An Official Plan is a statutory document which sets out land use policy to guide future development and manage growth. The Plan lays the "foundation" for building a good community. It provides a vision of the City, identifies how the vision can be reached, and establishes a monitoring program for checking progress and making necessary adjustments. All development in Markham must conform to the City's approved Official Plan.
The Official Plan describes Council's policies on how land should be used and land use approvals granted, and helps to ensure that future planning and development. The Official Plan includes policies on where new housing, industry, offices and shops will be located; what services like roads, watermains, sewers, parks and schools will be needed; when, and in what order, parts of the City will grow. A number of Secondary Plans form part of the Official Plan, each of which provides more specific land use policies and direction for lands within Markham. The Official Plan must conform to the planning policies established by the Province and the Region of York.
Whenever a development application is proposed, the Official Plan is consulted to ensure the proposal is consistent with its provisions.
The Official Plan should be used as a reference document in conjunction with more detailed Secondary Plans and Zoning By-laws.
The 2014 Official Plan was adopted by Council on December 10, 2013 and approved by York Region on June 12, 2014. The new Official Plan has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board and is not yet in force. Until an Ontario Municipal Board decision to approve all or part of the new Official Plan has been made, the 1987 Official Plan will continue to remain in force.