County gets update on revised Natural Heritage Plan

Denise van Amersfoort – Senior Planner, Huron County. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

A Senior Planner recently brought Huron County council up to date on the revised Natural Heritage Plan.

Denise Van Amersfoort said one of the first things they did was change the name from Natural Heritage Plan to Natural Environment Plan, because the word heritage appeared to create some misunderstanding about what the document was intended to do.

Van Amersfoort said it’s very important that people understand it is a resource document.

“We very much want to stress that it is a resource document. It will be used for background information at the time that local municipalities update their official plans. At that time there will be public notification, consultation with the landowners, to ensure that the mapping is as accurate as possible,” she said.

Van Amersfoort said out technology is constantly improving and they want to take advantage of that to improve the accuracy of their mapping.

She said technology in communications is also improving and they’re trying to take advantage of that to communicate with landowners about changes in zoning for their property. She added, in the past, property owners had been notified of changes in a letter that was sent out with their tax bill or a newspaper article.

“What was recently done in a municipality was that they sent a letter to each individual landowner,” she said. “Other municipalities are considering more social media options. So as general communications changes, we’re trying to catch up and we certainly want to make sure that when changes are being made, people are aware.”