Agriculture

Prime agricultural land means specialty crop areas and/or Canada Land Inventory Class, 1, 2, and 3 lands. Prime agricultural areas are areas where prime agricultural lands predominate and where there is a local concentration of farms which exhibit characteristics of ongoing agriculture.

The Township of Adjala-Tosorontio is a predominately rural and agricultural community. Agriculture and Agriculture-related business accounts for a significant portion of the local economy. The Township includes a substantial amount of high capability agricultural land that is used to produce a diverse variety of agricultural commodities.

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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:

Long Term Protection

Prime agricultural areas shall be protected for long-term use for agriculture. Prime agricultural lands and areas are required to be designated by local municipalities.  Agricultural uses and normal farm practices are to be promoted and protected.

Permitted Uses

In prime agricultural areas permitted uses and activities include: agricultural uses, agriculture-related uses and on-farm diversified uses.

These uses must be compatible with, and not hinder, the surrounding agricultural operations.

New land uses must comply with the minimum distance separation formulae.

Lot Creation

Lot creation in prime agricultural areas is discouraged and the creation of new residential lots in prime agricultural areas can only occur under certain circumstances (e.g. a residence surplus to a farming operation).

Non-Agricultural Uses

Limited non-agricultural uses are permitted in Prime Agricultural Areas, including: mineral aggregate resource extraction, infrastructure, and limited non-residential uses.

Existing Policy & Legislation

  • Provincial Policy Statement 2014
  • County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies

Current Township Policies

The current Official Plan aims to preserve the active agricultural community and the rural character of the Township while recognizing that some forms of development, such as residential, need to be accommodated to meet the needs of the community.

Section 3.3 of the Current Official Plan contains policies for the protection and use of Agricultural and Rural Areas. Current Official Plan policies require that:

  • Prime agricultural areas be protected for long-term use for agriculture.
  • Uses in prime agricultural areas be restricted to agricultural uses and agricultural-related uses
  • In prime agricultural areas all types, sizes, and intensities of agricultural uses and normal farm practices be promoted and protected.
  • Lot creation in prime agricultural areas only be permitted for agricultural uses, agricultural-related uses, or infrastructure.
  • The creation of a new residential lot be prohibited.
  • The expansion of settlement areas into prime agricultural areas be restricted to specific circumstances.
  • Impacts of new or expanding non-agricultural uses are to be mitigated to the extent feasible.

The updated Official Plan will continue to recognize the importance of agriculture to the economy and the character of the community. Prime agricultural land will be protected over the long-term.

Your ideas and vision are important!

What changes would you like to see?

  • Do you think that the existing Agricultural policies are sufficient?
  • What type of agriculture-related uses do you think should be allowed to occur in agricultural areas?
  • What areas of the Township have a high Agricultural importance and value?
  • Urban farming such as the keeping of chickens and community gardens are becoming more common. Do you think the Official Plan should include urban farming policies?
  • Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.

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