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Planning Department

The Planning Department reviews all applications with respect to land use, development and building within the city of Brockville. All proposals and applications are checked against the Provincial Policy Statement, the City’s Official Plan, Zoning Bylaw, and other Planning Policies and Bylaws (such as the Sign Bylaw), to ensure that the project is in line with the City’s plan for growth and development.

The Planning Department provides advice to developers and property owners to ensure that their proposed project will adhere to the Provincial Policy Statement, Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

When an application does not meet the conditions of either the Official Plan or the Zoning Bylaw, the applicant may apply for an Official Plan Amendment, Zoning Bylaw Amendment, or in some cases a Request for Minor Variance. Planning staff review the application and make a recommendation to Brockville City Council or the Committee of Adjustment, who have ultimate authority to make decisions on applications. Planning staff can help direct you on the best way to proceed with your project.


Planning Application Forms

Select the form that you require from the list below of City of Brockville Planning Applications. If you require assistance or additional information, please contact the Planning Department.

Pre-Consultation for Planning Applications

Mandatory pre-consultation is required for the following Planning Applications:

  1. Official Plan Amendment
  2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment
  3. Plan of Subdivision or Condominium
  4. Site Plan Approval

Official Plan

The Planning Department is responsible for the City of Brockville Official Plan. The Official Plan is a policy document which sets guidelines for private development as well as municipal infrastructure improvements.

The Official Plan outlines the City’s goals, objectives, and policies primarily used to support growth, economic development, and building Brockville’s future. The plan also establishes a framework for managing the effects of growth on the social, economic, and natural environment of the City.

In accordance with the Planning Act, all of Council’s Bylaws approving development, as well as public works, must conform with the Official Plan.

How does the Official Plan relate to the Zoning Bylaw?

A Zoning Bylaw is the regulatory tool that implements the policies of the Official Plan. A Zoning Bylaw contains provisions that regulate the use, size, height, density and location of buildings on properties within the City.

The basic purpose of a zoning Bylaw is to regulate what can be built on a property, its character, and how it will be configured on the lot.

Official Plan Sections

Please use the following links to access the current Official Plan documents and sections.

In 2021 the City of Brockville undertook an update to the Official Plan. The Official Plan was approved by Brockville City Council and is awaiting approval by the Ministry.

Official Plan Amendments

If you propose using or developing your property in a way that does not comply with the existing Official Plan, you may have to apply for an amendment.

Before you apply for an amendment, a mandatory pre-consultation with Planning staff is required to discuss your proposal. They can offer preliminary advice and information on how to proceed with a formal application.

Completed Applications for Official Plan Amendments should be submitted to the Planning Department together with the required fee and a plan (sketch) of the subject property.

The process for dealing with Official Plan amendments may involve review by committees or municipal staff, as well as public meetings and negotiations, with ultimate approval by City Council. If local council refuses your Application for Official Plan Amendment, you may appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Official Plan 2021 Update

As the City of Brockville grows, it is important to update the Official Plan to reflect shifting planning and community priorities to ensure Brockville remains a vibrant and healthy community. In addition to this, The Planning Act requires that an Official Plan be reviewed every 5 years and updated to ensure that it:

  • conforms with provincial plans, or does not conflict with them
  • has regard to matters of provincial interest
  • is consistent with provincial policy statements. and
  • addresses recent legislative changes.

The City of Brockville and NPG Planning Solutions Inc. have completed a 10 year review of the Official Plan for the City. The updated Official Plan for the City of Brockville has been approved by City Council and is awaiting approval by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

For more information about the changes to the Official Plan, please read the 10 year Official Plan Review Staff Report and attached documents.


Zoning Bylaw

Planning Staff are also responsible for the City of Brockville Zoning Bylaw which divides the entire municipality into land use zones and tells you what type of use will take place in each, in keeping with the Official Plan.

A detailed map of these zones forms an important part of the written bylaw. Within each zone, the bylaw specifies the permitted uses (such high density residential, low density residential, or industrial) and the required standards.

The Zoning Bylaw is a precise document used to regulate the use of land. It states exactly what land uses are currently permitted in the city and provides detailed information such as:

How does a Zoning Bylaw differ from an Official Plan?

While official plans set out the general, long-range policy framework for future land use, zoning bylaws put those plans into effect and provide for their day to day administration.

Unlike the official plan, the zoning Bylaw contains very specific and legally enforceable regulations. Any new development or construction that fails to comply with a municipality’s zoning Bylaw is not permitted and will be denied a building permit.

What is a Zoning Bylaw Amendment? 

If you propose using or developing your property in a way that does not comply with the existing Bylaw, you may have to apply for a zoning change. A rezoning or zoning amendment can be considered only if your new use is allowed by the City’s official plan.

Before you apply for a rezoning, please contact Planning Department Staff to arrange for a pre-consultation meeting. 

The process for dealing with zoning amendments may also involve review by committees or municipal staff, as well as public meetings and negotiations.

What if all I need is a small change to the Bylaw?

If you have a proposal that is essentially in keeping with the Zoning Bylaw, but does not conform exactly, you can apply for a minor variance. This eliminates the need for a formal rezoning application in cases where, for example, because of the shape of your lot, what you are proposing to do may prevent you from meeting the minimum side yard setback.

If the general purpose and intent of the Zoning Bylaw and Official Plan can be maintained, a variance of “minor” significance can be considered by your municipality.

Unlike a zoning amendment, a minor variance does not change the existing Bylaw. Instead, it provides relief from the specific requirements of the Bylaw in order to allow you to follow through with your proposal and obtain a building permit. (see “Minor Variance” below)

Certificate of Zoning Compliance

A Certificate of Zoning Compliance ensures that your proposed use in a space that you own or lease is permitted in that location. This is particularly important if you are proposing to change the use of the space (for example, changing the use from a retail space to a restaurant), or if you are proposing a home occupation in a portion of your residence.

Please submit a completed application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance to the Planning Department for review. 

The issuance of a Certificate of Zoning Compliance by the City will advise that your proposed change in use complies with the provisions of Zoning Bylaw 050-2014, as amended.

Home Occupations (Home Based Business)

Home Occupation means a business or professional activity conducted as a secondary use to the residential use within any dwelling unit which is the primary residence of the person or persons conducting the business or professional activity.

Home occupations, where permitted, must adhere to the City of Brockville’s Zoning Bylaw 050-2014 and apply for a Certificate of Zoning Compliance.

Please submit the completed application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance for Home Occupation to the Planning Department for review. The issuance of a Certificate of Zoning Compliance by the City will advise that your proposed change in use complies with the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw. 

Any construction to support your home based business will require a building permit. Depending on your type of business, additional sign offs from other regulatory bodies, such as the Health Unit, may also be required.

Zoning Complaint Form

If you believe that someone is running activities that are not supported in that zone, please submit a zoning complaint form so that we can follow up. Staff will look into it and check if that person or business has followed all proper channels to ensure that they are operating within applicable bylaws.

Click here to make a zoning complaint.


Minor Variance

A request for minor variance may be considered in regard to the Zoning Bylaw when the proposed scope of work does not meet the conditions set out in the bylaw (for example: setbacks or height restrictions) but where the intent of the Bylaw is still respected.

Minor Variance and the Committee of Adjustment

The Committee of Adjustment has been given powers under the Planning Act and by City Council to deal with minor variances to certain City Bylaws, mainly the City’s Zoning Bylaw, and to deal with land severances where a minor variance is required.

What is considered “Minor”? 

The classification as “minor” is not defined by a standard set of rules. It is a relative term that in each case, will de determined in light of the particular facts and circumstances of the case. It is for the Committee of Adjustment to determine the extent to which a bylaw provision may be relaxed, and if the variance can be classed as “minor”.

When considering applications for minor variance, the Committee of Adjustment will take all of the particular circumstances of the application into account to determine whether or not the variance requested is, in the opinion of the Committee, minor.

How does the Committee of Adjustment reach decisions? 

The Committee, when reviewing a Minor Variance Application, must consider the following matters:

  1. Is the variance minor?
  2. Is the variance desirable for the appropriate development of the lands in question?
  3. Is the general intent and purpose of the Zoning Bylaw maintained?
  4. Is the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan maintained?

In order for decisions of the Committee of Adjustment to be valid, all these matters must be considered and included in the Committee’s decision.

Each application is judged individually on its own merit and is not precedent setting.

Generally, if the Committee has all the information necessary at the meeting at which the application is heard, an oral decision will be rendered at the meeting. If within twenty days following the date of decision, no notice of appeal is lodged, the decision becomes final and binding. No on other than the applicant, municipality, certain public bodies, and the minister is allowed to appeal a minor variance or consent decision.

Application for Minor Variance

Completed Applications for Minor Variance should be submitted to the Secretary of the Committee of Adjustment together with the required fee and a plan of the subject property. The plan should include all of the information as outlined on page 6 of the application.

Meeting Calendar: Committee of Adjustment

Generally, the Committee of Adjustment meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at 3:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. To confirm the date of an upcoming meeting, please contact the Planning Department.


Consent to Sever Land

Land Severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new properties within the City of Brockville. This is commonly known as a consent, and is required if you want to sell, mortgage or lease a newly created parcel of land. 

Where a consent to sever requires a minor variance, the Committee of Adjustment deals with the application for consent and minor variance concurrently.

Applying for Land Severance

The municipality, in its Official Plan, has specific policies and requirements for land severance. In addition to the division of land into building lots, right of ways, and easements, any change to your existing property boundaries will also require land severance approval.

Completed Applications for Land Severance Consent should be submitted to the Planning Department together with the required fee and a plan (sketch) of the subject property. 

All consents, except those involving a minor variance, are dealt with by Planning staff. Where a minor variance is involved, the consent is dealt with by the Committee of Adjustment. 


Development

The authority to approve development, including subdivisions and condominiums, rests with City Council. It is the function of the Planning Department to advise Council of the appropriateness of a proposed development.

A mandatory pre-consultation with Planning Staff is required for all subdivisions and condominium applications.

Click here for more information about the Planning Application Process.

Development Charges are collected by the Chief Building Official prior to issuance of building permits, along with any other fees and imposts. The Chief Building Official should be contacted, prior to submitting an application for building permit, to determine all charges, imposts and fees.

Community Improvement Plans

The City of Brockville has two Community Improvement Plans to assist with projects that will achieve improvements and enhancements that meet some of the City’s goals: The Downtown Community Improvement Plan and the Brownfields Community Improvement Plan.

Financial Assistance Programs are available to those landowners and tenants within the Community Improvement Project Areas and those who meet the general eligibility requirements. Some projects may be eligible for more than one of the financial incentive programs.

Site Plan Control

The City uses Site Plan Control Approval to address and resolve design matters related to the proper development of any site. The Site Plan Control Manual is to assist a proponent to understand the City’s requirements and the types of issues that will be reviewed for approval.

A pre-consultation meeting with Planning staff is required prior to any application for Site Plan Control Approval.

Goals of Site Plan Control

The goal of Site Plan Control is to improve the image and appearance of the city through better individual developments. This is done to:

  • apply consistent standards and guidelines
  • ensure that off-street parking and loading facilities are properly located, constructed and maintained during all seasons
  • ensure the safety and convenience of automobile and pedestrian traffic
  • protect environmental areas through the appropriate location of buildings, roads and parking spaces.

Special consideration must be given for unique or special areas such as the waterfront and heritage properties. Items to be given this attention include protection of easements and promotion of a high quality design and building material usage.

Site Plan Approval is a site specific type of development control authorized under Section 41 of the Planning Act.


Public Process and Appeal

Different types of planning applications have slightly different processes to move from application to approval. Below you will find a breakdown of steps involved for Official Plan or Zoning Bylaw Amendments, Applications for Minor Variance, and Applications for Consent.

Official Plan Amendment or Zoning Bylaw Amendment Process

1. Pre-consultation Meeting

Schedule a pre-consultation meeting with the Planning Department to review the proposed application. Bylaw 039-2012 requires a mandatory pre-consultation meeting in respect to all planning applications. If both an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment are required, they may be applied for concurrently.

2. Application is Received

Complete application for Zoning Bylaw Amendment (commonly referred to as “rezoning”) and/or Official Plan Amendment is received.

3. Notice of Public Meeting

Notices for the Public Meeting are sent by mail to neighbouring property owners within 120 metres of the subject property and advertised as required under the Planning Act.

Written comments from the public can be sent to the Planning Department to be included in the report presented at the Public Meeting.

4. Public Meeting

A Planning Information Report is presented to the Planning and Development Committee that includes an overview of the application received, City Department, external agency, and written public comments received.

At the meeting, the public can attend and submit comments and questions about the application.

5. Decision Meeting

A Planning Recommendation Report is presented to the Planning and Development Committee based on Planning Policies (including the Provincial Policy Statement, City Official Plan, and Zoning Bylaw), and includes City Department, external agency, and written public comments received for their consideration before a recommendation is made by the Planning and Development Committee.

At this meeting, the Planning and Development Committee make a recommendation on the application to City Council.

6. Decision and Passing of Bylaw

The recommendation by the Planning and Development Committee is received and a decision is made to either approve, deny, or defer decision on the bylaw with the proposed amendments outlined in the applications received.

7. Appeal Period

If a bylaw is approved and passed by Council regarding a Rezoning or Official Plan Amendment application, after the bylaw is passed, there is an appeal period of 20 days from the notice of decision.

If no appeal is received, the bylaw becomes final.

If an appeal is is received, the appeal will be heard by the Ontario Land Tribunal and processed accordingly.

Application for Minor Variance Process

1. Pre-consultation Meeting

Schedule a pre-consultation meeting with the Planning Department to review the proposed application. Bylaw 039-2012 requires a mandatory pre-consultation meeting in respect to all planning applications.

2. Application Received

Complete application for Minor Variance is received.

3. Notice of Public Meeting

Notices for the Public Meeting are sent by mail to neighbouring property owners within 60 metres of subject property, and advertised as required under the Planning Act.

Written comments from the public can be sent to the Planning Department to be included in the report presented at the Public Meeting.

4. Public Meeting

A Planning Recommendation Report is presented to the Committee of Adjustment that includes an overview of the application received, City Department, external agency, and written public comments received. At the meeting, the public can attend and submit comments and ask questions about the application.

5. Meeting Decision

After the Planning Recommendation Report is presented at the Public Meeting, and after the applicant and public comments are received, the Committee will make a decision on the application.

6. Appeal Period

After a decision is made by the Committee, there is an appeal period of 20 days from decision.

If no appeal is received, then the Minor Variance becomes final once conditions are met, if applicable.

If an appeal is received, the appeal will be heard by the Ontario Land Tribunal and be processed accordingly. No one other than the applicant, the municipality, certain public bodies, and the Minister are allowed to appeal Minor Variance decisions.

Application for Consent Process (including Lot Addition, Easements, and Right of Way)

1. Pre-consultation Meeting

Schedule a pre-consultation meeting with the Planning Department to review the proposed application. Bylaw 039-2012 requires a mandatory pre-consultation meeting in respect to all planning applications.

2. Application Received

Complete Application for Consent is received.

3. Notice of Application

Notices for the Public Meeting are sent by mail to neighbouring property owners within 60 metres of the subject property and advertised as required under the Planning Act.

Written comments from the public can be sent to the Planning Department regarding the application.

4. Decision

The Chief Planning Officer in Brockville has been delegated authority to make decisions on Consent Applications. They make a decision based upon relevant Planning Policies (Provincial Policy Statement, City Official Plan, and Zoning Bylaw), City Department, external agency, and written public comments received.

5. Appeal Period

After a decision is made by the Chief Planning Officer, there is a appeal period of 20 days from the notice of decision.

If no appeal is received, then the Consent to Sever becomes final once conditions are met.

If an appeal is received, the appeal will be heard by the Ontario Land Tribunal and processed. No one other than the applicant, the municipality, certain public bodies, and the Minister is allowed to appeal consent decisions.

The applicant has 2 years to complete the application requirements, or the application lapses and the process must be restarted.

Public Notice and opportunity to comment

For Official Plan Amendments, Zoning Bylaw Amendments, Minor Variance, and Consent applications, the City is required by the Planning Act is provide notice to individuals within a certain distance of the property to which the application applies (120 metres for Official Plan Amendments and Zoning Bylaw Amendments, and 60 metres for Minor Variance and Consent Applications). Notices of Public Meetings will also be posted on our website, under Planning Meeting and Notices.

If a proposed application comes to your attention and you have concerns about how it may affect you or your property, you can take part in the decision making process in the community by:

  • contact the Planning Department to find out as much as possible about the application
  • make your views known by writing to the Chief Planning Officer
  • attend the public meeting (if applicable) at which the application will be considered to express your views
  • make a written request for a copy of the decision on the application.

If local council has the benefit of your views early in the process, they can consider all the information, and make changes or modifications to resolve your concerns before a decision is made.

Following the decision (and passing of any applicable bylaws), a notice is sent out to those concerned advising them of the council’s decision and specifying an appeal period.

What rights of appeal do I have?

If your concerns cannot be resolved at the municipal level and you do not agree with the decision on the proposed amendment or application, you can, as a last resort, make an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal, an independent appeal body, by writing to the local clerk.

Who can appeal a decision?

  • Official Plan Amendment:
    • The Applicant
    • The Municipality
    • Certain public bodies
    • Interested third parties (neighbours, community groups, area residents)
    • The Minister
  • Zoning Bylaw Amendment:
    • The Applicant
    • The Municipality
    • Certain public bodies
    • Interested third parties (neighbours, community groups, area residents)
    • The Minister
  • Minor Variance:
    • The Applicant
    • The Municipality
    • Certain public bodies
    • The Minister
  • Land Severance (Consents):
    • The Applicant
    • The Municipality
    • Certain public bodies
    • The Minister

Timelines for appeal

  • Official Plan Amendment: You have twenty (20) days from the date of written notice of Council’s decision to make your appeal.
  • Zoning Bylaw Amendment: You have twenty (20) days from the date of written notice of Council’s decision to make your appeal. 
  • Minor Variance: You have twenty (20) from the date of decision by the Committee of Adjustment
  • Land Severance (Consents): You have twenty (20) days from the date of written notice of decision to make your appeal.

Remember to write down the reasons for your appeal in detail. The Ontario Land Tribunal will hold a public hearing at which you will have an opportunity to present your case. Please visit the Ontario Land Tribunal website for more information about this process.

Planning Department

Rob Nolan

Director of Economic and Development Services

613-342-8772 Ext: 4445

Andrew McGinnis

Supervisor of Planning/Chief Planning Officer

613-342-8772 Ext: 4421

Nick Burnie

Planner

613-342-8772 Ext: 4449

Planning Department

General Contact

613-342-8772 Ext: 4463

Dayna Golledge

Administrative Coordinator, Planning/Building

613-342-8772 Ext: 4463

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