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Building Requirements in Unorganized Territory

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Territories without municipal organization (ie.where there is no local government in place), are commonly referred to as “unorganized territories.” 

QUESTION

In an unorganized territory, do I need a building permit?

ANSWER

Building permits are not issued in unorganized townships, as there is no municipal authority to do so.  There are, however, unorganized townships that are subject to Minister's Zoning Orders or Zoning by-laws and therefore, "Letters of Conformity" or "Zoning Conformity Permits" would be required in these townships, prior to any development or construction taking place.  Citizens owning properties in unincorporated areas should call the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Municipal Services Office, in their area for more information. The Ministry of Natural Resources may also need to be consulted with respect to permits required, as would the Ministry of Transportation if development is proposed on or near a highway.  Septic system approvals would need to be obtained from the local health unit or conservation authority.

QUESTION

Do I have to comply with the Building Code in unorganized territory?

ANSWER

The Building Code Act, 1992 is applicable to all lands, whether in municipalities or in unincorporated areas.  This applies to all buildings, whether or not a permit has been issued or applied for, and also where a person is exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit (i.e. for the construction of buildings other than sewage system, in unorganized territory).

QUESTION

Are communal water and sewer systems permitted in unorganized territory?

ANSWER

It depends on the proposed volume output.  Contact your local health unit or the nearest Ministry of Environment and Energy office for information.

QUESTION

Do I need a letter of conformity for a septic system?

ANSWER

Only those unincorporated areas subject to a Minister's Zoning Order administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, or a Zoning by-law administered by a local planning board require either a "Letter of Conformity" or a "Zoning Conformity Permit."  If you are uncertain whose jurisdiction the unincorporated township may fall under, contact the nearest Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Municipal Services Office for information.

QUESTION

In unorganized areas, what taxes are payable?

ANSWER

In unincorporated areas, lands that are privately owned are subject to the provincial land tax, which is remitted to the Ontario Minister of Finance, Oshawa office.  The Oshawa office can be reached at: (905) 433-6381.

The lands may also be subject to Board of Education taxes, Local Service Board taxes and Local Roads Board taxes if the unincorporated township is within the jurisdiction of these boards.