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Welcome to Essa Township

Township of Essa Administration Centre

5786 County Road 21 | Utopia, ON L0M 1T0

Phone: 705-424-9917 Fax: 705-424-2367

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Skip Navigation LinksTownship of Essa > Local Government > Official Plan Review

​​​​​​​Official Plan Review

The Township of Essa is undertaking an update to their Official Plan document, and your input is needed. The Township's current Official Plan was put into effect on July 6, 2001 and can be found here.​

Planning 101 Presenta​tion

Official Plan

What is an Official Plan?

The Official Plan is a statement of goals, objectives and policies to guide future growth, land use and development within the Township of Essa for the next 20 years and beyond. The Township's current Official Plan was approved in 2001 and has been subject to several amendments.

Why are we reviewing our Official Plan?

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. 

Why your feedback is important?

The purpose of the Visioning Workshop is to provide members of the public with an opportunity to provide initial feedback and answers to a number of questions that will help determine the overriding vision for the Township's Official Plan.  

Following the Visioning Workshop, additional opportunities to provide further comments on the Official Plan Review, including public open houses and stakeholders meetings will be scheduled.  Public feedback is important in shaping the future vision and direction for the Township of Essa.  We are interested in getting your input at this stage of the process based on your experience in the area and your ideas for the future of the Township of Essa.​

Visioning Session Notice - Octobe​r 23, 2020

Official Plan Sched​ule

Official Plan Review - Virtual Open House - February 23, 2021

Updated Work Plan and Deadlines

Final Technical Memo - Nov 4 2021


Visioning Workshop

The Township is conducting a Visioning Workshop to gather information to direct future growth and development in the Township of Essa.  Due to COVID-19, this process will be unique and differs from a typical Visioning Workshop.​

The Visioning Workshop will take place over a two week period, details are as follows:

Questions to solicit feedback have been posted on the Township website, see below, hard copies will be made available at the Township office.   Detailed instructions are provided.
The public will be afforded an opportunity to provide responses to the questions during a two week ​    period from September 22, 2020 to October 6, 2020.  
Following the two week response period, an in-person meeting and virtual meeting will be held at the  Township office on October 27, 2020.  The purpose of this meeting is to review the themes of the     responses provided and to provide participants with an opportunity to provide further comments.  
All content related to the Official Plan Review, including reference and background material, project      schedule and Visioning Workshop instructions will be made available on the Township Website​​.  

Any questions related to the Visioning Workshop can be provided by email to  officialplan@essatownship.on.ca or by leaving a voicemail message at 705-424-9917 ext 111​​.

Visioning Workshop - Key Questions

The Township of Essa is undertaking an update to their Official Plan document, and we need your input.

The below questions were prepared in order to obtain your input on what you envision for the future of the Township of Essa.  The Visioning Workshop is the first public engagement portion on the Official Plan Review and there will be other public engagement sessions scheduled throughout the Official Plan Review process.  

Please send your answers to the below questions to the Township's Official Plan email account at officialplan@essatownship.on.ca or feel free to drop off hard copies of your responses to the Planning Department at the Township of Essa to the attention of Carly Murphy.  Responses and comments can be provided between September 22, 2020 and October 6, 2020.  Following this two week period, an in-person and virtual meeting will be held on October 27th to provide a summary of the themes of the responses and comments that have been received, and to receive additional comments. 

Prior to answering the following questions, please take a few minutes to review the Planning 101 Presentation that is available on the Township webpage in order to understand how planning documents shape where you live, work and play. 

  • What are the top 5 things you value most about your community (in order of importance)?
  • Please identify what you believe to be the 5 top planning issues that will face the Township over the next 5 years (in order of importance). 
  • Please list what you believe to be the top 5 planning issues that will face the Township over the next 20 years. 
  • Growth and Development 
    • Where should residential and non-residential growth be focused? 
    • Where should residential and non-residential growth not occur? 
    • Should second dwellings units be permitted?  If so, where?
      -   Are there housing styles that are missing or lacking in supply? 
  • Economy  
    • What can the Official Plan do to promote new business opportunities and facilitate expansion of existing businesses? 
    • What are the key economic attributes of the community that are not realized to their full potential?
  • Natural Environment
    • ​Does the Official Plan do enough to protect environmental features such as woodlands, watercourses and wetlands?
  • Agricultural and Rural Areas
    • Does the Official Plan sufficiently protect agricultural lands?
    • Does the Official Plan permit too much or not enough rural lot creation? 
    • ​Is it important that farmers be permitted to have alternative income sources on farm properties?
  • Are there any other comments you would like to make that should be considered in the Official Plan Review?​

UPDATE​ Visioning Workshop Draft Discussion Paper Review

In an effort to keep everyone informed on the progress of the Township of Essa's Official Plan Review we have provided two 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 officialplan@essatownship.on.ca​ or by leaving a voicemail message at 705-424-9917 ext 111

Essa OP Discussion Paper 1 - Draft

Summary of Vision Session Responses​​

​For More information please contact the Planning Department at (705) 424-9917 ext 104