Tiny Township’s new official plan should be in place by early 2019 and with it will come new regulations around secondary units, increased opportunity for economic development in the agricultural sector and expanded environmental protection.

A third draft of the official plan was presented at a July 11 public meeting. The majority of the comments received were around environmental protection and ensuring the plan did all it could to safeguard water in the region.

For the past five months, residents have been fighting against an application to remove nearly seven million litres of water per day from a Tiny Township quarry. This pit, which is fed by the Alliston aquifer, is said to contain some of the purest water in the world.

“We have put as much protection as we can in place when it comes to water,” said Shaun Persaud, director of planning and development for the township. “At the end of the day permits to take water are still government by the Ministry of the Environment.”

Updates to the official plan have expanded environmental protection areas in the township, placing a greater emphasis on ensuring the conservation of natural heritage.

“There is a greater protection for natural features, such as forests, wetlands and other natural heritage,” said Persaud.

While officials in Midland and Penetanguishene are worried the increased environmental protection will impact future growth, Persaud doesn’t believe this will have any significant impact in Tiny.

“The province and the county don’t have the Township of Tiny as a major growth area in their plans. We aren’t slated to have significant growth,” said Persaud.

With the last update to the official plan coming in 2000, there was a lot of work needed to modernize the document.

Uses for agricultural lands will be expanded, allowing farmers to diversify their land-use opportunities.

“One farmer has started hosting wedding banquets and receptions on his property, in addition to farming the land,” said Persaud.

The new plan will also encourage the creation of secondary units and basement apartments.

Tiny council is slated to finalize the official plan in the fall and send it off to the county for approval.

Source: simcoe.com. Pictured is Township of Tiny Mayor George Cornell.