Design Review Panel Task Force

The City has established a Design Review Panel as a one-year pilot project to advise and assist in reviewing and evaluation applications for residential lot creation. 

Statement of Purpose

The Design Review Panel (DRP) is a volunteer Task Force established to provide knowledgeable urban design guidance to proponents for lot creation, and to assist and provide advice to Planning and Building Services staff in the review and evaluation of applications for residential lot creation by consent under Section 51 of the Planning Act.

Specifically, the Design Review Panel shall provide knowledgeable guidance and advice on building and site design for new housing projects proposed through lot creation in residential neighbourhoods.

The framework for guidance and advice provided by the Panel shall be based specifically on the following:

  • The City’s Zoning By-law 2013-283, as amended;
  • The urban design policies and principles established in Part C, Section 4 of the City’s Official Plan (Garden City Plan);
  • The lot creation policies established in Part F, Section 16.11 of the Official Plan;
  • The City’s Urban Design Guidelines for Low- Rise Infill Housing.


  1. The Design Review Panel is made up of five (5) members and drawn from, but not limited to, the following professional categories:
    • Architect, OAA
    • Landscape Architect, OALA
    • Landscape Designer, CLD
    • Urban Planner, RPP
    • Urban Designer, CNU-A
    • Arborist, ISA2
  2. Membership with current professional accreditation in one or more of the above categories is required unless it can be demonstrated, to the satisfaction of Council, that non-accreditation, or relevant professional experience in urban design matters outside the above categories, shall support and not detract from providing knowledgeable urban design guidance required to perform the duties of the Panel.
  3. In addition to the 5 professional members described above, the Panel shall also include 2 City residents that are not associated with the home building industry.
  4. To support necessary quorum and diversity of relevant experience, the Panel shall be made up of 7 members; and, not more than 3 members shall have the same professional accreditation.
  5. Preference for membership on the Panel will be given to residents of the City of St. Catharines, but residency in St. Catharines for professional members is not a requirement.

Term of Appointments

The Design Review Panel is a 1 year pilot project and continuation of the Panel beyond September 30, 2018 will be subject to review, evaluation and Council direction.

Membership on the Panel will be for a period of approximately 1 year, commencing on the date of approval by Council.

Reporting Structure

  1. The Panel is a Task Force and independent of any of the City’s Sustainability Committees.
  2. The Panel shall report and provide recommendations on site and building design for new housing projects proposed through new lot creation directly to the Director of Planning and Building Services, or designate, The Design Review Panel shall not report to the Committee of Adjustment or any other body.
  3. Administrative support to the Panel shall be provided by the Planning and Building Services Department, which shall assign a Secretary to the Panel.

The Secretary shall

  • prepare and give Public Notice of each Panel meeting and prepare the meeting agenda;
  • serve as an advisor and provide professional and technical advice to the Panel;
  • prepare minutes of each Panel meeting;
  • within a week of each Panel meeting:
    • forward meeting minutes and recommendations of the Panel to the Director of Planning and Building Services, or designate;
    • forward to each development proponent the component of meeting minutes and recommendations of the Panel applying to the subject project.

Membership List

Schedule of Meetings

The Panel shall meet once a month at a regularly scheduled meeting, or less frequently dependent on number of application in-takes.

Review and evaluation of projects may involve site visits, and as such, members should expect involvement beyond the actual Panel meetings.



Panel members shall serve without remuneration.

The Task Force shall conduct its meetings in accordance with and otherwise comply with the City of St. Catharines Simplified Meeting Procedures for Advisory Bodies.

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