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Site Plan Control - Implemented with Exterior Design Control (s. 41)

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An illustration of a 3 storey building, which shows what can be regulated and/or secured through site plan control implemented with exterior design control.  This example includes on site design features that articulate scale and character, defined entra  


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Description of Tool

  • Technical design refinement process that builds upon zoning
  • Optional tool, requires official plan (OP) policies and a site plan by-law for set-up
  • Can regulate certain external building, site and boulevard design matters (character, scale, appearance, sustainable streetscape design)
  • Allows for limited conditions related to design matters including agreements which may be registered on title


  • To use this tool, a site plan control area must be shown or described in an approved OP which includes exterior design policies
  • A site plan control by-law must be passed by the municipality designating all or any part of the area shown in the official plan as a site plan control area
  • A site plan by-law must contain provisions relating to exterior building and boulevard design
  • Timeline: when the application is received, the approval authority has 30 days to make a decision

Potential Benefits

  • Can help implement municipal urban design objectives
  • Can improve design quality of sites, buildings, streetscapes and places
  • Can require new buildings to include architectural details that reflect community character
  • May require sustainable design features to support energy efficiency, sustainable transportation options, water conservation, and improved air and water quality
  • May enable strategic tree planting to provide shelter from cold winter winds and provide shade in the summer

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This sheet deals in summarized and conceptualized fashion with complex matters that reflect legislation, policies and practices that are subject to change. All illustrations represent hypothetical scenarios of the application of various tools. For these reasons, this fact sheet should not be relied upon as a substitute for the relevant legislation, regulations and policy documents, or for specialized legal or professional advice when making land-use planning decisions.

ISBN 978-1-4435-1181-0 (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4435-1180-3 (HTML)