The City of Owen Sound Official Plan, 2006 provides policies, goals and objectives to guide the development and redevelopment of lands within the City for a period of 20 years. Among other things, the Official Plan aims to promote the health, safety and quality of life for the residents of Owen Sound, and guide physical growth within the context of economic, social and environmental matters. The Official Plan is used to assist Council in determining criteria for the consideration of development and land use policy, and to ensure land use planning in the City is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the County of Grey Official Plan.
The City’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2010-078, as amended, implements the policies, goals and objectives of the Official Plan, and provides a legally enforceable way to manage existing land use and future development by stating: 1) how land can be used, and 2) the required standards. These standards include lot size and dimensions, setbacks from property lines, building location, building type and parking requirements. To access the Zoning By-law and read about the process of creating the new by-law, please click here.
The Community Improvement Plan, 2010 (CIP) establishes a framework for the support and implementation of programs which encourage development and redevelopment throughout the City, especially in the downtown and harbourfront areas. The CIP allows for the City to offer financial assistance to encourage completion of projects in accordance with municipal and provincial standards. The CIP incentives are intended to support affordable housing, heritage preservation, brownfield remediation and overall long-term economic prosperity in the City.
The purpose of the Façade and Structural Improvement Program is to encourage restoration and rehabilitation of downtown buildings in the eligible area included under the Community Improvement Plan or any building in the City designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. The Façade Program provides for incentives to property owners and tenants who will improve the façade of a building in a fashion consistent with the original building design, and/or complete structural improvements necessary to maintain the safety and integrity of a structure as per the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.
The Owen Sound Harbour & Downtown Urban Design/Master Plan Strategy provides an overall framework and design specifications for urban improvement and redevelopment in the harbour and downtown areas. The Strategy includes potential solutions, recommended actions, cost estimates, specifications, and drawings of urban amenities (street furniture, etc.), and an implementation plan. The Harbour & Downtown Urban Design/ Master Plan Strategy can be found in the reference section of the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library, or in the Planning Division at Owen Sound City Hall. To access excerpts from the Strategy, please see Applications & Documents.
The Residential Tree Preservation Policy provides direction for the management and retention of residential trees. The goals of the Policy are: to preserve existing trees, woodlots and natural features wherever possible, in accordance with the tree inventory and preservation plan; to provide landscaping at the street line which contributes to the continuity of landscaping between adjacent properties; to stabilize steep embankments with ground cover and trees; to select plant materials that are ecologically sound, appropriate for the existing and future site conditions, and suitable for all seasons.