The request shall be voted and approved by a majority of the members.

    When will important dealings regarding this proposal return to an in-person format?

    As we continue on the road to recovery and Provincial legislation and Public Health recommendations evolve, Staff look forward to the return of public engagement in more normal forums.

    Who determines the Urban Area Boundary and can it be changed?

    Recognition of settlement area boundaries in Provincial policy (e.g. Greenbelt Plan) is set at a Provincial level and is considered definitive.

    Is any portion of the subject lands within the Specialty Crop (Niagara Tender Fruit and Grape) Area?

    The proposed plan of subdivision does not contemplate development within the Greenbelt.