Overview of Planning Department

The Planning Department provides consultative services to Council, Staff, Ratepayers and Developers with respect to land use, building and planning matters; co-ordinates development approvals; and is responsible for building and plumbing inspection related to the enforcement of the Ontario Building Code, Property Standards, Signs and Swimming Pool By-laws, to name a few.

The Planning Department is responsible for the City's Official Plan which provides policy and guidelines for private development, and for municipal infrastructure improvements. In accordance with the Planning Act, all of Council's by-laws approving development, as well as public works, must conform with the Official Plan. Planning Staff are also responsible for the City's Zoning By-law which implements the Official Plan by establishing specific land use regulations.

The Planning Department provides advice to developers and property owners with respect to site plan control approvals for multiple residential, commercial and industrial projects, servicing agreements and plans of condominium and subdivision. 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. The Planning Department conducts an extensive review of all proposed development. This review includes circulation for comment to pertinent City departments, local utilities, other external agencies such as the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, and others that may have an interest or condition to be met. The Planning Department then co-ordinates this information and forwards the results of this review to Council for approval.

With respect to site plan and subdivision approvals, the Planning Department's role does not cease upon the approval by Council. A great deal of follow-up is required to ensure that developments are completed in a timely and satisfactory manner.

Virtually every land transaction in the City has some Planning Department involvement, from zoning compliance and confirmation of the status of site plan or subdivision agreements to work order information.

Planning Staff perform administrative functions for the Committee of Adjustment, a Committee appointed by City Council in accordance with the Planing Act. The Committee of Adjustment is given powers under the Planning Act and by City Council to deal with minor variances to certain City by-laws, mainly the City's Zoning By-law, or to allow changes to non-conforming uses.

The Planning Department is responsible for land severance (the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new properties) within the City of Brockville. Consents to sever land are handled by the Chief Planning Officer/Director of Planning. Where a consent to sever requires a minor variance, the Committee of Adjustment deals with the application for consent and minor variance concurrently.

The Building Services Division is an information source used by the local construction industry and public at large. Building Services Division Staff are responsible for enforcement of the Ontario Building Code to ensure that standards for construction and plumbing are consistent throughout the province. The issuance of building, plumbing and demolition permits are the responsibility of the Chief Building Official. Swimming pool and sign permits are also generated by this Division.

Development Charges and imposts 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.

We are available to serve the ratepayers of our community by encouraging safe and attractive development which meets the present and future needs of our residents. We welcome you to review our website further, and encourage you to contact the Planning Department and/or the Building Division prior to submitting any applications.

Please refer to our list of Planning Administration Staff to review the responsibilities and duties of each staff member. This summary of services is provided to assist you in reaching the individual that is the most qualified to answer your questions and give you assistance with submitting your applications.