The Official Plan is the City's long term land use plan. It sets out where, and for what, lands can be used (low/medium/high density housing, retail, employment, institutional, etc.), how they may be developed and how they are connected and interact. It affects how the City will look in the future, how the community and all its neighbourhoods will function and the manner in which residents live, work and play.
On August 23, 2010, after an extensive review process, the City adopted a new Official Plan for the municipality, known as the Garden City Plan. The Garden City Plan has subsequently received required final formal approval from the Regional Municipality of Niagara, and is in force and effect as of July 31, 2012.