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Saugeen Shores Official Plan 2023 to 2027 FAQ

Updated: Feb 28

On November 28, 2023 Saugeen Shores announced the approval of the Strategic Plan for Council Term. 

In the announcement, Mayor Luke Charbonneau said:

“This plan is an expression of our vision for the municipality. Not only does it help Council to structure our business plans for each fiscal year, but it also allows us to manage long-term growth in a way that improves the lives of citizens."

CAO, Kara Van Myall added:

“Knowing Council’s overall priorities allows staff to focus its efforts – along with Town resources – to fulfill this Council’s priorities efficiently and effectively.  All our plans – including the upcoming Business Plan and Budget – will flow out of our Strategic Plan.”

The strategic plan will drive and set priorities for the Town 2023 to 2027 for business planning, budgeting, operations and economic development. As an entrepreneur and agency owner with clients in Grey Bruce this plan can and will impact local businesses. 

Strategic and business plans are loaded with great information, insights and unfortunately a lot of text to read, data and graphs to review and interpret. 

So, I’ve put this FAQ together asking key questions that matter to me, and maybe you, using an AI tool I built. It’s a good starting point to understand, at a high level, the areas of focus in Saugeen Shores Official Plan for 2023 to 2027. 


CHECK OUT: The Grey Bruce, Ontario Content Series. A content series dedicated to learning more about living, working and having fun in Grey Bruce counties. We make this content because we love it here. You will too.


What are Saugeen Shores' strategic priorities?

The Town of Saugeen Shores Official Strategic Plan for 2023-2027 outlines a comprehensive framework centered around four strategic pillars, each encompassing several directions to guide the town's development and governance.

These pillars reflect the town's commitment to growth, community, and sustainability. Here's a summary of each pillar and its associated strategic directions:

Pillar 1: Meeting the Needs of a Growing Community

This pillar focuses on ensuring Saugeen Shores can accommodate its growing population through diversified housing, maintained infrastructure, and supportive policies for business growth, including:

  • Diversifying and Grow the Town’s Housing Stock: Implement policies and investments to promote diverse and attainable housing development.

  • Maintaining Municipal Infrastructure and Align with Growth: Plan and invest in infrastructure to support community growth.

  • Promoting Business Growth and Investment: Support local economy stimulation through the Economic Development Community Improvement Plan and other initiatives

Pillar 2: Building the Best Municipal Team

Aiming at service excellence, this pillar emphasizes the importance of a skilled, diverse, and engaged municipal workforce with a focus on:

  • Attract and Retain Top Quality Talent: Develop strategies for workforce development, diversity, and inclusion.

  • Drive a Culture of Continuous Improvement: Leverage data, staff insights, and reviews for service innovation and enhancement.

Pillar 3: Building Valued Relationships

This pillar highlights the importance of collaboration and communication with community partners, First Nations, and other levels of government by:

  • Fostering Civic Engagement and Communication: Enhance community connections through comprehensive communication strategies.

  • Establishing Strong Relationships with First Nations Communities: Pursue collaborative partnerships based on the principles of truth and reconciliation.

  • Strengthening Engagement and Advocacy with Other Levels of Government: Develop plans to advance town priorities through intergovernmental cooperation.

Pillar 4: Fostering a Vibrant Place to Live and Visit

Saugeen Shores aims to enhance its appeal to residents and visitors by developing its environmental, social, and cultural assets by:

  • Growing Local Arts, Culture, and Recreation: Support community-led experiences and update master plans for recreation and culture.

  • Welcoming New Residents and Their Talents: Market the town as an ideal place for living, working, and volunteering.

  • Enhancing the Natural Heritage and Beauty of the Town’s Environment: Preserve green spaces and promote climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Each strategic direction within these pillars is supported by specific actions, investments, and measures to track progress, reflecting a holistic approach to managing the town's growth and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

How does Saugeen Shores plan to support business growth?

The Town of Saugeen Shores plans to support business growth through a variety of strategic actions outlined in its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. These actions are centered around promoting business growth and investment within the community.

Here are the key initiatives detailed in the plan:

Economic Development Community Improvement Plan

The town intends to incentivize investment in the local economy by both existing and new businesses across all sectors. This plan is designed to foster a supportive environment for businesses to thrive and expand.

Saugeen Shores Innovation Park

The town aims to attract businesses to the Innovation Park by implementing its marketing plan and advancing the region as a center for clean energy and innovation. This involves creating attractive conditions for businesses involved in innovative and sustainable industries.

Strategic Opportunities for Industrial Lands

The town will explore and pursue strategic opportunities to obtain or enhance industrial lands for economic development. This effort is aimed at ensuring there is adequate space for industrial growth and development, providing businesses with the physical infrastructure they need to expand.

Waterfront Master Plan

The ongoing implementation of the Waterfront Master Plan is another strategy aimed at enhancing the attractiveness of Saugeen Shores for both businesses and tourists. This plan focuses on leveraging the town's waterfront assets to boost local tourism and related business opportunities.

Downtown Action Plans

The town plans to align individual downtown action plans into an integrated and comprehensive strategy. This approach is intended to revitalize downtown areas, making them more attractive for businesses, residents, and visitors alike.

These strategic directions demonstrate the town's commitment to creating a conducive environment for business growth and investment, ensuring the economic vitality of Saugeen Shores. The town's focus on innovation, industrial development, waterfront enhancement, and downtown revitalization is aimed at fostering a vibrant business community that supports the overall prosperity of the area.


What initiatives are in place, in Saugeen Shores,  for housing development?

The Town of Saugeen Shores has outlined several initiatives focused on housing development within its Strategic Plan for 2023-2027. These initiatives are aimed at diversifying and growing the town's housing stock to make housing more attainable and affordable for current and prospective residents.

The specific initiatives include:

Identifying, Monitoring, and Pursuing Senior Level Government Housing Funding

This involves seeking out and utilizing funding opportunities from higher levels of government dedicated to housing development, which can help finance projects aimed at increasing the availability of affordable housing.

Developing a Planned Approach to Utilize Surplus Municipal Lands for Attainable Housing Development

This strategy aims to make effective use of surplus lands owned by the municipality by dedicating them to the development of housing that is financially accessible to a broader range of the population.

Promoting Planning and Development Policies, Programs, and Bylaws

The town intends to create and enforce policies, programs, and bylaws that encourage the development of new and diverse types of housing. This could include zoning changes, incentives for developers to include affordable units in their projects, and streamlined approval processes for housing developments.

These initiatives are supported by specific progress measures, such as tracking the overall housing supply growth by type (e.g., single residential, townhouses, apartments) and monitoring the percentage of the town’s site plan control segment timelines that meet or exceed the town's requirements. These measures aim to assess the effectiveness of the town’s efforts to diversify and grow its housing stock in alignment with the needs of a growing community.


RELATED: Affordable Housing Solutions in Ontario: Debrief from Chamber of Commerce and Grey County Reports.


What is Saugeen Shores' approach to environmental sustainability?

The Town of Saugeen Shores is committed to environmental sustainability as a key component of its strategic vision for the community. This commitment is reflected in various strategic directions and actions outlined in its Strategic Plan for 2023-2027, focusing on preserving the natural heritage and beauty of the town’s environment and implementing measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Here's a breakdown of the town's approach to environmental sustainability:

Enhancement of Natural Heritage and Green Spaces

The town plans to review and prioritize its Heritage Policies, including through the Natural Heritage Official Plan Review and Cultural Heritage Official Plan Review. This includes protecting and expanding local community green spaces, trails, parks, and tree canopies through local planning bylaws and policies.

There is an emphasis on expanding natural green spaces that are available to the community, which not only enhances the town's beauty but also contributes to biodiversity and environmental health.

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

The town is actively looking to promote measures that mitigate and adapt to climate change. This includes continued efforts in waste diversion and energy management initiatives for municipal assets, demonstrating a commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of the town’s operations.

Environmental Sustainability Recommendations

The town intends to review and prioritize recommendations from the Environmental Sustainability Ad Hoc Committee for implementation. This indicates a structured approach to integrating sustainability initiatives into the town's operational and strategic frameworks.

Waste Diversion and Energy Management

Ongoing initiatives for waste diversion and energy management highlight the town's proactive steps towards sustainability. These efforts are aimed at reducing waste and improving the efficiency of energy use within municipal facilities, contributing to broader environmental goals.

Performance Measures

The town has set specific performance measures to track progress towards environmental sustainability, including year-over-year energy consumption rates per municipal facility, annual diversion rate relative to provincial waste diversion targets, and year-over-year parkland and trail construction or protected land acquired with new development. These measures ensure accountability and continuous improvement in environmental performance.

Through these strategies and actions, the Town of Saugeen Shores demonstrates a comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability, aiming to preserve its natural beauty, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure the well-being of future generations. This approach is integral to the town’s broader vision of creating a vibrant, healthy, and sustainable community.


RELATED: Our posts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)


Final Thoughts

We continue to advocate, promote and share our thoughts on Grey and Bruce Counties as part of our Grey Bruce content series. The goal is to help us all better understand what key stakeholder groups need, want and are doing. Sometimes we’ll be doing awesome and sometimes not so much. What’s important is we find ways to address the competing and complementary needs of our community. I hope this post, in a small way, helps accomplish that. 

Do You Have a Question? 

Have you got a question that’s not been answered? Something you’d like information about maybe? Leave a comment below and we’ll see what we can do to find an answer. 

About the Author

Chris Herbert is deeply involved in shaping the entrepreneurial landscape, with a keen focus on driving Mi6 Agency's growth as a catalyst for entrepreneurial and small business success. Through the Mi6 Agency's blog, he offers practical insights, addressing unique regional challenges in Grey Bruce and providing concrete marketing advice for small businesses. His efforts go beyond traditional business goals, embracing sustainable development and responsible growth. His "Rural Entrepreneur Podcast" amplifies this commitment, serving as a resource for sharing essential insights and experiences, helping entrepreneurs at various stages. Herbert's approach is multifaceted, emphasizing the creation of sustainable businesses, community support, and a hands-on influence in entrepreneurial ventures.

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