New Environmental Mapping and Commenting Deadline Extended

21 days ago

It's a busy time behind the scenes for the ROP team and we have three updates and a reminder for everyone.

First, we are seeking feedback on our draft Core Environmental Features mapping (click on text to access the mapping), part of the Natural Heritage System. The due date for comments is August 31, 2020.

The Core Environmental Features include Significant Woodlands and Environmentally Sensitive Policy Areas (ESPAs) which are identified by the Region, as well as Provincially Significant Wetlands and Habitat of Endangered and Threatened Species, which are identified by the Province.

Over the last ten years, there have been changes to the Core Environmental Features based on the completion of detailed assessments, site visits, or review of aerial photographs. Overall, there have not been significant changes in the mapping, but some areas have been modified, and we are seeking your input on the changes. Specifically, we would like you to let us know if there are any changes that need to be made to the boundaries for Environmentally Sensitive Policy Areas and Significant Woodlands that you do not see in the revised mapping.

In addition to the changes presented in the draft mapping, there are various ongoing processes which may also result in changes to the draft mapping as it is currently proposed. These processes include Environmental Impact Statements for specific sites, as well as more comprehensive reviews and work such as the City of Kitchener’s Comprehensive review of the zoning by-law (CRoZBy). Final mapping is anticipated to be provided by the end of this year.

The two (2) layers that we are currently looking for input on include:
1. the ROP Review ESPA layers, and,
2. the ROP Review Significant Woodland layers.

These layers can be compared to the existing mapping by activating the layers “ROP 2015 ESPA” and “ROP 2015 Significant Woodlands”.

To use the mapping to compare the current and proposed feature limits, different features, or existing mapping, ‘layers’ can be activated in the “Layer List”. To do this, choose the “Layer List” icon (looks like a stack of four sheets of paper) on the top of the map in order to open a 'layer'. The layers that are identified with the “ROP Review” name indicate draft mapping that we are seeking input on. Layers that include “ROP 2015” in their name indicate that they are existing mapped features in the ROP.

HOW TO ADD A COMMENT ON THE MAP:
a) To add a comment, you can use the “edit” feature (the pencil and paper icon located on the top left side of the screen.)

b) If you would like a comment to be associated with a specific property, you can zoom into the area of interest first by searching for an address in the “Find address or place” search bar at the top left side, or by using the “+” or “-“ buttons to navigate into an area of interest.

c) Once you find the location you would like to have the comment apply to, click on the pencil and paper icon to open a dialog box.

d) In the dialog box, click on the red point that is labeled “Notes”, then click on the property or area that your comments apply. The following fields can be filled in through this feature: Notes; Contact Name (optional); Contact Number/Email (optional); Address of Property.

e) Once the notes are entered, click the “x” to close the box, and the comments will be sent directly to Regional staff. Comments will not appear on the map and cannot be seen by other users. We would also welcome input on any of the other natural environment mapping that is included in the ROP, and which can be seen through the online mapping. Instructions for providing comments directly through the mapping software are included above, or you can also provide comments by email to RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca.

Second, we have added 3 items from the Ask-a-Planner Webinar (June 25, 2020):

  1. A video of the presentation (top right corner of your screen)
  2. A PDF of the presentation slide deck (in Document Library)
  3. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document based on questions received during the webinar (in Document Library)

Third, we have extended the commenting deadline for the following items from July 31, 2020 to August 15, 2020:

  1. The six-question survey about growth in Waterloo Region
  2. The interactive mapping for the proposed boundaries for ION Rapid Transit Stations


Finally, a reminder that the employment map is still online and the employment land conversion requests are due on July 31, 2020.


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