Development Review Process FAQ's
Who will I be in contact with during the Development Review Process?
Prior to pre-application, Planning staff can provide you with some general information such as Official Plan designation or the zoning of a property. Once you file for pre-application consultation, however, the assigned Planner will be your main point of contact throughout the development review process.
What policies and laws must I consider in my development proposal?
Your development proposal will have to comply with the Planning Act, the Ontario Heritage Act, the Provincial Policy Statement and other Provincial or Federal legislation and municipal Bylaws or policies. The City also has an Official Plan and Zoning Bylaws that establish the long term vision and permitted uses for properties.
What development applications require pre-application?
In accordance with Bylaw No. 2007-43, Pre-application Meetings are mandatory prior to the submission of the following planning applications:
- Official Plan Amendment
- Zoning By-Law Amendment
- Site Plan Control / Modification (Depending on the size of the modification)
- Draft Plan of Subdivision / Condominium
No fee is charged for this service. Please note that you are encouraged to contact staff informally at any time if you require further information or clarification, or if you are developing land for the first time.
What development applications do not require pre-application consultation?
Applications that may not require formal pre-application include:
- Lifting Part Lot Control
- Removing a Holding Symbol
- Minor Zoning By-law Amendments
- Minor Site Plans and Revisions to approved Site Plans
- Final Plan of Subdivision Approval
However, you are strongly encouraged to speak with City staff before submitting any application to ensure that you are aware of the applicable process and submission requirements.
Where do I submit my development application?
All development applications are submitted via the new Development and Services Hub (DASH).
What happens when an application is reviewed?
When your application is submitted, the assigned planner will review it to ensure that the submission is complete. It is very important that the application submission include all information, plans and supporting studies in good quality that were identified at the pre-consultation meeting. If there is incomplete information or the plans or documents are of poor quality, your application will not be considered complete and may be delayed. If there are any questions regarding what studies or supporting information is required in order to submit a complete application, you should contact the assigned planner to your file.
Once the application is determined to be complete, it is circulated to the appropriate City staff and external agencies for review and comments. Most applications require more than one circulation to staff and external agencies. To ensure timely processing of your application(s) it is very important that any additional information or amendments to plans identified through circulation is submitted as quickly as possible and that the revisions address all of comments/requirements noted in the responses from staff and the external agencies.
Can I submit several development applications concurrently?
Yes. When a development proposal requires multiple approvals (e.g. Official Plan and/or Zoning By-law Amendment and Draft Plan of Subdivision), you are encouraged to file all applications concurrently. Filing concurrent applications can streamline your review process because it allows the City to hold one consolidated public hearing for all applications and ensures that sufficient information is available to facilitate review of the applications. You are also encouraged to file applications for Site Plan Control, Heritage Permit and Building Permits concurrently.
How long will it take to process your applications?
Processing time will depend on the nature and complexity of the proposal, the completeness of your submissions, turnaround times when additional information is requested by staff or external agencies, the need for peer reviews of submitted reports or studies, the level of public input received through the process, and any appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board of Council and Committee decisions. Staff can provide a general processing timeline at the pre-consultation meeting and will continue to advise you regarding timing through each step of the approval process. It is important to note that the target timelines for processing an application will not commence until a complete application has been submitted.
Do all applications require a Committee or Council Decision?
No. Council has delegated some of its approval authority to staff for certain types of applications. Planning & Development staff has the authority to approve applications for Site Plan Control, Final Subdivision and Consents and the release or reduction of Site Plan Control securities. Approval of certain minor alterations to designated heritage properties has also been delegated to Planning & Development staff. Engineering staff have delegated approval authority for certain matters related to plans of subdivision. A listing of the approval authority that has been delegated to staff can be viewed at
What if I'm interested in developing city-owned industrial lands?
If you are thinking about developing lands in one of the City owned business parks, there are additional steps before and during the development review process that relate to your purchase of the property from the City. A highly trained city owned industrial lands team comprised of planners, engineers, economic advisers and other professionals is available to help you find the property that best meets your needs and to navigate the development review process quickly and efficiently. Further information can be found on the Sale of City Owned Industrial Lands page.
What if I'm developing on or adjacent to a designated heritage property?
If your proposed development includes or is adjacent to a designated heritage property, you may need to present your proposal to the Municipal Heritage Committee and obtain a heritage permit OR submit a Heritage Impact Statement. For information respecting the heritage permit approval process, the Municipal Heritage Committee, Heritage Impact Statements, or any other heritage-related questions, please contact the Heritage and Urban Design staff
(613) 546-4291, ext. 1844 or submit your questions in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Heritage Conservation page for information respecting the heritage permit approval process, the Municipal Heritage Committee and Heritage Impact Statements is available.
Where can I learn more about the Planning Process?
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has prepared a series of Citizen Guides that provide further information about the different types of planning applications and a generalized review process. The Citizen Guides can be accessed at the following links: