OMB approves Bronte Green application for development of former Saw-Whet Golf Course lands

Thursday, July 6, 2017 – for immediate release

OMB approves Bronte Green application for development of former Saw-Whet Golf Course lands

Decision approves settlement negotiated last fall

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has released its decision formally approving the negotiated settlement that was reached between the Town of Oakville, the Region of Halton, Conservation Halton and Bronte Green last fall concerning the development of the lands at 1401 Bronte Road.

“The OMB’s decision to approve the town’s settlement with Bronte Green was the best possible outcome that we could achieve at the OMB,” Mayor Burton said. “In the settlement, Bronte Green agreed to significant concessions to respond to all of the issues raised by the town including protecting green space and addressing key environmental concerns over wildlife and flood protection. While it would have been desirable to preserve all this land, legally that was simply not possible in this case.”

The approved development proposal permits Bronte Green to build a residential community with limited retail, and a mix of single family homes, townhouses and low-rise apartments located on Bronte Road. This proposed transit-friendly community will also include a school, parks and a trail system while preserving sensitive environmental lands that are critical habitat to endangered and other species of wildlife.

The town had opposed the original Bronte Green application as being premature and not in the public interest. This position was based on serious concerns with the draft plan and the underlying technical studies. The town engaged a team of 15 witnesses representing a variety of scientific and planning disciplines to put forth its case.

Following extensive negotiations, Bronte Green made significant changes to its original development proposal to reflect the concerns raised by the Town of Oakville, Region of Halton, Conservation Halton and the community. These changes included:

Dedicating a significant parcel of land to enhance the woodlands
Creating a high value habitat for species including snapping turtles.
Increasing the size of the buffer around the natural features from 10 to 30 metres in order to better protect the natural heritage system from the impacts of development and to reduce flood and erosion impacts.
Constructing storm water management systems which insure that there will be no additional risk of downstream flooding.
Removing the vehicular bridge previously proposed over the Fourteen Mile Creek which posed a threat to endangered species of fish.
Securing a permanent natural heritage linkage to Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Reserving an elementary school site adjacent to a centrally located neighbourhood park.
Increasing density on portions of the site to support transit-friendly development along Bronte Road, and preserve more parkland

For more information visit the Bronte Green Corporation development application page.


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OMB approves Bronte Green application for development of former Saw-Whet Golf Course lands

Oakville introduces new parking app with HonkMobile

Thursday, July 6, 2017 – for immediate release

Oakville introduces new parking app with HonkMobile

Skip the line! Park and pay with your phone

The Town of Oakville has partnered with HonkMobile to offer a new way to pay for parking at municipal parking lots in Downtown Oakville and Kerr Village. In addition to the existing Pay by Plate machines, visitors can now pay for parking from their smartphone using the Honk app.

“We’re always looking for new ways to use technology to enhance town services,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “With the Honk app, there is no waiting at the pay stations. It’s easy as park, search, pay and go, making it easier to shop, visit and enjoy all that Downtown and Kerr Village has to offer.”

Honk also notifies users when their time is about to expire and allows them to buy additional time right from their smartphone, eliminating the need to rush back to a parking machine and helping to avoid tickets.

Simply download the free app from honkmobile.com, the App Store or Google Play and set up your account. When you’re ready to park, choose your zone and enter the parking time needed. Information is also posted on each parking lot’s pay-by-plate machines, if you need help.

“Honk is revolutionizing parking across North America and we are thrilled to bring our service to Oakville,” says Honk Founder and CEO Michael Back. “It’s really a win-win for the town and its’ motorists. As mobile adoption increases, there is less need for parking equipment and meters and their associated maintenance costs. The ease and convenience of the app eliminates the need to get out of the car to pay for parking.”

Look for the signs at all municipal parking lots that use Honk! On-street mobile payment will be accepted in the coming weeks.

For more information, please visit our Municipal Parking Lots and Garages page.

About HonkMobile:

HonkMobile is North America’s leading provider of on-demand mobile payments for parking. Honk’s innovative cloud-based technology streamlines parking by allowing users to search, pay for, and top up parking from their mobile phone, tablet or any internet connected device. Honk is already accepted at over 800 locations and 150,000 parking spaces across Canada and the United States. Using a single account, motorists can pay for parking anywhere Honk is accepted across North America.


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Oakville introduces new parking app with HonkMobile

AVL technology improving services for Oakville residents

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 – for immediate release

AVL technology improving services for Oakville residents

Automatic Vehicle Locators being used on buses, fire trucks and public works vehicles

Technology that allows the Town of Oakville to pinpoint the exact location of its buses, public works vehicles and fire trucks in real-time is resulting in significant service improvements for residents according to a staff presentation made to Council on June 26, 2017.

Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVL) are devices that work with GPS (Global Positioning System) and a wireless radio system to transmit information about a vehicle’s current location. It’s a powerful tool that helps the town manage fleets of vehicles and ensure that service levels are being met.

“In today’s digitally-driven world, municipal governments have to constantly evolve to continue providing high-quality services to our residents,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “AVL technology is helping the town provide citizens with on-demand information, tools and services they can easily access from their mobile devices.”

For Oakville Transit customers, AVL technology allows them to track their bus in real-time from their computer or mobile phone so they can know exactly when it will arrive at their stop. Digital signs onboard buses and automated voice announcements advising customers of next stop information are also features made possible by this technology.

The Roads and Works department is also using AVL technology to provide better communication to residents about snow clearing. Residents can now track the progress of plows in real-time as they clear roads by using the PlowOakville online tool. Staff also use the technology to accurately monitor and track the amount of salt their trucks distribute on the roads.

AVL and GPS technology are not only making town services more accessible and convenient for residents, these tools are also helping the Oakville Fire Department cut down response times and get to the scene of an emergency sooner. When a fire crew is dispatched on a call, they can now access the call information from a computer tablet within the fire truck.

“In an emergency situation every second counts and this technology gives our crews the most accurate, up-to-date mapping information available so they can respond as quickly as possible,” said Fire Chief Brian Durdin.

The town is continuing to invest in new technology and innovative solutions to serve the community more efficiently and effectively. Other initiatives currently underway include a new pay by phone mobile app for municipal parking lots, and a mobile-friendly update to oakville.ca coming later this month.


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Councillor Adams appointed chair of 2018 Budget Committee

Town plans for continued inflation level tax increases

At the inaugural 2018 Budget Committee meeting on June 26, 2017, Councillor Tom Adams was appointed as Oakville’s budget chair for the tenth consecutive year. Councillor Adams holds his Master’s in Business Administration from McMaster University and is a former senior risk manager to one of Canada’s major financial institutions.

Oakville is committed to offering valued services and programs to residents and making strategic investments in community priorities. Each year the town’s budget is one of the most important tasks facing Town Council, who have directed staff to prepare a budget that keeps the overall tax increase in line with inflation. The target for 2018 has been set at an overall property tax increase of 1.8 per cent, including the town, Regional and educational shares of the property tax bill.

Key budget pressures outlined by Nancy Sully, deputy treasurer and director, Financial Planning, include $1.4 million to implement the increased minimum wage announced recently by the Province, and $1.3 million in costs related to growth in the town including the operation of new transit vehicles, the cost to maintain new parks and roads, as well as costs associated with operating the new Trafalgar Park Community Centre (redeveloped Oakville Arena) and a proposed library.

The town will be looking at transforming the way services are delivered in order to respond to budget pressures in 2019 and 2020 relating to Trafalgar Park and the opening of the Southeast Community Centre (on the former hospital lands), a new fire station in Palermo, as well as other funding needs. Council has directed staff to keep overall property tax increases in line with inflation in both 2019 and 2020.

“The town is at the point where we must move beyond simple cost containment measures to keep tax increases at the rate of inflation in future years,” said CAO Ray Green. “Council, staff and the community will need to work together to set priorities, and look for opportunities to transform the way we deliver services.”

Green recommended a comprehensive reshaping of the organization that will enable the town to meet the overall budget target set by Council and create a longer-term vision for the financial sustainability of town operations.

“Oakville is recognized as having the healthiest finances in Ontario, and keeping those finances strong and secure is a key part of Council’s vision to make Oakville the most livable town in Canada,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Staff have made us aware of potential pressures on the horizon, and recommended we take proactive steps to address them. We are confident that taking early action will help assure the long-term health of Oakville’s finances.”

Staff noted that the 2018 budget documents would be released on November 21, 2017. Staff will present the Budget Committee with an overview of the proposed 2018 operating and capital budgets, including opportunities for potential savings or increased revenues. The Budget Committee will hear input from pubic delegations before making a recommendation on December 12, 2017 to Council. Final Council approval of the operating and capital budgets is scheduled for December 18, 2017.

“Our key focus for this budget is to meet our goal of keeping overall property tax increases in line with inflation, while building and renewing infrastructure and maintaining high quality services for the community,” Councillor Adams said. “Public input is a critical piece of our annual budget process and I look forward to engaging with residents over the next few months.”

For more information, access the staff report included in the June 26, 2017 Budget Committee meeting agenda or visit the 2018 Budget page.


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Former Hospital Site Project takes big step forward

Council endorses site master plan as well as base funding and amenities for community centre

The redevelopment project of the former Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital lands took a significant step forward at a Special Meeting last night when Town Council endorsed an overall master plan for the lands as well as the some programming and features for the Southeast Oakville Community Centre that is planned for the site.

“It is important for Council that our plan for the hospital lands reflect the needs and wishes of local residents,” said Mayor Burton. “We appreciate the thoughtful insight provided by community members throughout this consultation process, which has helped staff draft a plan that Council can fully support.”

Recently, residents from across Oakville were invited to share their thoughts on three proposed land use concepts for the overall site at a community workshop and through an online discussion forum. All three land use concepts include a community centre, a park and residential development but the arrangement was slightly different in each option.

While the feedback received was extensive both in person and online, there was no clear consensus on one particular option. However, certain themes and a common concept of establishing distinct districts did emerge with a residential district in the north, a civic district with a community centre and park in the middle, and a seniors-oriented housing district in the south.

With that in mind, the Council-endorsed former Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital Site Master Plan includes:

A residential area that complements the existing neighbourhood and maintains the character of the community as intended in the official plan.
A civic area that consolidates the community centre and parkland along Reynolds Street since it is the busiest street bounding the site, and allows the park space to be open, follow the principles of safe-park design and be highly accessible. The town also wants to explore the creation of a visible civic square in the area around the former high school. With Council’s approval of the master plan, exploration for re-use of the building will be required.
A seniors-oriented housing area that gives options for residents to down-size to smaller, more manageable properties or dwelling units without the need to leave the community. The area could range from independent seniors-living to assisted-care. Further discussions with members of the community and stakeholders will be needed to help define these opportunities.

The final master plan was also fully endorsed at last night’s meeting by the resident associations in Ward 3.

“What residents made clear during the consultation process is that the former hospital and high school played a critical role in anchoring and contributing to the neighbouring community’s identity,” added Mayor Rob Burton. “As such, the final master plan reflects the idea of maintaining that legacy for years to come.”

At last night’s meeting, Council also approved the following enhancements for the new Southeast Community Centre on the site expansion of the single gym to a double gym ($470,000); therapeutic warm-water pool ($2,740,000); fitness centre ($2,550,000) and; an indoor walking track ($1,800,000). These features are in addition to the amenities already planned for the community centre: indoor pool (to replace Centennial Pool), multi-purpose rooms and space for intergenerational programming.

A financial overview on the project was also received by Council which estimates the cost for entire project, including demolition, parking garage enhancements and community centre development, to be approximately $54 million. Town reserves are a primary funding source for this project. The sale of lands not used for a community centre or park is intended to replenish funding used from the reserve. This strategy is one way to ensure sufficient funding for other large, long term projects across the town in the future.

Moving ahead, the demolition contractors will begin site preparation this summer. The overall demolition and site remediation will take approximately 12 months to complete. The architectural/general contractor team responsible for the community centre will be selected in early July. The process of design will begin shortly afterwards. The development of the new community centre will begin in late 2018 with an opening scheduled for fall 2020.

A number of Planning Act approvals will also be necessary in order for the redevelopment of the site to proceed including official plan and zoning amendments, and draft plan of subdivision/site plan approvals. Amendments to the town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law will be subject to the statutory planning process and a public meeting is expected in the fall with proposed Official Plan updates by the end of 2017.

The town plans on engaging with the public later this fall on the project including progress on the demolition work and next steps regarding the design of the community centre design and potential uses of the park.

Check out the June 27 Special Council Agenda for detail, including staff reports. For more information and to sign up for the town’s newsletter.


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Former Hospital Site Project takes big step forward

OMB rules ClubLink’s development application for Glen Abbey complete

Thursday, June 22, 2017 – for immediate release

OMB rules ClubLink’s development application for Glen Abbey complete

Town must begin application review process despite Interim Control By-law remaining in effect

One month after the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decided that the town’s Interim Control By-law (ICBL) and its one year extension were appropriate and necessary to understand the implications of ClubLink’s proposed development at Glen Abbey, the OMB has decided on a separate motion that the Glen Abbey development application is complete as of the date of the Board’s Decision on June 7, 2017. Under the Planning Act, the town now has 120 days to consider and decide on the merits of the application for rezoning (October 5, 2017), and 180 days to consider and decide on the merits of the application for an official plan amendment (December 4, 2017) to permit the complete redevelopment of the Golf Course. If the town does not make a decision within this timeframe, ClubLink would be in a position to appeal its applications directly to the OMB for decision.

“Council is very disappointed that less than one month after a decision that recognized that the town’s comprehensive planning studies underway were valid and necessary given the magnitude of the Glen Abbey proposal, another Board decision says that we must accept development applications for processing,” Mayor Burton said. “No doubt our residents are confused by this decision, but the town will move forward to review the application within the timelines established under the Planning Act.”

Jane Clohecy, commissioner, Community Development noted that the town is still moving forward on the next steps required to implement the cultural heritage landscape assessments and urban structure review planning studies that were approved by Council on May 15, 2017 and June 12, 2017 respectively.

“While the town is disappointed with this latest decision, it does not change the fact that the town’s ICBL remains in place, and no substantive changes to the land use at Glen Abbey property can take place before the town’s planning studies have been completed,” Clohecy noted. “We fully anticipate using the results of the planning studies underway to assess the merits of the proposed redevelopment of the lands.”

ClubLink’s development proposal will now be reviewed through the town’s development review process in order to make a recommendation to Council within the Planning Act timelines. This process includes public notice and feedback on the applications:

ClubLink’s development application is now posted to the town’s website so that members of the public may register for official notices and provide feedback.
Signs will be posted on the perimeter of the golf course site shortly indicating that a development proposal has been submitted to the town.
A public information meeting will held in mid-July to help explain the application and to receive public comments.
A report outlining the staff recommendation to Council will be posted on the website prior to the application being considered by Council for review by the public.
Members of the public may provide feedback in writing or in person any time before a final decision is made by the Planning and Development Council.

For more information, visit our Interim Control By-law and Glen Abbey Development Planning Studies pages.


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OMB rules ClubLink’s development application for Glen Abbey complete

Outstanding volunteers honoured at 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards

Thursday, June 8, 2017 – for immediate release

Outstanding volunteers honoured at 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards

Oakville’s best and brightest volunteers were celebrated for their exemplary contributions to the community at the 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards held last night at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.

2017 Community Spirit Award recipients:

Bingo Rivera, Access Award sponsored by Access Abilities
William Smith, Arts Award sponsored by the Oakville Beaver
The Oakville Rotaract Club, Group Volunteer Award sponsored by the Town of Oakville
Mary Davidson, Heritage Award sponsored by Genworth Financial Canada
Jan Tingle, Individual Volunteer Award sponsored by Paradiso Restaurant
Peter Lowes, Senior Award sponsored by Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence
Aiza Abid and Marica Pinnock, Youth Award sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

“On behalf of Council, I offer all the nominees and award recipients our sincere gratitude for your dedication, for inspiring others with your commitment, and for elevating the entire Oakville community with your spirit,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

Chris Mei, television host of the Weather Network, was the emcee for the evening, entertaining the audience while sponsors handed out the awards. Each recipient received a one-of-a-kind award created by local illustrator, designer and portrait artist Emily Soden.

Since 2002, Oakville’s Community Spirit Awards have recognized individuals and groups for their outstanding contributions to the community.

Visit the Community Spirit Awards page for more information about the awards and this year’s recipients.


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Council endorses Rogers Hometown Hockey event in downtown Oakville

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – for immediate release

Council endorses Rogers Hometown Hockey event in downtown Oakville

Staff receives green light to proceed with plans for outdoor celebration in December 2017

Oakville hockey fans of all ages will have a chance to showcase their love of the game when the Rogers Hometown Hockey celebration comes to town this winter.

Town Council authorized staff to sign a letter of agreement with the Hometown Hockey event organizers that will see the outdoor festival visit Downtown Oakville during a weekend in December. The date will be confirmed once the NHL schedule is released in June.

Rogers Hometown Hockey is a two-day festival that celebrates Canada’s passion for hockey with a weekend of free outdoor activities. The festival will feature games, interactive experiences, and live entertainment for the whole family culminating with an outdoor viewing party of an NHL game broadcast live from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio with Ron MacLean and co-host Tara Slone.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate hockey in Oakville, attract thousands of people downtown during the Christmas shopping season, and showcase our town to a national audience,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

Council also approved $96,000 in funding to cover costs associated with hosting the event such as marketing, parking, police, site security and a transit shuttle service.

Staff is working with the Hometown Hockey production team to confirm which area in downtown Oakville is most suitable for the event site. The event dates and location will be announced later this summer.


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Toopy and Binoo to headline 2017 Oakville Children’s Festival

Fourth annual arts and culture celebration takes place at QEPCCC on July 9

Toopy and Binoo, the popular cat and mouse duo from the hit children’s television show, will headline the 2017 Oakville Children’s Festival on Sunday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre (QEPCCC). Families across Oakville can dance and sing along to the theatrical production Toopy and Binoo: Fun and Games, as a toy chest full of games and puzzles ignite their curious imaginations.

The event will also feature performances by comedian and juggler Bob Cates, singer Mike Ford, Silk Acrobatic artist Heather Govender, KaHa:wi Dance Theatre’s Pow Wow Bootcamp, First Nations Storyteller Cheri Maracle, The Compound All Star Urban Dance Team, ROCKGarden Party, Toyland Puppet Show, and street magicians Ray Chance and Mike D’Urzo.

Celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary is also part of the line-up with a special dance performed by Oakville’s Balletomane Inc. and an ArtHouse community mural that will transform the festival into a patriotic arts and culture playground for kids of all ages.

“The Oakville Children’s Festival is always a great event for families, and this year will be no exception,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We’re always pleased to provide this great opportunity to celebrate Oakville’s arts and culture, especially as we commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.”

There will also be fun hands-on activities and interactive shows, Touch-A-Truck, City Parent Scavenger Hunt, Oakville Public Library storytimes, Friends of Library Book Sale, Sport Oakville Zone, archery, martial arts, YMCA of Oakville, face painting, and Monkeynastix. This year’s food features include the Kinsmen Club of Oakville BBQ lunch, plus many of the GTA’s most popular food trucks.

There is no parking on site and on-street parking restrictions will be enforced throughout the neighbourhood. Residents and out-of-town guests are encouraged to take the free Oakville Transit shuttle service from the Bronte GO Station. Free bike parking will also be available onsite.

The Oakville Children’s Festival committee is currently recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to help with this year’s festival. Apply online at oakville.ca or email ocfvolunteers@oakville.ca for details.

Due to rising lake levels and ongoing flooding at Coronation Park, the town is temporarily relocating the 2017 Oakville Children’s Festival to QEPCCC, located at 2302 Bridge Road. Festival admission is free and the event will take place rain or shine. Additional acts and activities will be announced as they are confirmed. Visit Oakville Children’s Festival page for event updates.


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Toopy and Binoo to headline 2017 Oakville Children’s Festival

Urban Structure Review: How will Oakville accommodate growth?

Have your say on draft Official Plan Amendments on May 30

Following extensive study and a series of public open houses, the town now has draft Official Plan Amendments that would see a newly revised Urban Structure section introduced into Town of Oakville’s Official Plan – the Livable Oakville Plan. The draft amendments would provide a framework for how the town will accommodate growth, while protecting greenspaces and established neighbourhoods from development pressure. Members of the public are invited to provide input into the amendments at one of two information meetings scheduled on May 30.

“It’s vital the town has a comprehensive urban structure in its official plan because it gives us a high level look at where new growth will be focused. It sets out the basis for making planning decisions about where we live, work and play,” said Mayor Burton “Feedback from our community has helped staff prepare the draft amendments in front of us. Before they go to Council for final approval, I encourage you to review them and share your comments.”

To connect with community members, the town will be hosting two public information meetings at Town Hall on Tuesday, May 30 where participants can provide feedback on the draft Official Plan Amendments. There is an afternoon session from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. and an evening session from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The draft Official Plan Amendments would introduce a new Section 3 – Urban Structure and a corresponding detailed map A1 into the Livable Oakville Plan. These new sections would describe the importance and purpose of a town-wide urban structure and the major elements of that urban structure. The amendments would ultimately provide a framework for how the town will accommodate growth and establish the basis for official plan policy and for making planning decisions. The amendment would also introduce, under Part F – Implementation, criteria for evaluating site-specific official plan amendments and their potential impacts on the town’s urban structure. In addition to being incorporated into the Livable Oakville Plan, the draft amendments also provide for revisions to the North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans to align them with the changes to the Livable Oakville Plan.

The town must consider how to accommodate required growth given that development in all areas of the town is underway or planned. Instead of developing outward, the town needed to determine the best approach for managing development within the town’s existing boundaries.

As part of the ongoing five-year Official Plan Review, the town initiated an Urban Structure Review on February 16, 2016.

Oakville’s Urban Structure Review was a town-wide examination of natural heritage and open space lands, as well as mixed use, residential, commercial and employment lands to see if changes are necessary to accommodate growth to 2041.

The review studied the role of existing and emerging growth areas such as Midtown Oakville, the Trafalgar Road Corridor and the area surrounding the Bronte GO Station; the preservation of stable residential areas and the protection of natural and cultural heritage; the relationship between growth areas and the delivery of municipal infrastructure; and criteria for evaluation of new growth areas. The Urban Structure Review was also one of three land use policy studies required to be completed under Interim Control By-law 2016-024 restricting land uses on the Glen Abbey Golf Course.

Following the May 30 public information meetings, a statutory public meeting for the draft Official Plan Amendments will be held June 12, 2017 in conjunction with the Council meeting at Town Hall. A decision meeting by Council on the recommended Official Plan Amendments is expected in the fall.

The public may view documents and background material at the Planning Services department at Town Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or on the town’s Official Plan Review pages on its website at oakville.ca.

An official plan is a legal document containing goals, objectives, and policies intended to guide land use, development and growth in a municipality. Oakville’s official plan is comprised of the Livable Oakville Plan and the North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans. The Planning Act requires a review of the official plan every five years. This is also called a municipal comprehensive review. For more information visit our Official Plan Review page.

Accessibility Requirements

Please advise Kirk Biggar, senior planner, one week before the meeting at 905-845-6601, ext. 3968 (TTY: 905-338-4200) or by email at kirk.biggar@oakville.ca if you have any accessibility needs.


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Urban Structure Review: How will Oakville accommodate growth?