10:00am to 11:30am
Please join the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice to learn more about Agricultural Impact Assessments (AIAs). An AIA is a study that evaluates the potential impacts of non-agricultural development on agricultural operations and the Agricultural System. It recommends ways to avoid, or, if avoidance is not possible, minimize and mitigate adverse impacts.
AIAs are required in the Greater Golden Horseshoe for proposed settlement area boundary expansions, as well as infrastructure and aggregate projects in prime agricultural areas. Given the development pressures in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, AIAs are critical to improving the compatibility between agricultural and non-agricultural uses. Outside the GGH, AIAs are not required by the Provincial Policy Statement, but some municipalities require them as part of a complete development application.
Margaret Walton and Kelly Hodder from Planscape will share their AIA experience, including tackling various challenges such as responding to different scenarios and addressing Minimum Distance Separation during COVID-19. Planscape has prepared and peer reviewed many AIAs, both within and outside of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Most recently, Planscape prepared an AIA for Peel Region as part of the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review.
Helma Geerts, Policy Advisor in the Land Use Policy and Stewardship Unit of OMAFRA, has been developing provincial AIA guidance. She will provide an overview of AIAs and when they are needed, who is responsible for completing them, and how to complete one, AIA content, and examples of how impacts can be avoided, minimized and mitigated.
The OFA and OMAFRA have coordinated this free, online network to bring together economic development and planning professions across Ontario interested in agricultural issues.