fftvplos rvozxqb · 2021-02-15

Plenty of interest in new zoning bylaw

There was heavy interest from the public at a pair of public open houses held to provide information about the Municipality of Meaford’s new zoning bylaw.

Members of Meaford’s planning staff and council were thrilled to see a large crowd attend the information sessions. The open house was held at Meaford Hall in the main gallery, which was often packed with people examining the planning maps and asking planners on hand questions about the new zoning bylaw.

The new zoning bylaw will implement the municipality’s new Official Plan. The bylaw ensures that zoning regulations are consistent across the municipality. The bylaw is the key document that regulates development across the entire municipality.

Meaford Planner Liz Buckton was extremely busy at the open houses last Thursday afternoon and evening. Buckton fielded hundreds of questions and comments from citizens that attended the meeting.

"I’m glad to see that people are interested in the zoning bylaw," Buckton said during a rare quiet moment at the afternoon open house. "I’m thrilled with the turnout. I’m glad property owners are participating in the planning process," she said.

Buckton said the vast majority of the questions and comments she received concerned specific issues with particular properties. The overall policies and directives set out in the Official Plan and the new zoning bylaw appear to have gained acceptance across the community.

"There will be some specific issues we’ll continue to address," commented Buckton.

With the public open houses now completed, planners will take the comments and questions from the public and prepare a final draft of the zoning bylaw.

"We hope by that point we will have vetted all the issues," explained Buckton.

The final draft will be presented at a formal public meeting held by Meaford council. Following that meeting the zoning bylaw will come before council for approval – at a subsequent meeting. The new zoning bylaw does not require approval from Grey Count or the provincial government to be enacted. After the bylaw is passed by council a 20-day appeal period begins. After that period ends and if no appeals of the document are filed it becomes official.

Mayor Francis Richardson attended the open houses and was happy to see so much interest in the new zoning bylaw.

"The zoning bylaw is the working part of the Official Plan. The Official Plan tells us what can be done, the zoning bylaw tells us how it can be done. We have certainly spent a lot of time developing this bylaw," said Mayor Richardson. "We certainly hope it passes this summer," he added.

Councillor Lynda Stephens also attended the open houses and said she is looking forward to this planning process being completed by the municipality.

"It will be really good to have this all finished with the comments from our residents included. Then we will have a plan in place and we can move forward," said Stephens.