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Neighbourhood / Secondary Plans

Neighbourhood / Secondary Plan Program

Here you will find information on the progress of neighbourhood / secondary plans as they unfold, times and locations of information and public meetings, background information and/or reports prepared in support of neighbourhood plans, links to other relevant websites and information on how YOU can become a more active participant in the revitalization of our Fort Erie neighbourhoods!

The following links will take you to your Neighbourhood / Secondary Plan of interest:



Bridgeburg Secondary Plan

Gateway Secondary Plan

Ridgeway - Thunder Bay Secondary Plan

Spears - High Ponte Secondary Plan

Stevensville Secondary Plan

Douglastown/Black Creek Secondary Plan

Southend Secondary Plan



Crystal Beach Neighbourhood Plan

Lakeshore Neighbourhood Plan


What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is a document/plan that outlines Council's intention with respect to how a Neighbourhood will develop and redevelop in the future. The Neighbourhood Plan, having been adopted by Council Resolution, is usually envisioned for growth over a 20-year period. It is prepared by municipal staff with the assistance of a Community Focus Group, public and various other stakeholder input. The Neighbourhood Plan Program has been a highly regarded program that has helped developing neighbourhoods move forward in a coordinated, cohesive manner where secondary plans had not previously been undertaken. This initiative has shown foresight on behalf of municipal and community stakeholders for being proactively involved in ensuring our neighbourhoods were being considered at a macro scale and not just on an individual application basis.

The Neighbourhood Plan Program is now referred to as the “Secondary Plan Program”, which not only includes the same approach, but will take the plan directly into the Town’s Official Plan document, giving it the strength and recognition from upper tier government and regulatory authorities as Town policy.

What is a Secondary Plan?

A Secondary Plan serves a very similar purpose to a Neighbourhood Plan by examining and planning for land use of a specific geographic area in greater detail to that of the parent Official Plan. Secondary Plans provide detailed mapping of the various components found within their specific Plan Areas such as natural and environmental features, open space and parks, transportation networks (roads, bicycle lanes and trails), as well as more specific land use designations that illustrate type and density of housing, commercial, mixed uses and employment. A Secondary Plan can provide specific policies for select areas within that Plan Area, designed to take advantage or assist in meeting with certain objectives and goals as the Town seeks to ensure sustainable communities well into the future.

A Secondary Plan includes consultation and participation with requirements for public input. Municipal staff encourages and engage resident or stakeholder groups to solicit feedback and prompt dialogue that will help staff in defining and articulating goals set out at the beginning of the process. There are commenting periods for agencies and public when a draft document is advanced and circulated. Results from all parties making submission comments or participating in the consultation process make their way to Town Council through Information or Recommendation Reports as the process and Plan are refined.

At the conclusion of this iterative process, a Statutory Public Meeting is conducted on a final draft Secondary Plan where any member of the public has the opportunity to speak directly to members of Council in providing their position of support or non-support prior to Council making a decision on the final draft document.

In order for a Secondary Plan to be implemented, a Planning Act process known as an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) is carried out. Should Town Council adopt an OPA involving a Secondary Plan, it must also receive Regional Council approval, unless the Region delegates approval authority for a specific OPA to the Town, which has happened recently. Because the Secondary Plan process is conducted under the Planning Act, a decision of Council can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. Once approved, each Secondary Plan will have its own section within the Town’s new parent Official Plan.

Public participation and consultations are often an effective means of reducing opposition, as all stakeholders including the public are afforded the opportunity to have input and provide opinions for staff and Council consideration prior to any decision being made.

In simple terms, a Secondary Plan represents the land use vision of Council for a select neighbourhood area, backed up by the policies of the Official Plan and the authority of the Planning Act.

Moving Forward

Town of Fort Erie Council has determined that development and approval of Secondary Plans is a priority item, and has allocated appropriate funding and staff resources to accomplish the task. Council has also considered and prioritized which neighbourhoods it wishes to devote staff resources towards.

Currently staff are working on the Southend Secondary Plan, which is comprises the east end of the Fort Erie Neighbourhood. Staff are optimistic the Southend Secondary Plan could reach Council by summer of 2017. Prior completions most recently include the Douglastown-Black Creek and Stevensville Secondary Plans. Current priority assignment was recommended and modified by Council in April 2015. A link to Report No. CDS-26-2015 - Secondary Plan and CIP Priority Report can be made by clicking on the report number listed. An excerpt of the Council-in-Committee Meeting Minutes containing the modified order has been included as the first 3 pages and the report behind.

For more information on the status of Fort Erie’s Secondary Plans, click here for a recent status report to Council.

Contacts in this section of the Department include:


Chris Millar, CPT, MCIP, RPP, Neighbourhood Planner
1 Municipal Centre Dr., Fort Erie, ON L2A 2S6
(905) 871-1600 ext. 2503