Town of Oakville wins planning award

Oakville’s inZone project recognized for excellence in planning

On November 5, 2015, the Town of Oakville was presented with an Ontario Professional Planners Institute’s (OPPI) Excellence in Planning award at a ceremony held at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The town was recognized in the category of Municipal Statutory Planning Studies for their highly regarded inZone project, which helped guide the review and development of the town’s new zoning by-law. The town’s Joe Nethery, manager, Zoning By-law Project accepted the award.

“The inZone project resulted in a clear, concise, and user-friendly by-law that will help maintain and shape the charming nature and characteristics of our town,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This award recognizes what can be achieved as we continue to work together to create Canada’s most livable town.”

The end result of the inZone project was Council’s unanimous passing of the town’s new Zoning By-law 2014-014. The by-law provides new zoning permissions and regulations expressed in the town’s official plan, and sets out the rules for what, where and how buildings can be constructed in Oakville. The inZone project implemented several significant improvements for public consultation, customer service, and information management related to land use regulation in Ontario.

Oakville’s inZone has been recognized by other municipalities, who seek to emulate the project in their zoning reviews.

“Zoning reviews are extremely technical processes. They rarely inspire great participation or recognition outside the project team. Oakville’s inZone project achieved both, and has shown how municipalities in Ontario and further afield can meaningfully engage a broad demographic and identify and implement process improvements,” said Mark Simeoni, director of Planning Services at the town.

The Excellence in Planning Awards recognize innovation, creativity, professionalism, problem-solving, and communications. Award recipients represent the best of the best in community planning across the province.

Oakville has been further recognized by the OPPI, who have asked town staff to sit on their Best Zoning By-laws of 2015 panel at their annual conference in Toronto.

About OPPI

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) is the recognized voice of the province’s planning profession. The institute’s more than 4,000 members work in government, private practice, universities, and not-for-profit agencies in the fields of urban and rural development, community design, environmental planning, transportation, health, social services, heritage conservation, housing, and economic development. Members meet quality practice requirements and are accountable to OPPI and the public to practice ethically and to abide by a Professional Code of Practice. Only full members are authorized by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Act, 1994, to use the title Registered Professional Planner (RPP).

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Town of Oakville wins planning award