Official Plan


The Official Plan aims to guide the growth of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell as well as that of local municipalities towards efficient and dynamic land use planning, while stimulating economic prosperity and protecting the environment and public health.

This document contains a series of policies that guide the Planning and Forestry Department and the United Counties Council, municipal planners and the Local Councils in their land use planning decisions. These policies are designed, among other things, to protect the economic and ecological value of agricultural land, water and mineral resources. The Official Plan also provides a framework for the development of public works projects, municipal budgets and municipal regulations.


The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has issued a Notice of Decision to approve the United Counties’ New Official Plan, adopted by By-law 2022-26, as modified, and has repealed and replaced the previous Official Plan (By-law 99-36). The content on this webpage is no longer up to date and will be updated with the in-effect policies and schedules in the coming weeks.

Subject Lands: All lands within the United Counties of Prescott and Russell
Date of Decision: July 7, 2023
Date of Notice: July 7, 2023

The proposed United Counties’ Official Plan was adopted by Council in September 2022. The 2022 Official Plan adopted by Council includes new policies and updated mapping.

Notice of Adoption

The 2022 United Counties’ Official Plan was sent to the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval. When the United Counties’ Official Plan is approved by the Province, anticipated in early 2023, the 2022 Plan will replace the existing 1999 Counties’ Official Plan.


The first Official Plan of the United Counties was adopted in June 1999. Every five years, it must be revised and submitted to the public for comments.


The United Counties of Prescott and Russell are in the process of creating a New Official Plan to guide future planning and development within the United Counties. Based on community input, background reports and updated provincial policy, the New Official Plan will ensure both a vision for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell and a comprehensive strategy for cultivating new opportunities, ensuring environmental health and making intelligent and informed land use decisions.

Visit the ‘Get Involved’ section to contribute to this project. Please note that all comments and feedback received through the consultation process will become part of the public record.

Next Steps

The First Draft is to be presented to County Council on April 27, 2022. The document will subsequently be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for the One Window Review. Information regarding the upcoming Open House and public meetings will be announced at the end of May.

Get Involved

Opportunities for public input on the Official Plan Review will be provided during the review process. The Planning Act requires that Council hold a Special Meeting, open to the public to discuss possible revisions to the Official Plan. In addition, Council is required to consult with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (the approval authority) and prescribed public bodies with respect to any changes or updates they may require.

Official Plan Review Resources

What is the Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a legal statutory planning document required by the province that addresses matters of provincial interest defined by the Planning Act. The Official Plan describes the United Counties’ long-term land use planning policies and implementation of the Provincial Policy Statement (2020).

The Official Plan describes how the lands within the United Counties should be used in relation to issues such as: new housing, roads, industry, agriculture, aggregate resources, natural heritage conservation and climate change.

The Official Plan of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell came into force and effect in December 1999. Council proceeded with a 5-year review in 2006 and again in 2016. The Planning Act triggers another 5-year review of the Official Plan in 2021.

Why does the United Counties of Prescott and Russell need an Official Plan?

The United Counties’ Official Plan:

  • Informs the public on the general land use planning policies;
  • makes sure that growth is coordinated and meets the community's needs;
  • helps all members of the community understand how their land may be used now and in the future;
  • helps decide where roads, watermains, parks, trails, and other services will be built;
  • provides a framework for establishing municipal zoning by-laws to set local regulations and standards, like the size of lots, height of buildings or development setbacks;
  • provides a way to evaluate and settle conflicting land uses while meeting local, regional, and provincial interests; and,
  • shows Council's commitment to the future growth of the community.

Why is the Official Plan to be reviewed?

Once an Official Plan is approved, the Planning Act stipulates that a council shall revise the plan not less frequently than every five years, unless the plan has been replaced by another new official plan.

The purposes of undertaking the review is to ensure the United Counties’ Official Plan is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (2020) and that it has regard to matters of provincial interest.

The Official Plan Review also provides an opportunity for Council and the community to express their opinions about the official plan and to ensure that this key document continues to address local priorities and evolving community needs.

This project is being completed in consultation with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing who is the approval authority. In addition to agency consultation, the public is encouraged to share their views on the Official Plan.

Background Information and Reports

  • Information coming soon

Issue Papers