Official Plan Update

The City of Richmond Hill is updating the current Official Plan to guide land use and development to 2041. This update will continue to help transform our suburban communities into a more vibrant, complete community that serves the needs of all residents, businesses and visitors in Richmond Hill.

Tell us your favourite places in Richmond Hill

When updating the Official Plan, we want to understand which places and spaces the community enjoys today. We’re asking residents, workers, and visitors to drop a virtual pin on the 'My Favourite Places' interactive map and tell us your favourite places in the city throughout the duration of the Official Plan Update process. Your comments will help shape our communities and inform our future direction.

The application will work best using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

My Favourite Places App

The Official Plan Update project

What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a policy document that applies to all properties within the municipal boundary. It guides how land is used, and how and where growth and development will take place in our city.

The current Richmond Hill Official Plan provides:

  • A vision for the future of the city
  • An approach for where and how development will occur
  • Direction for municipal servicing to meet the needs of our growing city
  • Protection of natural areas and ecosystems
  • Implementation tools
Why the Official Plan is being updated

The Province requires that an Official Plan update be completed 10 years after the preparation of a new comprehensive Official Plan. This ensures that the updated plan implements any changes to provincial policies, conforms with policies in the York Region Official Plan, responds to current urban issues and conditions, and considers new opportunities for shaping the City.

Richmond Hill’s current Official Plan was adopted by Council in July 2010 in order to guide development to 2031. This review will provide a clear vision for planning and development in Richmond Hill to 2041.

In addition to Planning Act requirements, the update of the Official Plan will look to better support long-term sustainable city building, respond to climate change, and create a better balance of jobs and residents in the City.

The Official Plan update process is occurring concurrently with York Region's Municipal Comprehensive Review. As such, the update will also ensure that policies and mapping conform with those of the Regional Official Plan.

Other City initiatives related to the Official Plan Update

There are several City initiatives that will occur at the same time as the Official Plan update. These initiatives will develop tools that will be used to implement the policies of the Official Plan. There are also studies underway which will inform the Official Plan Update. Throughout this process, the existing approved Official Plan is in effect and guides decision making for the City.

The following is a list of City-led projects:

Staff Reports

Project Phases

Preliminary Official Plan Amendments

Two proposed amendments to the Official Plan related to uses in Employment Lands were initiated by the City. These amendments aimed to coordinate with the work being undertaken by York Region with respect to their Municipal Comprehensive Review, to respond to Council direction, and to respond to site-specific concerns.

The amendments proposed were:

  • OPA 18.1 - Automotive uses in employment lands (city file D01-20005)
  • OPA 18.2 - Conversion of Employment Area to permit new and/or expansion of existing institutional, office, and small-scale retail uses (city file D01-20006)

OPA 18.2 was adopted by Council on September 23, 2020, and was approved by York Region and came into effect on December 25, 2020. The changes proposed as part of OPA 18.1 (automotive uses) will be considered as part of the overall Official Plan Update, and are no longer proceeding ahead of the overall Official Plan Update.

Meetings and Engagement Events

Phase 1 – Define Vision and Urban Structure
This phase focuses on the big picture thinking and generating ideas to inform a vision for the City in 2041. This phase also focuses on gathering feedback on the urban structure of the City.

Objectives:

  • Introduce the OP update
  • Receive input on Richmond Hill’s future vision and urban structure

Meetings and Engagement Events

What We Heard

Following the engagement that the City has conducted to the end of March 2021, Lura Consulting has prepared a "What We Heard" report. This report provides a summary of consultation the City has undertaken and the responses that have been received so far. This input will inform Phase 2 of the Official Plan Update process.

View the "What We Heard" Phase 1 Summary Report

Phase 2 – Key Directions Report
During this phase, the City will gather feedback on key policy directions related to: height and density of buildings, intensification of development in transit supported areas, opportunities to increase employment and economic prosperity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, technical matters, and implementation tools.

Objectives:

  • Share our research and what we have heard
  • Gather feedback on key policy directions

Meetings and Engagement Events

Phase 3 – Policy Development and Approval
During this phase, the policies and mapping of the Official Plan will be presented to the community for feedback.

Objectives:

  • Share our research and what we have heard
  • Present proposed amendments to the Official Plan to the community for feedback

Additional ways to participate

  • Attend future consultation events
  • Provide your input through future online surveys
  • Subscribe to this page for email updates (see below)
  • Submit your comments to OPUpdate@richmondhill.ca or call us at 905-771-8910