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The Town of Richmond Hill’s Draft New Official Plan was released on May 6, 2010. An Open House was held on May 12, 2010 and the Draft New Official Plan was presented to Council at the June 9, 2010 Special Council Public Meeting. Council received the Draft New Official Plan and referred comments on the Plan back to Staff for consideration in the preparation of the final Richmond Hill Official Plan. Staff were directed by Council to respond to those comments and make recommendations on the Official Plan at the July 5, 2010 Committee of the Whole Meeting.
The Richmond Hill Official Plan (2010) was adopted by the Council of the Town of Richmond Hill on July 12, 2010.
The Official Plan establishes policies for the physical, social and economic growth of the community, and ensures that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of its inhabitants. It sets the tone for the look and feel of the community and ultimately influences how the Town functions. The new Official Plan represents a fundamental shift in the Town’s approach to land use planning. While the new Official Plan reflects planning direction from the Province and York Region for more compact, complete communities, it balances the desire of the community for managed growth at a scale that reflects the local context and positively contributes to the Town’s character and identity. The Council adopted Official Plan’s vision of “building a new kind of urban” is reflected in the Town’s unique and innovative approaches to land use planning:
- Environment First and Sustainability
- Establish a connected Greenway System to protect natural features and functions both on the Oak Ridges Moraine and south of the Oak Ridges Moraine
- Continue to provide leadership and foster innovation in sustainable design
- City Building
- Accommodate predominantly “mid-rise” forms of growth in a defined urban structure that is rapid transit-supportive, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use and connected
- Limited development within neighbourhoods that is a “good fit”
- Accommodate intensification in a way that protects, promotes and enhances what people value about the Town of Richmond Hill
- Excellence in design
Through the People Plan Richmond Hill consultation approach, Town staff worked with the public to develop a vision, guiding principles, urban structure and major policy directions for the new Official Plan. To help inform the new Plan, numerous background studies were undertaken covering important topics like the environment, economy, transportation, housing, parkland, heritage, urban design, infrastructure and servicing, the Richmond Hill Centre, the Downtown, and the David Dunlap Observatory. These studies helped inform the new Official Plan.