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Welcome to Planning and Application Resource Centre (PARC) your source for information and tools related to the One Window land use planning service in Ontario

The Land Use Planning System

Includes information on:

  • What is the planning application process?
  • What is the Planning Act?
  • How provincial interests protected and what is the Provincial Policy Statement?
  • Related Legislation
  • Provincial Plans
  • About Appeals of Planning Decisions

What is the planning application process?

The review and approval process for changes to land use is generally the same for all types of planning applications:

    • Talk to local municipal staff or planning approval authority staff about your application. You may find it helpful to access the list of municipal websites compiled by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)
    • The staff can let you know what issues you might encounter and what the process is to apply. They can also tell you who the planning approval authority is for your particular application.
    • The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has also prepared a Planning Act Approval Authority in Ontario chart which provides an overview of where planning approval authority rests with respect to the approval of official plans and amendments, subdivisions, condominiums, consents, power of sales and validations.
    • Next, you should consult with the planning approval authority to discuss your application, to determine what information is required for a complete application and any supporting documentation or studies that might be recommended.
    • Your application should be submitted to your local municipality or the planning approval authority as appropriate.
    • The planning approval authority will make the decision to approve, modify and approve, partially approve, or refuse your application and inform you of that decision. In some cases, on land division related applications, the planning approval authority will issue a draft or conditional approval (for subdivisions and consents) listing conditions that an applicant must fulfill prior to final approval.

What is the Planning Act?

The Planning Act sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario and describes how land uses may be controlled, and who may control them. Learn more: Citizens' guide #1 - The Planning Act

What is the Provincial Policy Statement?

The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) is issued under the authority of Section 3 of the Planning Act and provides province-wide policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. It supports the government’s commitment to building livable and healthy communities that provide a higher quality of life for all Ontarians. The PPS provides for appropriate development while protecting resources of provincial interest, public health and safety, and the quality of the natural environment.

How are provincial interests protected?

When decision-makers exercise any authority that affects a planning matter, the Planning Act requires that they “shall be consistent with” the PPS. Where a provincial plan is in effect, planning decisions must conform or not conflict with the provincial plan.

Provincial plans provide land use planning policies for specific geographic areas, such as:

Planning Application Approvals and Forms

Who makes a decision on my planning application?

The planning approval authority will make a decision on your application.

  • Planning approval authorities vary depending on the location and the type of planning application. In regions and most counties, approvals may be needed at both the regional/county and local municipal level.
  • Contact your municipality to determine who is the planning approval authority for your particular planning application. You may find it helpful to access the list of municipal websites compiled by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).
  • For information on planning approval authorities please access this Planning Act Approval Authority in Ontario chart which provides an overview of where planning approval authority rests with respect to the approval of official plans and amendments, subdivisions, condominiums, consents, power of sales and validations.

How do I get started?

  • It is very important to consult with the planning approval authority at the beginning of the planning process before submitting an application, and in a growing number of municipalities it is a requirement.
  • Pre-consultation will ensure you are aware of what information and supporting materials may be required, and what provincial and local interests may need to be addressed as part of your application. Providing complete information when you submit an application will ensure timely consideration of the application.
  • Where your municipality is the planning approval authority, contact them to discuss your application and arrange for pre-consultation. You may find it helpful to access the list of municipal websites compiled by the AMO.
  • Where the MMAH is the planning approval authority contact your regional Municipal Services Office to discuss your application and arrange for pre-consultation.
  • In some parts of northern Ontario, there are lands in unincorporated areas (not within any municipal boundary). Contact your MMAH regional Municipal Services Office to determine who the planning approval authority is for your application.

Overview of Planning Application Approvals and links to forms where MMAH is the Approval Authority

Application Type

Information Resources and Where MMAH is the Approval Authority

Fee

Where the Municipality (or Planning Board) is the Approval Authority

Official Plan /Official Plan Amendment

Citizens' guide #2 - Official Plan

Adopted Official Plan or Plan Amendment - Form 

Yes

Contact your municipality

Zoning By-law Amendment

Citizens' guide #3 - Zoning By-laws

Contact your municipality

Plan of Subdivision / Condominium

Citizens' guide #4 - Subdivisions

 

Plan of Subdivision or Condominium - Form

Yes

Contact your municipality

Consent / Land Severance

Citizens' guide #5 - Land Severances 

Application for Consent - Form 

Yes

Contact your municipality

Parkway Belt West Plan Amendment

Application for Amendment to the Parkway Belt - Form

Yes

 

Validation of Title

Application for Validation Order - Form  

Contact your municipality

Minister’s Zoning Order

Application to Amend or Revoke a Minister’s Zoning Order - Form 

Yes

 

Minor Variance

 

Contact your municipality

Site Plan Control

Citizens' guide #3 - Zoning By-laws

Contact your municipality

 

Application Fee

Planning applications submitted to MMAH may be subject to a fee. Those fees vary depending on the type of application and the region and change annually according to a planning application fees schedule. Applications without payment will not be processed and returned to the sender.

Appeals of Planning Decisions

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for hearing appeals, and resolving land use disputes under The Planning Act.

The OMB’s main role in community planning is to hold public hearings on:

    • planning documents such as official plans and zoning by-laws and applications to amend or change these documents.
    • land useplanning applications, such as subdivisions, land severances and minor variances

For further information access the Citizens' guide #6 - Ontario Municipal Board

Planning applications submitted to MMAH may be subject to a fee. Those fees vary depending on the type of application and the region and change annually according to a planning application fee schedule. Applications without payment will not be processed and returned to the sender.

Contact

OneWindow@ontario.ca