Smithville Master Community Plan

Draft Official Plan Amendment No. 62 and 63

As the MCP is intended to guide and direct future sustainable development in the Smithville urban expansion area and through intensification of the built-up area over the next 30 years, it will be implemented through amendments to the Township of West Lincoln Official Plan. The goal is to ensure that future development proposals align with the Preferred Concept Plan and the objectives, strategies, targets and policies of the MCP.

Incorporating the Smithville MCP in the Official Plan will occur in two steps:

1) Draft Official Plan Amendment No. 62 (OPA 62) establishes the 2051 growth forecasts, targets and the expanded Smithville urban boundary and related policy and mapping updates to reflect these changes, consistent with Niagara Region’s new Official Plan. OPA 62 will also update the settlement area boundaries of the Township’s Rural Settlement Areas to be consistent with those of the Region’s new Official Plan, specifically for the Rural Settlement Areas of Abingdon, Caistorville, Wellandport, Fulton and Bismark.

2) Draft Official Plan Amendment No. 63 is proposed to implement the policies, land use designations and infrastructure, transportation and natural heritage system policies and mapping of the Smithville urban expansion area.

Draft Official Plan Amendment No. 62 is available here for review.

Draft Official Plan Amendment No. 63 is available here for review.

Smithville Master Community Plan:  2051 Growth Forecasts and Urban Boundary Changes

OPA 62 proposes updates to the Township of West Lincoln Official Plan to add land to the urban area boundary of Smithville in order to accommodate the population and employment growth planned to the year 2051 as set out in the new draft Niagara Region Official Plan and the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshow.


Smithville Existing & Proposed Urban Area:

The proposed urban boundary changes would nearly double the geographic size of Smithville over the next 30 years. Through the Smithville Master Community Plan, this growth has been carefully planned to ensure orderly, compact development aligned with current and future investments in infrastructure and transportation improvements, community facilities, parks and open space that balances the need for more housing, jobs, commercial services and retail with environmental sustainability and conservation.

The existing urban area of Smithville is approximately 565 hectares in area. The Smithville urban expansion study area is approximately 685 hectares in area, of which 540 hectares is proposed to be added the urban area via OPA 62 and approximately 145 hectares will remain protected for agriculture and farm-related uses. In the total, the new proposed urban boundary of Smithville is 1,105 hectares in area including the existing community (565 hectares) and proposed expansion area (540 hectares).

Population & Employment Growth Forecast:

With the intensification and build-out of the existing urban area and the future development of the land proposed to be added to the urban area, Smithville’s population would increase over the next 30 years from approximately 7,500 currently to nearly 22,000 in 2051, while local employment would grow from 1,900 jobs to 5,500 jobs.

Housing Growth Forecast:

It is estimated that 8,685 new homes (on average, 290 new homes annually over the 30-year period) will be needed to accommodate planned growth in Smithville to year 2051. To accommodate some of the estimated housing needs, 45% of the urban expansion area is proposed to be designated for future low density (33%) and medium density (12%) residential development (Preferred Concept Plan). Some of the expansion area (5%) is also proposed for ‘mixed-use’ where new housing will be permitted alongside or within the same buildings as compatible commercial, office and/or community uses.

An intensification target of 13% is proposed, which would require planning for up to 1,135 new residential units within the existing built-up area of Smithville, through infilling, redevelopment, and additional residential units in existing homes. To achieve this intensification target within the existing built-up area, the proposed housing mix is approximately 15% low density (such as single and semi-detached homes), 20% medium density (such as townhomes) and 65% (such as apartments).

A greenfield density target of 50 people and jobs per hectare is proposed for new development areas in the urban expansion area, which would achieve a similar density as recent new subdivision developments in the existing community of Smithville. To achieve this density target within greenfield areas, the proposed housing mix for the urban expansion area is 60% low density (such as single and semi-detached homes), 35% medium density (such as townhomes) and 5% high density (such as apartment buildings).

Commercial and Employment Areas & Community Facilities:

To provide opportunities for a range of jobs and services and promote economic growth and diversification in Smithville, approximately 18% of the urban expansion area is to be designated for commercial land uses (4% of the land area including proposed mixed-use areas) and employment uses (14% of the land area, primarily for light industry, office/business parks and related uses also referred to as employment land jobs).

Some employment growth will also be accommodated on land designated for community facilities such as schools, places of worship, community centres and recreation facilities. Approximately 2% of the total land area is designated for larger community facilities such as schools and recreation centres, while smaller-scale uses such as childcare facilities, health and wellness clinics, fitness studios, arts and culture facilities and other community uses may be permitted more broadly in other designated land use areas.

The Preferred Concept Plan provides for expected job growth including employment growth related to jobs serving the existing and future population (population-related jobs) as well as new jobs located in areas designated for existing and new industries in the community (employment land jobs).

Natural Heritage System & Open Space:

The future urban place-types shown on the draft Preferred Concept Plan are framed by identified natural heritage features, areas recommended for natural restoration, and natural linkages among these areas. Conceptual buffers are also identified to help to mitigate the impacts of development on protected natural areas. The proposed Natural Heritage System for the Smithville Master Community Plan includes 25% of the land area within the proposed urban expansion area (Preferred Concept Plan).

A connected open space system is proposed complementary to the Natural Heritage System and provides area for parks, trails, stormwater management facilities and other open spaces and is approximately 6% of the total land area (Preferred Concept Plan).

Provide Feedback

We want to know what you think about the Smithville Master Community Plan!

To provide feedback on the MCP, including the Preferred Concept Plan, key policy directions and draft Official Plan Amendment No. 62 and 63, please click the link below.

Next Steps

The MCP Project has recently completed Phase 3 of its timeline, following the completion of the Preferred Concept Plan and the Monitoring, Management and Implementation Recommendations in consultation with review agencies, stakeholders and the public.

To learn more about what’s coming up for the Project and how you can be a part of the ongoing consultation, please click the link below.

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