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Official Plan

The Official Plan is a document that guides our city’s future land use, growth and change. The plan is focused on sustainability and includes policies that cover urban, suburban, agricultural, rural, and environmental aspects. It provides the basis for our Zoning Bylaws that set rules about how land or buildings are used and where buildings can be placed. 

The Official Plan consists of written policies and mapping. It has 10 main parts, and contains policies on land use, infrastructure, protection of health and safety, the environment, and heritage. It also contains additional detailed policies that apply to specific parts of the city. 

It’s required by law. Additionally, an Official Plan reflects community priorities and helps to make sure that different land uses work together to make Kingston a desirable place to live. 

Yes. The Official Plan affects everyone in Kingston. It decides where new houses, shops, factories, schools, parks and other places will be built. It also includes policies to protect our environment and guides the expansion of new services like sewers, water pipes and roads. 


Official Plan Amendment Number 50 was the five-year update of the Official Plan and it came into effect on Aug. 29, 2017. 

The Dec. 1, 2022, consolidated version of the Official Plan includes all approvals and modifications made to the Plan after Jan. 27, 2010, up to and including Nov. 30, 2022.  

This consolidation has been prepared for your convenience. For precise reference to any policies or map schedules contained within the Plan, please consult Planning Services at 613-546-4291, ext 3180. 

Sometimes, the Official Plan may need to be changed because of changes in provincial policies, Council direction,  or a proposed development project.  

To support a development proposal that requires an Official Plan amendment, you might also need other approvals, like a Zoning Bylaw amendment.  

Changing the Official Plan involves these 10 steps: 

  1. Talk to planning staff: Submit a pre-application to see if you need an Official Plan change and what drawings and reports you will need to include with your application. You must submit your pre-application through DASH.
  2. Submit your application: Include all required drawings and reports and pay the required application fee. You must submit your application through DASH.
  3. Review time: A planner reviews your application for completeness, and issues a public notice indicating that the city has received an application for a change to the Official Plan. The planner will also circulate the application to relevant City departments and external groups for review. The planner will provide you with a list of all comments received. 
  4. Recommendation report: Once the application review is complete and all comments provided by the planner have been addressed, the planner prepares a report to the Planning Committee summarizing your proposal, and an analysis of the relevant policies. The report also includes a recommendation to approve the application as-is, with changes, or deny it. 
  5. Tell the public about the meeting: The planner sets up a public meeting at the Planning Committee. Public meeting notices are sent by mail, posted on-site, and may appear on our website or in the newspaper.. 
  6. The meeting: At the meeting, you or your agent present the proposed development, staff may offer information and Committee members may ask questions. Members of the public may also ask questions and provide feedback. 
  7. Planning Committee recommendation: At the meeting, the Planning Committee discusses the application and makes recommendations to our Council. 
  8. City Council meeting: Council reviews the Planning Committee’s recommendation. They may decide to approve the application, deny it, or ask for more information. 
  9. Advertise decision: After the Council meeting, a notice of Council’s decision will be sent out  and will include the deadline for any appeals to be submitted. 
  10. Final Say: If no one appeals, the change to the Official Plan comes into effect. If someone appeals, your application will go to the Ontario Land Tribunal for a decision. 

Once you submit your application, it typically takes four to six months for our Council to make a decision. If someone appeals Council’s decision, it will add time to the process.

Official Plan documents 

This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please call at 613-546-0000 or Contact Us.





Planning Services
1211 John Counter Blvd.
Kingston, ON K7L 4X7
Phone: 613-546-4291 ext. 3180

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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