Zoning By-law Amendment

When do you need a Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA or rezoning) and how long will it take?

To determine what the zoning of your property is and what it permits, consult  and speak with a zoning technician.  If you cannont meet the requirements of the exising zoning, rezoning may be required if you intend to alter your property in a manner that significantly differs from the requirement of the existing zoning, including:

  • A complete change of use (from Residential to Commercial, from Industrial to Commercial, for example)
  • Major reductions in zoning provisions (for example, significant reductions in minimum parking, minimum setbacks, maximum height, maximum building coverage)
  • Inclusion of a certain use that is similar, but not permitted, by the existing zoning (for example, addition of a basement apartment to a dwelling in a neighbourhood zoned for single dwellings only, addition of a retail store to a commercial property that  permits only offices) 

If you intend to alter your property, resulting in only minimal variations from the zoning by-law requirements, a "minor variance" application may be an alternative to rezoning. Consult with a planner  to determine whether a rezoning or minor variance applies to your situation.

Should you require rezoning, a Zoning Amendment application is required for submission to Planning and Development Services. Once an application is received and reviewed for completeness, the time period required until the application is considered by City Council is approximately four months. Timing is dependant on a variety of factors including wheter an application is "complete," Council's meeting schedule, complexity of issues within an application and whether an appeal is submitted to the Ontario Municipal Board after a decision is made by Council.

Download the Zoning By-Law Amendment Guidelines and Application 

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