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Development Permit System (s. 70.2 and O. Reg. 608/06 )

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An illustration of a 4 storey building, which shows how a development permit system can be used to provide building mass variability, and exterior design control.  An additional storey on top of the building is surrounded by a dashed line to show that public benefits could be exchanged for an increase in height and density between a specified range.  Public benefits in this example include a transit shelter, and public art.


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Description of Tool

  • Combines zoning, site plan control and minor variance into one streamlined application and approval process
  • Optional tool that requires official plan (OP) policies and a development permit by-law
  • Allows conditions (e.g. providing and maintaining landscaping to mitigate noise) which may be set out in agreements and registered on title
  • Does not replace lot creation or the building permit processes


  • A Development Permit System (DPS) may apply to all or part of a municipality
  • Community involvement and appeal rights are focused at the front end of the process in the development of OP policies and a development permit by-law
  • Once the DPS is in effect for an area, it replaces the individual zoning, site plan and minor variance processes for the DPS area
  • Timeline: when the complete application is received, the approval authority has 45 days to make a decision

Potential Benefits

  • May enable conditions relating to the protection of public heath and safety and the natural environment by requiring on-going monitoring agreements
  • Can enable sustainable streetscape improvements on public boulevards adjoining development sites

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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 978-1-4435-1193-3 (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4435-1192-6 (HTML)