Owen Sound is set to hold its first community engagement session next week as the city undertakes a review of its 20-year Official Plan this year.
The engagement session will be held on Monday, March 2 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Shore Room at the Bayshore Community Centre.
An Official Plan is a document that contains goals and objectives to how the city will grow and develop over a 20-year time horizon. Owen Sound's Manager of Planning and Heritage Amy Cann says the plan will touch on various pillars of community development, including housing choice, environmental sustainability and climate change, transportation, land use and urban design.
Cann says the Official Plan informs a lot of policy implementation and the city hopes to garner as much community input as possible as the review is undertaken this year.
"We really want to hear from every person who wishes to engage," Cann says. "We encourage you whole-heartedly to please get involved and provide us with your input so we can shape that vision document which determines how our city is going to grow and develop."
Cann says the city's planning team will be on hand at the community engagement session March 2. That includes the city's planners and consultants MHBC Planning.
"We're going to do a bit of a roundtable discussion to get some information from the attending public to see what's important to them and if there are inclusions or special considerations that should be integrated into the Official Plan," Cann explains.
Cann says the Planning Act mandates occasional updates to the Official Plan to ensure it conforms with applicable planning legislation such as the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement and Grey County's Official Plan.
In addition to next week's community engagement session, the city also has an online survey open until March 31 to provide input. Another community engagement session will also be scheduled sometime in early April.
Cann expects a draft Official Plan will be available for residents to review sometime near the end of Summer 2020.