What is an Official Plan?

The Official Plan is a strategic document for guiding land use and development in the municipality. The text of the plan describes Council’s policies on how land in the municipality should be used. Official Plans have legal status through the Planning Act. All relevant land use related by-laws (such as the zoning by-law) must conform to the Official Plan.

Official Plans contain the goals and objectives of the community and establish policies to direct the form, location, nature and rate of growth and change over a set period of time – typically a 20 year planning horizon.

The Cramahe Official Plan was prepared in consultation with the community and other agencies such as the Northumberland County and Conservation Authorities. Official Plans are required to be reviewed every 5 years. 

Land use designations

The Official Plan places each property in one or more land use designations.  Designations include Aggregate, Agriculture, Commercial, Employment Area, Environmental Protection, Existing Residential, Hamlet, Recreation/Conservation, Rural, Shoreline or Waste Disposal.  Each designation has permitted uses and policies.  There are also general OP policies which apply to all new development or redevelopment. To determine the designation of your property, please refer to our Official Plan Map.

You can also call, email or drop by the Building & Planning Office.  It is always best to make an appointment so staff can look up the information ahead of time.

Official Plan maps

To use the Office Consolidation of the Official Plan text, first look up your property's designation using the OP Map. The Official Plan law is very complex so feel free to contact us if you have questions or want more information.

Official Plan Amendments

If your proposal does not fit within the permitted uses or meet the policies of a Designation, you may need to Contact Us to apply for an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and/or Zoning By-law Amendment(ZBA). It is mandatory for certain major land uses to go through the OPA process. Pre consultation with the County and the Township is mandatory before making an application for an OPA.

Technical review will be carried out in consultation with the County as the approval authority for OPAs together with any agencies such as Lower Trent Conservation Authority. This process can take many months.

When the Township is satisfied that technical review is complete, Council will authorize a public meeting. Neighboring property owners and agencies are notified and a Public Meeting is held. Prior to adopting the OPA and/or passing the ZBA, Council will review and make any changes based on the public and agency consultation. 

After adoption, the OPA is sent to the County of Northumberland for final review and approval.  Anyone objecting to the OPA may appeal a decision of the County to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). ZBAs are passed by Council and are also appealable to the LPAT.




 OP Schedules 2005

Schedule A Official Plan 

Schedule B Transportation Plan

Schedule C Colborne Secondary Plan

Schedule D Oak Ridges Morraine Land Use Designations

Schedule D1 Oak Ridges Morraine Natural Heritage Features

Schedule D2 Oak Ridges Morraine Aquifer Vulnerability

Schedule D3 Oak Ridges Morraine Landform Conservation


Visit our County of Northumberland Official Plan page for more information on their official plan.