Consistent with the Implementation Guideline, Planning for Sewage and Water Services, in the absence of municipal planning for services in an approved official plan (as outlined in Section 2.0, Planning for Sewage and Water Services), the planning authority should not recommend approval for site-specific official plan amendments/individual planning applications proposing multilot/unit development for other than development connecting to existing full municipal services in a settlement area, unless a servicing options statement has been completed. The servicing options statement must demonstrate that the potential for servicing the development on full municipal services and communal sewage and water services has been investigated. A servicing options statement should be prepared and/or endorsed by the municipality and submitted with the planning application by the developer in consultation with the municipality. The servicing options statement should address the following matters as appropriate:

  • an evaluation of proximity of existing or committed full municipal services or communal services and the ultimate potential for future connection to full municipal services or communal services for the whole area proposed for development;
  • where a development application is known or anticipated as being one of a number of proposals for the same development area, the evaluation of servicing options should not be isolated to the site-specific proposal, but should be completed within the context of the development potential for the whole area as determined through consultation with the municipality and based on proposed or existing municipal servicing plans and growth management objectives;
  • an overview of the environmental suitability of the site for the proposed services based on information accessible at a municipal scale that can be applied to the proposed site proposal and generally addresses:
    • environmental constraints (e.g., environmental features, surface water, groundwater);
    • suitability of the terrain (e.g., soils, topography) of the site;
    • performance of services in similar developments in the surrounding area; and
    • the scale (total areal extent), density, and type of use proposed for the development;
  • evaluation of the relative potential and merit of each of the servicing options to serve the proposed development; and
  • documentation of the decision-making process and rationale that led to the determination of the servicing option proposed for the development.

Note 1: The complexity/simplicity of investigation associated with a Servicing Options Statement should be relative to the complexity/simplicity of the development proposal at hand as determined by the matters to be addressed in the Servicing Options Statement.

Note 2: Certain sewage and water projects are subject to the Class Environmental Assessment for Municipal Water and Wastewater Projects, June 1993, and any project has the potential to be the subject of a designation request or bump-up request under the environmental assessment process. It is, therefore, in the best interests of the proponent (developer and/or municipality) to evaluate servicing options by combining planning for services, through a servicing plan (or servicing options statement), and environmental assessment, through the Class EA, into one planning process. To meet the environmental assessment planning criteria under the Class EA, a proponent’s evaluation of servicing options should reflect the five key principles of successful planning under the Environmental Assessment Act:

  • consultation with affected parties early on (consistent with the requirements of the Class EA), such that the planning process is a co-operative venture;
  • consideration of a reasonable range of alternatives;
  • identification and consideration of the effects of each alternative on all aspects of the environment;
  • systematic evaluation of alternatives in terms of their advantages and disadvantages, to determine their net environmental effects; and
  • provision of clear and complete documentation of the planning process followed, to allow "traceability" of decision-making with respect to the project.