NBMCA Launches Public Consultation to Support Upcoming Municipal Amendments to Official Plans and/or Zoning Bylaws
The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority recently launched a public consultation on the PlaceSpeak platform to consult residents within 7 neighbouring municipalities that will be considering changes to their Official Plans and/or Zoning Bylaws. The changes are required by the recently approved Source Protection Plan (SP Plan).
The purpose of the SP Plan is to protect municipal drinking water sources from contamination. The changes the municipalities are now making will prohibit a number of activities which could pose a threat if undertaken in vulnerable areas. The municipalities of Callander, Chisholm, East Ferris, Machar, Mattawa, Powassan, and South River are impacted by the SP Plan and are actively engaging with their respective citizens to spread the word about this consultation and gather necessary feedback.
Several policies in the SP Plan require municipalities to prohibit the establishment of certain activities, which do not currently exist. This will be accomplished through changes to zoning and/or official plans. Before municipal councils make changes to zoning or official plans, the public must be given the opportunity to comment.
Sue Miller, Project Manager at NBMCA wants the public to know their input is crucial to the success of the SP Plan. “It is very important that Councils know if anyone will be affected by the prohibitions. If they are, existing land uses generally have to be accommodated, and an alternative approach must be found.”
Miller also commented on the value that PlaceSpeak brings in facilitating the discussion, “PlaceSpeak is allowing municipalities to post the information where it is readily accessible to the public and give far more opportunity to conveniently submit comments for Council’s consideration. The online forum allows people to provide thoughtful input without being rushed to react as in a public meeting.”
The NBMCA understands the long term value of conducting consultations on PlaceSpeak as residents who register can subsequently be advised of any future consultations that may affect them. “I expect that in the future when we are reviewing some other issues of local concern in our program, online consultation will play a prominent role in opening up the discussion,” said Miller.
How to get involved:
Additional information regarding the changes required in your municipality and the areas affected can be found here.
Project Manager, Source Water Protection
North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority
Tel: 705 474-5420
Email: [email protected]