Natural Hazards

It is important to minimize public health and safety issues, including the protection of human life and property from hazards such as flooding and erosion.

A number of environmentally significant landforms, natural heritage and water resource areas are present in the Township.


 Provincial & County Policy

The Provincial Policy Statement and the County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies provide direction on specific issues. The Township Official Plan policies must conform to the PPS and County Official Plan, which set out the following policies:

Preventative Approach

Provincial Policy directs development away from areas of natural and human-made hazards to protect public health and safety, and to reduce potential costs and risks to residents.

Climate Change

Consideration must be given to the potential impacts of climate change, which may increase risks associated with natural hazards.

Development May Occur

Development may be permitted in certain areas where the effects and risks to public safety are minor and could be mitigated in accordance with provincial standards.

Human-Made Hazards

Development on some lands may only be permitted if rehabilitation or other mitigation measures have been completed. Sites with contaminants must be assessed and remediated so that there will be no adverse effects.

Existing Policy & Legislation

  • Provincial Policy Statement 2014
  • County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies
  • Conservation Authorities Act

Current Township Policies

The previous Official Plan included Conservation, Hazard and Natural Heritage policies as an “overlay designation”.

Section 6.4 of the Current Official Plan contains policies for Conservation, Hazard and Natural Heritage. Current Official Plan policies require that:

  • The Township will use Official Plan policies, subdivision control procedures, zoning by-laws and site plan control to ensure that conservation requirements are met.
  • No buildings will be permitted in areas subject to flooding, and any works proposed in association with a watercourse will require permit approval under the Conservation Authorities Act.
  • The Township will not contemplate acquiring Conservation, Hazard, and Natural Heritage lands, and the lands are not necessarily free and open to the public.
  • In general, development and site alteration will not be permitted within the regional floodplain of watercourses or within erosion areas below the top-of-bank steep slopes.
  • An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may be required for some types of development or site alteration.

New and revised Official Plan policies will aim to reduce risks to health and safety as a result of natural hazards.

Your ideas and vision are important!

What changes would you like to see?

  • Do you think that the current policies are sufficient to protect against hazards?
  • Are there areas of natural or man-made hazards that you think should be identified in the Official Plan?
  • Are current policies adequate to protect residents and their property from natural hazards?
  • Do you think there are other natural hazards that should be considered in policy development (i.e. ice storms)?
  • Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.

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