Can limited development be counted? A review of consent policy approaches in Eastern Ontario to regulate limited residential development in rural designations
Rural Ontario is challenged with pressures for residential development which can have negative social, cultural and financial impacts on rural communities. The creation of new residential lots, primarily occurring through the consent (severance) process, has resulted in scattered development and land fragmentation. Provincial and municipal policies to limit rural residential development have been implemented to control excessive development and sprawl. This study examines the consent policies of twenty (20) municipalities in the region of Eastern Ontario to identify current policy trends for limiting development in rural designations as well as any existing unique policy approaches. The research findings demonstrate a regional reliance on traditional categories of consent policies. Innovative policies are also being implemented in the region however this is only currently occurring within a small number of municipalities. These policy trends and examples of alternative development approaches may be of interest to municipal planners and policymakers in their future policy considerations for limited rural residential development.