Town’s interim control by-law extended to complete land use policy study on power generation facilities

Public consultation to begin with open house on April 28

March 30, 2010 – For immediate release
Oakville Council approved the extension of the town’s interim control by-law prohibiting power generation facilities with a generating capacity greater than or equal to 10 megawatts from being built in Oakville. This extension until March 30, 2011 allows the Land Use Policy for Power Generation and Cogeneration Facilities study that Council received last night, to be considered by the public before staff brings official plan and zoning by-law amendments to Council in the fall.

“Any decision around a proposed power generation facility can not be made lightly considering the extensive environmental, land use, air quality and public safety impacts it could have on our town,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Staff have made significant headway with our land use planning studies, but now it’s time to get public input. Our residents deserve the opportunity to fully understand the impact power generation facilities could have on our community.”

The consultant’s land use study provides an overview of energy planning in Ontario, legislative and regulatory framework, policy context, zoning by-law regulations, municipal experience, and potential impacts. The study also makes recommendations for the town to further analyze a number of items including:

Definitions and permissions around power generation facilities in the town’s existing zoning bylaws, official plan and Livable Oakville plan.
Potential safety, health, infrastructure and environment effects a power generation facility would have on the community.
Minimum distance separation from sensitive land uses to large scale power generating facilities
Emergency measures including potential fire, explosion, hazardous spills, and gas leaks in light of the recent explosion at a gas fired power plant in Middletown, Connecticut on February 7, 2010.

The study further identifies a number of generic draft official plan policy approaches and recommendations to be considered and evaluated through further review and public consultation.

Staff has completed an initial review of the report and will be continuing to explore whether or not the report adequately addresses both the full range of energy generation options and the appropriate thresholds for the facility sizes to established planning policies.

“This is a complex issue with few best practices to rely on and while the work is being completed to finalize an appropriate land use approach, extending the interim control by-law for another year provides us with the time we need to hear from residents and deliver a final recommendation to Council that is sound and in the best interest of the town,” added Jane Clohecy, commissioner, Planning and Development.

An open house will be held on April 28 from 2 to 9 p.m. and facilitated workshops are scheduled for May 18, 20 and 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. The town will provide detailed information about these meetings in the near future.

After all comments are considered and further analysis is completed, staff anticipates bringing recommendations to Council in the fall.

On March 30, 2009, the town passed Interim Control By-Law 2009-065 (ICBL) which was upheld by the Ontario Municipal Board in November 2009.


For more information:

Dana Anderson
Director of Planning Services
Town of Oakville

Gisèle Shaw
Manager, Corporate Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3166

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Town’s interim control by-law extended to complete land use policy study on power generation facilities