Planning, as a section of Engineering and Planning Services, provides information and advice to Council, the general public, and the development industry, with respect to land use planning in Woolwich. Planning is responsible for both short term and long range community planning within the Township which includes the processing of official plan and zoning by-law amendments, site plan approvals, and plans of subdivision, and provides staff support to the Committee of Adjustment.
Select a heading below or scroll down to review the various Planning items:
Should you wish to receive further information regarding any of the information below please contact Planning Staff - see side bar for contact information.
Certificates of Occupancy
If you are planning to operate a business within the Township either in your home or in a commercial/industrial building please contact Planning Staff to discuss requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy. A Certificate is required for any new use or change of use on a property.
To view a copy of the application form please click here
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Committee of Adjustment
The Committee of Adjustment is a Committee appointed by Council to make decisions on consent (severance), minor variance and also acts as the Sign Variance Committee. The Committee consists of five members. Committee of Adjustment meetings are held once a month and typically on the third Monday of each month.
If you wish to submit an application, have a question about an application that has been circulated to you, who can attending the meeting, how to submit an appeal, completing conditions or getting the deeds stamped for an approved application please contact the Secretary Treasurer at 519-669-1647 or 519-664-2613 extension 6040.
To view the 2013 Committee of Adjustment meeting calendar please click here
To view the 2014 Committee of Adjustment meeting calender please click here
If a proposed use does not conform to a municipal zoning by-law, but follows its general intent, the owner may apply for a Minor Variance. A Minor Variance does not amend the zoning by-law but allows the owner to vary from a specific requirement of the by-law.
Applicants are advised to consult Township Planning Staff to decide whether a Minor Variance is the best approach, or if an amendment to the specific by-law is necessary for the proposed change.
To view a brochure on the Minor Variance procedure please click here
To view an application for Minor Variance please click here
Property owners who wish to:
- divide their property for the purpose of selling it,
- validation of title,
- lease land for a period over 21 years,
- establish a Right of Way,
- create an Easement, or
- adjust a lot line,
must make application for consent.
The Planning Act stipulates that consent must be granted before a parcel of land can be divided to create an additional lot(s). This process is referred to as land severance. Controlling the division of land through "severance" gives the Township a mechanism for ensuring that the creation of lots is consistent with the planning policies of the Province, Region and the Township.
To view a brochure on the Consent (Severance) process please click here
To view an application for Consent (Severance) please click here
The Township of Woolwich has a comprehensive Sign By-law that provides regulations on the placement, size and style of signs permitted on private property. All signs require building permits. If a proposed sign does not meet the provisions of the Sign By-law a variance application will need to be considered by the Committee of Adjustment prior to the issuance of a building permit.
To view the comprehensive Sign By-law click here
To view an application for Sign Variance click here
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Request for Letters of Compliance are typically used by lawyers for mortgage renewals and property purchases. These letters provide information on the Official Plan and Zoning applicable to a property, and can include the review of a survey. The building department also comments on any outstanding issues as applicable.
To view an application for Compliance Letter please click here
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The Planning Department oversees the production of maps, assignment of municipal addresses, and computerized mapping.
To access mapping via the Region of Waterloo's GIS Locator please click here
To access the Grand River Conservation Authority mapping please click here
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The Township has a municipal addressing policy to provide accurate property identification and assist emergency and delivery services. Each property is to be identified by an addressed sign blade (green sign) or numbers affixed to a building. Should you have questions regarding addressing of a property or if you require a new sign or post please contact Planning staff.
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An Official Plan is a statutory document which sets out the land use policy directions for long-term growth and development in the Township. It is not to be confused with the Zoning By-law, which further details the broad range of land uses set out in the Official Plan. The current Official Plan for the Township was updated in 2007. This document works in connection to the Provincial Policies Statements and the Regional Official Plan Policies.
The Official Plan contains policies governing various land use designations, such as Rural, Urban, Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, and Restricted. Generally the Township is broken down into Settlements and Rural Land Use Areas. Within the Settlements the designations are broken down for the residential, commercial and industrial areas.
While the Official Plan is intended to establish the policies for long-term growth, the Plan is periodically reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet the changing economic, social and environmental needs of the municipality. Occasionally, it is necessary to amend the policies and/or designations contained in the Official Plan in order to facilitate new development or redevelopment proposals. Opportunities for public review and input are provided prior to the Township adopting any Official Plan Amendments.
To view the application form please click here
To view the individual chapters of the Official Plan please click here
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Part Lot Control
The Planning Act permits municipalities to pass by-laws to exempt any or all lots or blocks within registered plans of subdivision from part lot control, so further subdivision of individual lots or blocks can take place. The Township may pass a by-law exempting land situated in a registered plan of subdivision from part-lot control to allow the registration of a reference plan to divide the land into a number of parcels or to change existing lot lines.
Exemption from part-lot control is commonly used to facilitate semi-detached and town house developments.
This approach is used because of the difficulty the builder would have in ensuring that the common centre wall between two dwelling units was constructed exactly on the property line.
A letter requesting part lot control must be submitted along with the necessary draft plans and fees.
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Site Plan Approval / Development Agreement
Site Plan approval is required for all commercial, institutional, industrial and some multi-residential developments within the Township and must be completed prior to the issuance of any building permits.
Site Plan approval is an interactive process involving the property owner, their consultant / builder (if applicable), Township staff, and other local government agencies. The Site Plan process is intended to match the property owner's requirements with the unique characteristics of each property while protecting the interests of all parties and ensuring development is designed to municipal standards. The Site Plan Approval process promotes functional and attractive development, while minimizing adverse impacts on the surrounding land uses.
For requirements of submitting a Site Plan application please view the Guidelines and application noted below.
Once completed, site plan agreements are registered on title of the subject property.
What is a Site Plan?
A Site Plan is a drawing, or set of drawings, illustrating the physical arrangement of property improvements such as buildings, driveways, parking areas, pedestrian sidewalks, landscaping, grading and drainage, fences, light fixtures, drains and municipal services.
What are Site Plan addendums?
Addendums are changes to an existing registered site plan agreement which generally involves updating plans resulting from proposed building additions and some wording changes. The addendum process requires submission of a Site Plan application and required plans, similar to that of a new application; however the review and circulation process may be expedited pending review by Planning staff. Completion of addendums are required prior to the issuance of building permits.
Site Plan compliance requests
For properties with a site plan agreement registered on title, a request for site plan compliance will review if the approved site plan has been complied with. A letter with the appropriate fee must be submitted requesting the review.
Guidelines for Site Plan / Development Approval Process
Tree Planting Guidelines
Landscape Design Guidelines
To view an application for Site Plan please click here
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Subdivision approvals are handled between the Region, who is the approval authority, and the Township of Woolwich who holds the public meetings.
Generally, when you divide a piece of land into multiple lots (i.e., three or more), you are subdividing property and the provisions of Ontario's Planning Act and its Regulations come into effect. Subdivisions can be created for residential, industrial or multi-use developments.
If your proposal involves creating only one or two parcels, you may be able to seek approval for a land severance. See Consent (Severance) for further information regarding this process.
If you are considering a property for subdivision development, please contact Regional planning staff before submitting an application. They can tell you what information, including any special studies, you will need to provide, and whether your proposal complies with the relevant Provincial and Regional policies, legislation and regulations or if further review as to its suitability is necessary. The Township may require tree planting or landscape works to be incorporated into a new development. For details see the Tree Planting Guidelines and the Landscape Design Guidelines.
A pre-consultation meeting with applicable Regional, Township and other agency staff may be required prior to submission of a subdivision application to the Region of Waterloo.
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Every property in the Township is subject to policies in the Zoning By-law. A zoning by-law contains provisions that regulate the use, size, height, density and location of buildings on properties. The current Zoning By-law is By-law 55-86 as amended.
The by-law consists of the following basic components:
- Maps are the most common feature of any zoning by-law since they indicate which zone a property is in.
- The corresponding wording for the zone, which then lists the permitted uses, and regulations applicable to that zone.
The zoning is based on the Official Plan, and any application to amend the zoning must be considered in the context of the governing policies and Official Plan policies for that particular area.
Certain applications may be of a minor nature, and may be addressed through a Minor Variance. See Minor Variances for more details.
To review the Zoning By-law click here
To view a brochure on the Zone Change process please click here Zone Change Process
To view an application for Zone Change please click here
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Fees and Charges
To view the Planning Fees and Charges - click here
To view the Grand River Conservation Authority Fee Schedule - click here
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