Guide to Zoning By-law Amendments
Planning - General Information

Guide to Zoning By-law Amendments

What is the Comprehensive Zoning By-law

One of the most important responsibilities municipalities have is land use planning.  There are two documents which are key to controlling land use in the Township.  The Official Plan sets out the Township’s goals and objectives and establishes policies on how the Township will deal with various land uses and servicing questions that arise.  The Township’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law implements the policies of the Official Plan by regulating and controlling specific land uses.  The Zoning By-law divides the Township into a number of zones and sets out the permitted uses of land such as where buildings and structures can be located and requirements such as lot coverage and setbacks.  Through zoning, the Township can guide and shape the pattern of development that occurs.

What is a Zoning By-law Amendment?

A landowner who wishes to use his/her property or develop it in a way that is not allowed by the regulations of the Zoning By-law would need to apply to the Township for an amendment to the Zoning By-law to allow the development to occur.  However, Council can only consider a Zoning By-law amendment if the proposed use is allowed by the Township’s Official Plan.  If the proposed use was not allowed in the Official Plan, the landowner would need to apply for an Official Plan Amendment as well.

Please note that, in certain circumstances, it may be more appropriate for a landowner to apply to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance.  Landowners are encouraged to consult with Planning Department staff to discuss their proposals and to determine the best method of proceeding.  For further information on the Committee of Adjustment, please refer to the Guide to the Committee of Adjustment.

How do I apply?

It is strongly recommended that you consult with Planning Department staff prior to the submission of an application.  It is helpful to discuss your proposal with staff to confirm whether an Official Plan amendment and/or other planning approvals are necessary.  Contact information can be located on the Township’s website.  Due to the complexity of some zoning applications, applicants may engage the services of a planning consultant for guidance and advice.

An application form to amend the Comprehensive Zoning By-law can be downloaded, printed and completed manually.  For your convenience, the application can also be completed on-line in a fillable PDF format and then printed.  Please note that applicants must submit an original application form containing original signatures where indicated.  In addition, the applicant must complete the Affidavit or Sworn Declaration section of the application form before a Commissioner or other person empowered to take affidavits.

An information sheet accompanies the application form and provides details with respect to the application process, the costs involved and the information and documentation required to be submitted with the application.

How will my application be processed?

Planning Department staff will conduct a preliminary review of the application upon receipt of a completed application form, together with all required documentation and the application fee.

As part of the review, the application will be examined for consistency with Township policies and the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement.  This review may result in the need for the applicant to engage an environmental consultant to have a more thorough review of the potential impact to the natural heritage features on the property.  The application cannot proceed to Council for consideration until such time as the environmental review has been completed.

The Township’s Planner will prepare a planning report and the application will be scheduled to be considered by Council.  Council may direct that the proposed amendment be scheduled for a public meeting as required by the Planning Act, or, it may refuse to adopt the proposed  Zoning By-law amendment.

The purpose of a public meeting is to provide an opportunity for the public to speak in support of or in opposition to the proposed amendment.  Notice of the public meeting must be circulated to owners of land and other parties as prescribed by Township policy and Planning Act regulation.

Following the public meeting, Council will pass or refuse to pass the proposed Zoning By-law amendment.  If the By-law amendment is passed, notice of its passage will be given within 15 days to all persons and agencies as required by Township policy and Planning Act regulation.  The Notice of Passing outlines the appeal procedures and identifies the last day for appealing the Zoning By-law amendment to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  If no appeal is made by the end of the appeal period, the By-law amendment comes into full force and effect.

What if the Zoning By-law amendment is appealed?

There are various stages in the application process at which a party has the right of appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  In general, any person or public body who has made an oral submission at the public meeting or has provided Council with a written submission with respect to the application has the right to appeal the decision of Council to the OMB.  The notice of appeal must be personally delivered or sent to the Township’s Clerk.  Appeal forms are available on the Ontario Municipal Board’s website  The appeal must set out the objections to the proposed By-law amendment and the reasons in support of the appeal and must include the OMB’s prescribed fee.  The OMB will schedule a hearing and give written notice of the time and date in advance of the hearing.


For further information with respect to appeals, please contact the Planning Department.  Additional information can also be found in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ Citizen’s Guide to Zoning By-laws.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 14:10