This web page is the online home for the Town's Zoning By-law Project. It contains all information that is available to the public for review. This is a resource to help individuals understand the land use planning process in Ontario and Zoning By-laws in particular.
What is a Zoning?
Zoning is the process of dividing land in a municipality into zones in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited. The type of zone determines whether planning permission for a given development is granted. Zoning is laid out in the Town's Zoning By-law, which is directed by the Town's Official Plan.
The purpose of the Zoning By-law is to implement the policies of the Town's Official Plan. The Official Plan contains general policies that affect the use of land throughout the Town. These policies specify where certain land uses are permitted and, in some instances, specify what regulations should apply to the development of certain lands.
A Zoning By-law controls the use of land within a municipality. More specifically, Zoning By-laws state exactly:
- how land may be used;
- where all buildings and structures can be located on a lot;
- the types of buildings and structures that are permitted and how they may be used; and
- the number of parking and loading spaces required, in addition to other amenities.
The purpose of a Zoning By-law is to implement the policies of an Official Plan. The Official Plan contains general policies that affect development and the use of land throughout the municipality. The Zoning By-law implements the Town's Official Plan and provides for its day-to-day administration while providing a legally enforceable way of managing land use and future development
Please note that a portion of the Town is located within the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area and is administered through Niagara Escarpment Development Control by the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
The Government of Ontario has produced a series of Citizens' Guides which explain how the land use planning process works in Ontario.
- Upon request, Staff will provide the public with assistance in determining zoning requirements for specific properties
- This may help to determine any outstanding work orders, by-law complaints, planning, zoning, and/or building regulations that apply to the parcel and to your proposed project
- Staff cannot provide verbal comments with respect to Zoning By-law compliance or conduct an in-depth review of a walk-in request and any assistance or information provided by staff is solely for convenience
- By completing and submitting a Request for Information Form prior to designing your project, you can avoid mistakes early in the process and save time
- Please also refer to our Zoning By-Law
- The two existing Town Zoning By-laws can be altered through a Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBLA) process
- The ZBLA process provides a way to change zoning regulations for individual properties and is generally initiated by the property owner and allows for site specific amendments to the Town’s Zoning By-laws
- Zoning By-law Amendments are approved by Town Council
- For a Zoning By-law amendment application contact Planning Services
The Committee of Adjustment is an independent body appointed by Council, under authority granted by the Province of Ontario. The Committee of Adjustment is composed of three members of the public, who are appointed by Town Council.
The Town's Committee of Adjustment has authority under the Planning Act to grant minor variances from the zoning by-law and fence by-law; and other associated powers under Section 45(2) of the Planning Act with extensions and similar/compatible uses to non-conforming uses, and conformity of uses that are defined in general terms.
For more information and a list of current members, please visit our Committee of Adjustment page.
If a proposal does not comply with the Zoning By-law, the owner of any land, building or structure (or any person authorized in writing by the owner) may apply to the Committee of Adjustment for a Minor Variance.
The goal of a Minor Variance is to seek relief from a specific Zoning By-law requirement.
Minor Variances may be granted under the following criteria:
- The request is minor in nature
- The request is needed for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure
- The general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law and the Official Plan are maintained
What You Need to Know About Applying for a Minor Variance
- Applications can be picked up at the Town Office or by contacting Planning Services
- Minor Variance application fee is payable to the Town, however, there may be associated Agency commenting fees
- Please feel free to preconsult to determine the associated fees
- Public Notice must be circulated to residents within 60 metres of the subject property ten days prior to the hearing date A placard of the Public Notice is required to be posted on the subject lands ten days prior to the hearing date
- An appeal period of 20 days is required after making a decision on a minor variance application
- The Committee of Adjustment convenes public hearings normally the third Wednesday of each month with these meeting dates being posted on the Municipal Calendar
- Contact Planning Services for a Minor Variance application
- A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land
- This is commonly known as a consent
- It is required if a person wants to sell, mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement (at least 21 years) for a portion of their land
- If the two parts are split already, by a road or railway for example, consent is not needed
- The Town’s Official Plan has specific policies and requirements for land severances
- In addition to the division of land, rights-of-way, easements and any change to existing property boundaries also require land severance approval
- If several severances are intended in the same area, a plan of subdivision may be more appropriate
- It is up to the Town to decide whether a consent is the best approach or if a plan of subdivision is necessary for the proper and orderly development
- Official approval is required to ensure that:
- Land severances are considered within an established community planning framework
- New lots and new land uses do not conflict with the overall future planning goals and policies of the Town
- Consideration is given to the effects of the division of land on the site, on the neighbors and on the community as a whole
- Once a severance has been approved, the new land parcels may be sold or resold without further approval
- The only exception is if the Town has specified that this should not occur without further approval
- The granting of consents is carried out by Town Council
- Contact Planning Services for a Consent Application