A zoning by-law controls the use of land in your community. It states exactly:
- how land may be used
- where buildings and other structures can be located
- the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used
- the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street.
An official plan sets out the Township’s general policies for future land use. Zoning by-laws put the plan into effect and provide for its day-to-day administration. They contain specific requirements that are legally enforceable. Construction or new development that does not comply with a zoning by-law is not allowed, and the Township will refuse to issue a building permit.
Zoning By-Law Documents
Zoning By-Law Amendments
If you want to use or develop your property in a way that is not permitted by the zoning by-law, you may apply for a zoning change, also known as a zoning by-law amendment or a rezoning.
How are Zoning By-Laws Evaluated?
When council considers a zoning by-law, they evaluate it against criteria such as:
- conformity with the official plan and compatibility with adjacent uses of land
- suitability of the land for the proposed purpose, including the size and shape of the lot(s) being created
- adequacy of vehicular access, water supply, sewage disposal
- the risk of flooding.
When council considers a zoning by-law, its decision shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement issued under the Planning Act. The Provincial Policy Statement contains clear, overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. The “shall be consistent with” rule means that a council is obliged to ensure that the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement are applied as an essential part of the land use planning decision-making process.
Zoning By-Law Amendment Applications
Before you apply for rezoning, you should talk to Township staff for advice and information. You must complete an application form which requires information identified by the Planning Act and the municipality.
The application form outlines the requirements for submitting an application for a Zoning By-Law Amendment. If you are acting as an agent for the purposes of the application, a letter of authorization is required from the registered owner of the property.
Applications are also available at the Municipal Office.
How Much will it Cost?
The application fee is outlined on the application form, payable at the time an application is submitted. Fees may be paid by cash, cheque or debit. If the fee is being paid by cheque, the cheque must be made payable to: “Township of Lanark Highlands”.
What Happens Once the Application is Submitted?
The application is circulated to other Township Departments and various agencies for their comments, as well as to all property owners within 120 metres of the subject site. A notice will be installed on the property briefly describing the proposal.
All correspondence will be reviewed and the Township Planner will prepare a report with a recommendation to approve or refuse the rezoning application. The report will then be presented at a Public Meeting.
If the recommendation is to approve the rezoning the necessary by-law will be considered at the next Council Meeting, which generally is held immediately following the Public Meeting. Council will then adopt a By-Law approving the necessary rezoning for the specific parcel of land.
What Happens After the Meeting?
If Council approves the proposed amendment and passes a by-law, the by-law will be circulated to give interested parties the chance to appeal. A 20-day appeal period is provided for, once notice of Adoption of the By-Law has been given. If no appeals are received by the end of the appeal period, the amendment is in full force and effect.
The process for dealing with zoning by-law amendments is the same as for a zoning by-law. If local council refuses your zoning application, or if it does not make a decision within 120 days of the receipt of your application containing the prescribed information, you may appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.