FAQ image

The Municipality is in the Process of Expanding Urban Settlement Boundaries for Almonte

You may have heard the Municipality of Mississippi Mills has begun the process of an urban boundaries review for Almonte. There are Open Houses and Public Meetings coming up that you can be a part of. For more information on getting involved in the formal process visit: Mississippi Mills Public Engagement Information Page  

You may be wondering what expanding Almonte boundaries means for you as a resident of Mississippi Mills. You may have questions and are wondering who to ask.

We want to make sure you are getting the answers you’re looking for and know where to find more detailed information.

You care about the community you call home. Land planning is a complicated and heavily regulated process. These changes and decisions are not made quickly or in isolation. As residents you will have many opportunities to provide feedback over the coming months and even years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of common questions and short answers.

 1) Who decided we need to expand our boundaries for Almonte?

This decision is made based on populations predictions as well as a review of current available land, including vacant lots in town. Mississippi Mills is predicted to have a population of 22,122 by 2038. Extending our boundaries is just one way we will ensure there is space for those future residents to live. 

 2) Who sets the population predictions?

Lanark County sets the population projections for Mississippi Mills and all other municipalities in Lanark County. These projections consider people moving to and away from the County as well as births and deaths.

 3) Why are we talking about changing our Community Official Plan?

JL Richards conducted a fulsome review and determined that we need to expand our urban boundaries by an additional 60 hectares to prepare for the increased population projections.

Expanding these boundaries requires a change(amendment) to our Community Official Plan.

To make a change to our Community Official Plan we must submit our proposed changes to Lanark County (along with our analysis or reasons for those changes) for their approval. 

4) I read in the newspaper there are 3 or 4 plots of land being considered, why are these the options? What are the recommendations based on?

There are detailed criteria used to evaluate development lands. This includes, servicing, transportation, farmland and more. If you are interested in reading the background materials for OPA 22, please download this document: Official Plan Amendment Almonte Settlement Area Boundary Review

It may also be interesting to know these lands have been identified for future development since 2006. This means over the last 15 years as the municipality has been planning its road, water, and sewer infrastructure we have been considering the potential for these lands to be developed (someday) even though they are outside of the urban boundary.  These lands still need some additional infrastructure to be developed but we have been planning the connections to existing assets in many circumstances.

 5) When will you look at expanding the rural villages?

According to predictions and planning, 30% of the future growth within Mississippi Mills is to occur within the Rural and Village Areas. Development in the Rural / Villages will begin consideration in February as part of a future Official Plan Amendment.

To establish a secondary plan for the growth, development and marketing of the Mississippi Mills Villages the Municipality has committed to undertake a Village Vitality plan as part of Strategic Planning. You can download the Mississippi Mills 2020-2023 Strategic Plan

 6) When will you be talking about rural estate lots?

Rural subdivisions (i.e. estate lot subdivisions) are not being considered at this time. The reason for this will be explained in the background report during the rural settlements’ discussions later in 2021.

Sign up to our newsfeed to stay informed on this and other municipal business www.mississippimills.ca/subscribe

7) Who ultimately makes the decision on which lands become part of the Almonte Urban Boundary?

The short answer is Lanark County Council.

JL Richards has provided Mississippi Mills Council with their recommendations considering the very detailed criteria we mentioned above. After consultation with the public, Mississippi Mills Council will pass a bylaw that will go to Lanark County Council for final approval. Lanark County Council will consider the recommendations from JL Richards along side the bylaw from Council.

Their decision will be final.

Lanark County has the authority for planning across the County and in Mississippi Mills.  That means that most significant land use planning decisions are either made by the County or are approved by the County.  These processes can take many months or years to complete.The County has a high-level plan called the Lanark County Sustainable Community Official Plan.  Mississippi Mills has our own plan, the Community Official Plan. In simple terms the County plan trumps our community plan, and we cannot have anything in our plan that is in conflict with the County’s Plan.

Download the Mississippi Mills Community Official Plan

 8) What kind of housing will go on those lands?

It is way too early to answer this question. Expanding the boundaries is only one step in a very long process. Adding these parcels of land to our urban boundaries will only mean they can be developed and will be included in Municipal servicing someday. There are many planning steps to take before then. Housing and development will follow demand. In the future when this land is developed  it will have to follow the regulations, guidelines and policies of the Municipality. Our official plan dictates the development we allow.

 9) If we don’t have development waiting what is the rush?

This is one step in a lengthy process. By continuing to plan for the future we ensure lands are available when they are needed. It is also important that the process for these amendments allows time for the public to be included in the decision making.

10) I understand a consultant has been hired to make these recommendations. What do they know about our town?

JL Richards has been working with the Municipality of Mississippi Mills for many years. They are subject matter experts in planning. In addition, they are required to make all recommendations by following municipal policies and guidelines that have been determined by Mississippi Mills Council.

11) Our roads are busy enough. Is anyone thinking about traffic?

Yes. The current Transportation Master Plan 2016 (TMP) has an overall planning horizon of 2035.

In 2021 the Municipality will be reviewing the transportation plan as part of Strategic planning. Transportation planning is used to budget for road projects and capital costs which are integrated into Long-Term Financial Plan.

The 2021 plan update will include the increased population projections for Mississippi Mills.  You can download the 2016 Mississippi Mills Transportation Master Plan

12) This summer we had a water ban. Do we really have enough services for an expansion?

We have a water and wastewater master plan that has considered current and future expansion until 2035. By following the planning process including this official plan amendment we are able to plan financially and strategically so that Almonte residents have adequate water and wastewater services now and into the future. You can download the 2018 Municipality of Mississippi Mills Almonte Ward Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Plan


To stay informed on this and other Municipal Business sign-up to our newsfeed at www.mississippimills.ca/subscribe

Download the Mississippi Mills Community Official Plan 

Do you have additional questions on the Almonte urban boundary expansion? Send them Maggie Yet, Planner 1 by email or phone 613-256-2064 ext. 206.