Official Plan Review

Official Plan Review

The Township of Essa is currently undergoing an Official Plan Review. The Township's current Official Plan was put into effect on July 6, 2001. 

Comments can be submitted in writing to the Township's Official Plan email account at , or feel free to drop off hard copies of your responses to the Planning Department at the Township of Essa to the attention of Aimee Powell, Manager of Planning and Development.

The purpose of the Official Plan Review is to fulfill the requirements of the Planning Act, which requires municipalities to conduct a review every ten years and to update local Official Plans to conform to provincial plans, policies and matters of Provincial interest. The Official Plan Review is a Township-wide initiative affecting all land within the Township of Essa. MHBC Planning has been retained by the Township to conduct the Official Plan Review alongside Township Planning Staff. 

Feedback from the public is essential to ensure that the municipality's growth and development aligns with community needs and priorities.  

Draft Discussion Paper Review

In an effort to keep everyone informed on the progress of the Township of Essa's Official Plan Review and to build on the Visioning Sessions and the continued public consultation, we are providing the following documents for your review and comment. 

The first attached document is “Essa OP Discussion Paper # 1 – Draft", which seeks to provide an overview of all the submissions made by the community including the results from the Fall Visioning Workshop for the Official Plan Review. This document also presents new policy areas and revisions to existing policies that we would like your feedback on. 

The second attached document is the “Summary of Vision Session Responses", which highlights the main points/objectives that were voiced concerning each Visioning Session question as submitted by those who attended the Visioning Workshops held during the Fall of 2020. 

We look forward to any comments you may have on these materials on or before Friday January 29th, 2021. Any questions related to the documents can be provided by email to​ or by leaving a voicemail message at 705-424-9917 ext 111.

History of OP Review - Public Engagement

  • A Visioning Workshop (held in the September and October of 2020) was the first public engagement portion of the OP Review. The Visioning Workshop took place over a two-week period, and provided residents with the opportunity to solicit feedback (contained in paragraph above).  
  • Following the two-week response period, an in-person meeting and a virtual meeting was held at the Administration Centre on October 27, 2020.  The purpose of the meeting was to review the themes of the responses provided by the public, and to provide participants with a further opportunity to provide comments.

Questions related to the Visioning Workshop can be emailed to the Planning and Development Department.


An OP Review is completed in three phases:

  1. thorough background research, including opportunities for community input
  2. preparation of the draft OP
  3. finalization and adoption of the new OP

An OP Review can take up to one and a half years to complete.

Essa commenced its OP Review in  the fall of 2020.

The following planning documents guide land use planning in Ontario, including:


The new OP will be considered by Council and the County of Simcoe.  The County's decision is subject to appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal

The new OP may impact the zoning of certain properties.  The Planning Act requires that the Township of Essa updates its Zoning By-law three years after a new OP is approved.

Essa's new OP will address the following planning and policy areas:

  • achieving sustainable development
  • delivering a sufficient supply of homes
  • building a strong and competitive local economy
  • ensuring the vitality of settlement areas and promoting healthy and safe communities
  • promoting sustainable transport
  • supporting high-quality communications
  • making effective use of land
  • achieving well-designed places
  • conserving and enhancing the natural environment
  • conserving and enhancing the historic environment
  • meeting the challenge of climate change

We want our new OP to reflect community goals and priorities.  We encourage residents to get involved by participating in one of the following ways:

  • Visioning Workshop
  • Virtual Stakeholder Meetings
  • Statutory Public Open Houses & Meetings

We will provide information about the OP Review through the following methods:

Additionally, you can subscribe tot his page to stay informed.

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