Planning FAQ

The old adage of measure twice and cut once is as true today as it ever was. The secret to success for any project is planning. To help get you started, we've compiled a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding project planning, zoning and by-laws.

A zoning By-Law is a law set in place to control the way land is used in the community. It gives restrictions as to how land may be used, where buildings can be situated and what types of buildings are permitted. It also sets out lot sizes, dimensions, parking, building heights and set-backs. 

View the Zoning By-law

A Zoning Amendment is required when you want to use your property in a way that does not conform to the Zoning By-Law. You can apply for a Zoning By-Law Amendment or you could rezone. Council will consider the changes if it is allowed by the official plan.

After a resident initiates the By-Law process a Draft By-Law will be prepared and notices will be sent to the public and appropriate agencies. A Public meeting is held and Council may choose to pass or refuse the by-Law. A notice of decisions is sent and if there are no appeals the by-law comes into effect on the date that it is passed. If there is an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) they may choose to pass or refuse the by-law and is the final decision except when declared a provincial interest.

An Official Plan sets out a general policy of how the Municipality would like land to be used. The zoning by-law gives specific instructions and puts the plan into effect.

It is recommended that before applying for an amendment that a resident speaks to the Planning Staff at the Municipality. An application may be submitted and a fee is required. Staff will review your application for conformity and completeness. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) will review your application and take a position. The Municipality may choose to adopt or refuse the proposed amendment and a notice of the decision will be sent to applicable residents and agencies. An appeal can be made to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and it will be the final decision unless it is declared a provincial interest.

A consent application is used for the purpose of severing land to make a new lot or parcel of land. An application must be filled out with a sketch and a fee is required. A notice of hearing will be prepared and sent to appropriate property owners and agencies within 14 days of the date of hearing.  The consent application is brought before the Committee and they will either accept or refuse the application. An appeal may be made to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  The consent may be approved with conditions. The applicant will have 12 months to complete the required conditions. A Certificate will be given at the completion of all the conditions and land can then be transferred.