Development Application Process
*Timelines are based on the scope/complexity of a project and the quality of the submission.
Municipal councils, landowners, developers, planners and the public play an important role in shaping a community. Community planning is aimed at identifying common community goals and balancing competing interests.
The central activity in planning a community is making an official plan, a document which guides future development of an area in the best interest of the community as a whole.
Economic Development offices assist with any and all investment inquiries, provide important financial incentives, welcome international investors, small businesses and students and provide the programming to help the business community grow and thrive.
Land Severance with Associated Conditions
A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or parcel of land. This occurs by way of an approval known as a consent. A consent is required if you want to sell, mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement for a portion of your land.
An official plan describes your upper, lower or single tier municipal council or planning board’s policies on how land in your community should be used. It is prepared with input from your community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.
A regional government is a federation of the local, lower tier municipalities within its boundaries. Regions are referred to as “upper tier” municipalities and provide services such as: arterial roads; transit; policing; sewer and water systems; waste disposal; region-wide land use planning and development; as well as health and social services. Depending on its size and its history, a local municipality may be called a city, a town, or a township or a village. They are also referred to as “lower tier” municipalities when there is another level of municipal government like a county or region involved in providing services to residents.
An official plan sets out your municipality’s general policies for future land use. Zoning bylaws put the plan into effect and provide for its day-to-day administration. A zoning bylaw controls the use of land in a community and they contain specific requirements that are legally enforceable. Construction or new development that doesn’t comply with a zoning bylaw is not allowed, and the municipality will refuse to issue a building permit.
Site Plan / Subdivision
Unique to Ontario, Conservation Authorities are local watershed management agencies that deliver services and programs to protect and manage impacts on water and other natural resources in partnership with all levels of government, landowners and many other organizations.
Conservation Authorities promote an integrated watershed management approach balancing human, environmental and economic needs. Conservation Authorities are organized on a watershed basis.
There are 31 Conservation Authorities operating in southern Ontario and five Conservation Authorities delivering programs and services in northern Ontario. The network of Conservation Authorities is represented by Conservation Ontario, which is a nonprofit association. Conservation Authorities began to be established by municipalities and the province in the 1940s in response to severe flooding and erosion problems in Ontario.
The Niagara Escarpment Commission is a statutory body that operates at “arms length” from the provincial government under the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF). The NEC is mandated to develop, interpret and apply Niagara Escarpment Plan policies that maintain and enhance the vitality of the Escarpment’s unique environmental and landscape features. Its decisions are made independently, impartially, and according to a risk management framework.
The Commission meets monthly to consider development permits and land use proposals, policy items, and NEP amendments.
The Government of Ontario includes ministries, agencies and Crown corporations. Learn about the roles and responsibilities of Ontario’s 29 ministries and read about their ministers. They range from education, finances and healthcare to environment, agriculture and construction.
Ministries | ontario.ca
Record of Site Condition
A Record of Site Condition (RSC) summarizes the environmental condition of a property, as of a certification date, based on the completion of one or more ESAs (environmental site assessment) conducted or supervised by a QP (qualified person). A RSC, along with supporting documents, is filed electronically to the Environmental Site Registry (ESR) once the ministry confirms that the contents of the RSC meet regulatory requirements.
Commenting Agencies Internal/External
As part of a site plan or subdivision review, various agencies (Conservation, Niagara Escarpment, Ministries (Transportation, Environment, etc), Utility companies) might express opinions about the proposed development. A municipality will collect all the comments before making a decision.
Variances with Associated Conditions
To obtain a minor variance, you will have to apply to your local committee of adjustment appointed by council to deal with minor problems in meeting the zoning bylaw. Your application should explain how your proposed variance is minor in nature and why it is needed. If your proposed change doesn’t conform exactly to the zoning bylaw, but follows its general intent, you can apply for a minor variance. For example, you might want to locate something on your property, but you are unable to meet the minimum setback requirements because of the shape of your lot. Your municipality may have a bylaw that sets out local criteria to further clarify what constitutes a minor variance in your community.
Building Code Review/
As referenced in the Ontario Building Code 126.96.36.199 Div A – Part 1, applicable law references specific acts, regulations and by-laws that must be complied with prior to permit issuance. In relation to a change of use permit, applicable law means any general or special Act, and all regulations and by-laws enacted under them that prohibit the proposed use of the building unless the Act, regulation or by-law is complied with.
Ontario Building Code Review
Building permits are necessary when you wish to construct, demolish, renovate, or change the use of a building and the respective municipality responsible for enforcing the Ontario Building Code in your area will administer these approvals. Municipal building departments are tasked with the issuance of building permits, including Building Code compliance/enforcement.
Before any work is commenced, the review and approval of building permit applications, ensures that buildings comply with the Ontario Building Code, which sets standards for the design and construction of buildings to meet objectives such as accessibility, fire protection, health, resource conservation and safety; the local zoning bylaw; and other applicable laws. The building permit process protects the interests of both residents and the communities they live in.
Inspections and /
After a building permit has been issued and construction has begun, municipal building inspectors must review the work at various stages during construction.
Inspectors will need to check framing, insulation, plumbing, interior finishes and other items contained in the Ontario Building Code. Confirm with the building inspector about what needs to be inspected.
The owner, permit applicant or their agent are responsible for informing the municipal building department when different stages of construction are ready for inspection.
For new construction in order for occupancy of certain buildings to be permitted a partial occupancy or occupancy permit is required which specifies compliance with the Ontario Building Code. Section 11 of the Building Code Act speaks to a building meeting a list of minimum requirements for occupancy.
Compliance to Building Code Act
Under the Building Code Act (BCA), each municipality is responsible for the enforcement of the Act in its municipality. The Act provides that the Council of each municipality shall appoint a chief building official and such inspectors as are necessary for the enforcement of the Act in the areas in which the municipality has jurisdiction.