PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
The purpose of land use planning is to promote and facilitate orderly development within the municipality. Planning manages the land and resources to ensure an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable community. It helps the community set goals governing how it will grow and develop. It guides development and redevelopment in the community. Planning requires that development be analyzed relative to compatibility between competing land uses and it balances the interest of the individual property owners with the wider interest and objectives of the whole community. Planning affects the life of all residents in the Town and therefore it is important to be informed and to participate in the planning process.
The Planning and Development Department has two main functions associated with planning and land use. Those functions include policy development and development review and approvals. The Planning and Development Department is responsible for providing recommendations to Council regarding policy development and development review.
1. Policy Development and Administration
Policy is the identification and establishment of long-range goals for the orderly development of the Town. Policies to achieve those goals are contained in the Official Plan of the Town. An Official Plan is the primary land use planning document of the Town that contains vision, goals, objectives and policies established primarily to manage and direct land use and its effects on the social, economic and/or natural environment of the Town. Official plans may also contain a description of the measures and procedures proposed to attain the objectives of the plan. Official Plans are designed to manage land use on the basis of a 20 year time horizon.
2. Development Review and Approvals
Development Review and Approvals is the implementation of the Official Plan Policies and other governmental regulation. As part of the development review and approval process the Department is divided into two divisions, the Planning Division and the Building Division.
The Planning Division is responsible for the processing of the following types of development applications:
- Official Plan Amendments.
- Zoning By-law Amendments.
- Plans of Subdivisions.
- Plans of Condominium.
- Part Lot Control.
- Site Plan Approval.
- Community Improvement Plan Incentive Programs.
- Preparation of Subdivision Agreements, Development Agreements and Site Plan Agreements.
- Minor Variances.
- Review of Niagara Escarpment Development Permits.
The Building Division is responsible the administration and enforcement of the Ontario Building Code. The Ontario Building Code regulations set the standards for new construction, including renovations and changes in use and at what stages of construction a building must be inspected. A permit is required from the Building Division prior to proceeding with any construction. Therefore contact must be made with the Building Division to ensure that the required permit is obtained. The Building Division carries out inspections for a number of purposes, with public service, public health and safety being the main concerns. The Building Division is responsible for the issuance of the following permits:
- Building Permits.
- Demolition Permits.
- Change of Use Permits.
- Plumbing Permits.
The Building Division is also responsible for the Town's Street Numbering.