Harbour Secondary Plan

In order to determine how the harbour properties will be used, Central Elgin undertook to implement a secondary plan under its Official Plan. A secondary plan is an amendment to an Official Plan, and provides more detail for a specific area covered by an Official Plan.  To that end, the Municipality established a steering committee, comprised of staff, council, and community members, to work with consultants retained by Central Elgin to develop the secondary plan.  

One of our directors, Nigel Howcroft, serves on the steering committee. You can reach him at [email protected]

The Secondary Plan will determine land uses (including parks, other public spaces and development) that will be permitted for the harbour properties acquired by Central Elgin. The PSVA board advocates that the majority of the harbour lands be reserved for public use, but supports limited low density development in keeping with the character of the village.

The secondary plan was adopted by Central Elgin in 2021. The County of Elgin approved the Secondary Plan (OPA # 9) on December 9, 2021. There have been no appeals and appropriate notices have been given.

Central Elgin retained Zuzek Inc to prepare a report to assess natural hazards anticipated due to climate change. Zuzek submitted its Port Stanley Coastal Risk Assessment report to Council dated June 3, 2021. The report is attached.

The Zuzek report considers the most recent data on lake levels and climate change to assess coastal risk for this area. Zuzek concludes that:

  • Climate change will result in more ice free winters and accelerated erosion rates, which have doubled in the region from Wheatley to Erie Rest over the past 5 years, compared to 1995-2000.
  • Climate change will likely produce increased lake levels by a factor of about 1/3 of a metre over the next 100 years. A flood mitigation strategy must be developed for the quay wall to reflect the anticipated increased lake level.
  • Revised climate change standards produced by the Province for lake levels should be adopted for all Official plans.
  • The bluffs east and west of the village will erode faster than they have in the past and this will have to be factored in for future development applications in those areas.
  • The east headland (berm) will require additional protection to deal with flooding and erosion. A drainage plan will also have to be implemented for the berm. These measures would have to be implemented before any development is permitted on the berm.
  • A long term plan will eventually have to be implemented to deal with erosion between Orchard Beach and the water intake protect buildings including the water intake itself.
  • The homes at the foot of Grand Canyon Road are vulnerable but shoreline protection is not economically feasible. A relocation strategy must be developed for affected homeowners.
  • West Beach is accumulating sand and is migrating lakeward at the central and eastern areas. Sand could be relocated from West Beach to Little Beach.
  • A dune restoration plan should be developed for West Beach to reduce flooding hazards in the adjacent area of the village.
  • Sediment in the harbour must be assessed annually and appropriate dredging measures undertaken.

The report includes cost estimates for implementing some of Zuzek’s recommendations. For example, the cost for rehabilitating the quay and the berm will be at least $5,000 per linear metre and (depending on how much work is needed) possibly up to $15,000 per linear metre for the quay. How those costs would be funded is not addressed in the report.

Find details of the process, documents, and reports pertaining to the Secondary Plan, and the timetable, here:


Central Elgin convened a public meeting on August 10 to consider the secondary plan being proposed for the harbour properties in Port Stanley.  Dan Ross, as President of the PSVA, made a submission generally supporting the secondary plan.  The written form of the submission appears in the attachments below.

At its meeting on November 8, Council selected Tocher Heyblom Design Inc. (operating as thinc design) as the consultant to carry out the Waterfront Master Plan for Port Stanley (”WMP”).

According to a staff report prepared by Central Elgin staff the consultant is to develop a waterfront masterplan which will identify land use amenity additions that enhance and improve the public realm space within the areas of the harbour designated for public use.

This WMP will address:

* Consultation and communication with the public and key stakeholders and agencies prior to developing the plan to determine the desires of the community
* Assessment of proposed amenities and how they will interact with the Risk Management Measures that are in place to mitigate the environmental contamination
* Identification of key component costs on a project by project basis
* Identification at a gross level of detail the financial impact of development on the Development Charges and the Municipality’s Capital Works Program based on proposed timing and phasing of development
* Provide a detailed design plan showing key amenities (i.e. street furniture, play structures, passive recreation facilities, structures, horticultural species and locations)
* Construction design plans for any constructed facilities including but not limited to walkways, look-out structures, docks, gazebo

The assignment is anticipated to begin in mid-November, with the final reports being delivered to Central Elgin in June 2022.

The appointment of thinc follows on from the adoption by Central Elgin of the Secondary Plan for the harbour lands. The Secondary Plan establishes the general land uses for the lands whereas the WMP represents detailed design plans for specific uses for the lands.,

The adoption of the Secondary Plan and the anticipated completion of the WMP, along with the completion of the new Official Plan and comprehensive zoning by-law, represent major steps forward for the development of the public areas of the harbour parks, being Hofhuis Park on the west side and the berm on the east side of the harbour.

The PSVA (through its Harbour Parks Committee) is offering thinc assistance with involving Kettle Creek Public School and residents, collecting Members' views through surveys, focus groups (in person or via Zoom), and communication.

Here is a link to thinc’s website: thinc design – Landscape Architecture | Planning | Urban Design

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