There are many reasons you might need a planning application. If you know you need one, you may fill out one of the forms below and bring it to the Planning Services counter. But, we recommend that you talk with a city planner before you submit. You don't need a planning consultant or an agent to apply. However, in many cases, a consultant can give helpful advice and improve your chances of success. If you're not sure if you need a planning application, Planning Services can help you find out.

See our Planning Fees.

Consent to sever

Consent to sever application form

You may need this application if you wish to divide your property and create a few new lots. This is the most common case. Other cases include, adjusting a lot line, creating an easement, or leasing land for more than 21 years. The Committee of Adjustment decides whether or not to grant consent. They consider criteria such as:

  • Does the application meet the intent of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law?
  • Does the site have services well suited for what is proposed?
  • Is the proposal compatible with surrounding uses?
  • Is there suitable access for vehicles?
  • Is there a risk to public safety or property?
  • What natural heritage features are present?

The change you request needs to fit with the policies and goals of the Province. It must be in line with the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.

Complete applications include a filled in form, site plan drawing, and fee. Planning Services staff may request other material as needed. We recommend meeting with staff before you submit. Staff can explain the process and discuss what else you might need to provide. Staff will not process an application that is incomplete.

The Citizen's Guide to Severances offers more information.

Minor variance

Minor variance application form

If you wish to change your property, but cannot meet one or more of the Zoning By-law rules, this application may be the one you need. Minor Variances give some relief to certain rules in the by-law. They do not make major changes. The Committee of Adjustment decides whether or not to permit a Minor Variance. There are four tests that every variance request must meet. The variance must:

  • be minor
  • be desirable for the appropriate development or use
  • maintain the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law
  • maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan

This application varies rules such as lot size, setbacks, etc. It does not deal with rezoning or adding permitted uses. If you wish to rezone or add a permitted use, you'll need to apply to amend the Zoning By-law.

Complete applications include a filled in form, site plan drawing, and fee. Planning Services staff may request other material as needed. We recommend meeting with staff before you submit. Staff can explain the process and discuss what else you might need to provide. Staff will not process incomplete applications.

Official plan amendments

Official Plan amendments application form

You need this application if you wish to make a change to the Official Plan. This means changing a policy or a property's designation. The policies of the Official Plan guide growth and change in the city. Designations are groups that each property is sorted in. The Official Plan explains the goals for development in these groups. For example, one designation is meant for homes while another is meant for stores and offices.

The change you request needs to fit with the policies and goals of the Province. It must be in line with the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. City Council decides whether or not to grant the change.

Complete applications include a filled in form, site plan drawing, and fee. Planning Services staff may request other material as needed. We recommend meeting with staff before you submit. Staff can explain the process and discuss what else you might need to provide. Staff will not process an application that is incomplete.

The Citizen's Guide to Official Plans offers more information. 

Plan of subdivision and plan of condominium 

Subdivision application form

If you want to create more than a few lots, this application is what you need. Subdivisions are more complex than severances. They often mean new roads and city services. So, these applications need more information and take much longer. Plan of Condominium allow the units within an apartment building to have different owners. Both types of applications are heard by City Council.

What makes complete application will vary. It depends on the property and the proposal. We recommend meeting with staff before you submit. Staff can explain the process and discuss what you need to provide. Staff will not process an application that is incomplete.

The Citizen's Guide to Subdivisions offers more information. 

Status letters on planning agreements

If you have a planning agreement with this city, this letter will confirm conditions have been fulfilled. Please send written requests to the Planning Services Division. Find contact information below. 

Site plan control

Site plan control application form

If your property is an area of Site Plan Control, you need to apply to develop it. This application is the start of getting the agreement you need to receive a building permit. This agreement is between the owner and the City. It allows the City to make sure that best practices are applied. The City will ask for changes and give suggestions. Once staff approve the drawings, the agreement is ready for signing. The agreement must be registered on title. The City's Legal Services Division registers the agreement, following payment of a registration fee. 

A good site plan will follow the Urban Design Guidelines and use engineering and landscaping best practices.

You must provide a site plan and elevations for this application. We recommend meeting with staff before you submit. Staff can explain the process and discuss what else you might need to provide. They can also discuss what they look for in drawings. Staff will not process an application that is incomplete.

Zoning by-law amendments

Zoning by-law amendments application form

This application is for changing the rules of the Zoning By-law. You need it to make major changes like changing zones or adding permitted uses. You don't need it if you just need to make a minor change. A minor variance is usually all you need to get relief from certain rules. So, if you wish to make a major change, this application is for you. If you also need minor changes, like changes in lot size or setbacks, you can include them in the application.

The change you request needs to fit with the policies and goals the Official Plan. It also must be in line with the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. City Council decides whether or not to grant the change.

Complete applications include a filled in form, site plan drawing, and fee. Planning Services staff may request other material as needed. We recommend meeting with staff before you submit. Staff can explain the process and discuss what else you might need to provide. Staff will not process an application that is incomplete.

The Citizen's Guide to Zoning By-laws offers more information. 

Appeal process and support

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) hears cases in relation to a range of municipal planning and land matters. These include matters such as official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, and other issues.

The Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC) helps people understand and navigate the land use planning and appeal process in Ontario.

The Citizen's Guide to LPAT offers more information. 

If you require a PDF in an accessible format, email our Municipal Accessibility Specialist or call 807-625-2240.

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