Planning Services

Planning Services Image
For Questions Contact:
Stephanie Poirier |
Job Title
Planner
Email
spoirier [at] middlesex.ca
|
Phone
ext.
Jill Bellchamber-Glazier |
Job Title
CAO-Clerk
Email
cao [at] southwestmiddlesex.ca
|
Phone
ext.
Extension
8109

Planning Services & Documents

Land-use planning affects almost every aspect of life in Ontario.  It helps decide where our community's homes and factories should be built, where parks and schools should be located and where roads, sewers and other essential services should be provided.  Land-use planning means managing our lands and resources. It helps each community to set goals about how it will grow and develop and to work out ways of reaching those goals while keeping important social, economic and environmental concerns in mind. It balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the whole community.

Southwest Middlesex, our planner and the County of Middlesex work together to process planning applications and manage new developments within the municipality.

Planning Applications

Please find below planning application documents including the forms to be completed and important information on the process involved.  When your application is ready to be submitted please keep the instruction/information pages for reference.  Please also note that Southwest Middlesex currently offers a discount for multiple related applications submitted at the same time.

Consent to Sever/Land Severance Application

The Citizen's Guide to planning  provides the following explanation for land severance:

"A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. This is commonly known as a consent. It is required if you want to sell, mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement (for at least 21 years) for a portion of your land. If the two parts are split already, by a road or railway for example, consent is not needed.

The indiscriminate division of land without anyone’s approval could have a long-term, negative impact on your community. For example, it could result in over-extension of municipal services, such as snow plowing, school busing and garbage collection. Or it might result in damage to the natural environment, because lots are too small to accommodate adequate sewage disposal systems.

Approval is required to ensure that:

  • land severances are considered within an established planning framework
  • new lots and new land uses do not conflict with the overall future planning goals and policies of your community
  • consideration is given to the effects of the division of land on the site, on the neighbours and on the community as a whole"

This process pertains to an application for consent pursuant to Section 53 of the Planning Act. Prior to the Municipality processing the application, it is required that a copy of the attached application form be completed including the required sketch along with the processing fee submitted with the application paperwork.

Please also note that depending on the location of the subject lands, the Municipality may also collect planning application review fees on behalf of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) and/or the Lower Thames Conservation Authority (LTVCA) where applicable.  Schedules showing current fees are available at https://www.scrca.on.ca/planning-and-regulations/plan-review/ (SCRCA) and at https://www.lowerthames-conservation.on.ca/planning-and-regs/planning/ (LTVCA).  Conservation Authority fees will be billed to the property owner following submission of the application. A septic review fee ($100) and a drainage assessment fee ($500) may also be required on behalf of the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex which, where required, are payable at the time of application filing.

Minor Variance Application

The Citizen's Guide to planning  provides the following explanation for minor variance:

"If your proposed change doesn’t conform exactly to the zoning bylaw, but follows its general intent, you can apply for a minor variance. For example, you might want to locate something on your property but you are unable to meet the minimum setback requirements because of the shape of your lot. Your municipality may have a bylaw that sets out local criteria to further clarify what constitutes a minor variance in your community."

This process pertains to an application for minor variance pursuant to Section 45 of the Planning Act. Prior to the Municipality processing the application, it is required that a copy of the attached application form be completed including the required sketch and submission of the processing fee.

Depending on the location of the subject lands, the Municipality may also collect planning application review fees on behalf of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) and/or the Lower Thames Conservation Authority (LTVCA) where applicable.  Schedules showing current fees are available at https://www.scrca.on.ca/planning-and-regulations/plan-review/ (SCRCA) and at https://www.lowerthames-conservation.on.ca/planning-and-regs/planning/ (LTVCA).  Conservation Authority fees will be billed to the property owner following submission of the application. A septic review fee may also be required on behalf of the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex ($100) which, where required, is payable at the time of application filing.  Where the Minor Variance application is made in conjunction with another planning application, septic fees are only collected once.

Zoning By-law Amendment & Temporary Use Application

The Citizen's Guide to planning  provides the following explanation for zoning amendments and temporary use:

"A zoning bylaw controls the use of land in your community. It states exactly:

  • how land may be used
  • where buildings and other structures can be located
  • the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used
  • the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street

A zoning bylaw:

  • implements the objectives and policies of a municipality’s official plan 
  • provides a legal way of managing land use and future development
  • in addition to the official plan, protects you from conflicting and possibly dangerous land uses in your community"

An official plan sets out your municipality’s general policies for future land use. Zoning bylaws put the plan into effect and provide for its day-to-day administration. They contain specific requirements that are legally enforceable. Construction or new development that doesn’t comply with a zoning bylaw is not allowed, and the municipality will refuse to issue a building permit.

Many municipalities have a comprehensive zoning bylaw that divides the municipality into different land use zones, with detailed maps. The bylaw specifies the permitted uses (e.g. commercial or residential) and the required standards (e.g. building size and location) in each zone.

A zoning by-law is intended to reduce conflict between incompatible land uses and is considered "applicable law" under the Ontario Building Code.  

This process pertains to an application for zoning by-law amendment or temporary-use pursuant to Section 34 of the Planning Act. Prior to the Municipality processing the application, it is required that a copy of the attached application form be completed including the required sketch and the submission of the required processing fee.    

Acceptance of the application by the Municipality shall not be construed as relieving the applicant from the obligation to obtain any license, permit, authority or other approval required by the Municipality, the Conservation Authority having jurisdiction, or any other public authority or body.

Depending on the location of the subject lands, the Municipality may also collect planning application review fees on behalf of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) and/or the Lower Thames Conservation Authority (LTVCA) where applicable.  Schedules showing current fees are available at https://www.scrca.on.ca/planning-and-regulations/plan-review/ (SCRCA) and at https://www.lowerthames-conservation.on.ca/planning-and-regs/planning/ (LTVCA).  Conservation Authority fees will be billed to the property owner following submission of the application. A septic review fee may also be required on behalf of the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex ($100) which, where required, is payable at the time of application filing.  Where the Zoning By-law amendment application is made in conjunction with another planning application, septic fees are only collected once.

Official Plan Amendment Application

The Citizen's Guide to planning  provides the following explanation for official plans:

"Your municipality’s official plan:

  • makes the public aware of the municipality’s general land use planning policies
  • makes sure that growth is coordinated and meets your community’s needs
  • helps all members of your community understand how their land may be used now and in the future
  • helps decide where roads, watermains, sewers, garbage dumps, parks and other services will be built
  • provides a framework for establishing municipal zoning bylaws to set local regulations and standards, like the size of lots and height of buildings
  • provides a way to evaluate and settle conflicting land uses while meeting local, regional and provincial interests
  • shows council’s commitment to the future growth of your community"

This process pertains to an application for official plan amendment pursuant to Section 22 of the Planning Act. Prior to the Municipality processing the application, it is required that a copy of the attached application form be completed including the submission of the processing fee.  The Municipality shall also require the payment of a $2,000 deposit as part of each application.

Depending on the location of the subject lands, the Municipality may also collect planning application review fees on behalf of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) and/or the Lower Thames Conservation Authority (LTVCA) where applicable.  Schedules showing current fees are available at https://www.scrca.on.ca/planning-and-regulations/plan-review/ (SCRCA) and at https://www.lowerthames-conservation.on.ca/planning-and-regs/planning/ (LTVCA).  Conservation Authority fees will be billed to the property owner following submission of the application. A septic review fee may also be required on behalf of the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex ($100) which, where required, is payable at the time of application filing.  Where the Official Plan amendment application is made in conjunction with another planning application, septic fees are only collected once.

Site Plan Approval Application

The Citizen's Guide to planning  provides the following explanation for site plan approval:

"Site plan control bylaws are not zoning bylaws. They are used to establish areas where site plan control will be applied over and above those set out in the zoning bylaws. These areas must be described in the official plan.

Site plan control is used to ensure that:

  • developments are built and maintained in the way that council approved
  • new developments meet certain standards of quality and appearance
  • there is safe and easy access for pedestrians and vehicles
  • the appearance and design features of buildings, and their sustainable design, are satisfactory
  • there is adequate landscaping and drainage
  • nearby properties are protected from incompatible development

As a condition of site plan approval, municipalities may require the owner to provide land for road widening and public transit rights-of-way. Before municipalities can exercise this power, the road widening and public transit rights-of-way must be shown or described in the official plan."

This process pertains to an application for site plan approval pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act. Prior to the Municipality processing the application, it is required that a copy of the attached application form be completed including eight (8) copies of the site plan submission package detailing the requirements of Section 15 of this application and the processing fee.  The Municipality shall also require the payment of a $2,000. Deposit as part of each application.  All fees are payable at the time the application for site plan approval is filed.  Please also note that the Municipality requires an electronic submission of all drawings that form part of the application.

Subdivision Application

The Citizen's Guide to planning  provides the following details about subdivisions:

"When you divide a piece of land into two or more parcels and offer one or more for sale, you are subdividing property, and the provisions of the Planning Act come into play.

If your proposal involves creating only a lot or two, you may seek approval for a "land severance".  The other means of subdividing land is to obtain approval of a plan of subdivision from the approval authority.

Subdivision approval ensures that:

  • the land is suitable for its proposed new use
  • the proposal conforms to the official plan and zoning in your community, as well as to provincial legislation and policies
  • you, your neighbours and your community are protected from developments which are inappropriate or may put an undue strain on community facilities, services or finances"

Subdivision Applications are processed through the County of Middlesex Planning Department.  Please see additional information on the County of Middlesex website.

See our Planning Process Guide No. 7 - Subdivision/Condominium

Middlesex County:

Ontario Citizen's Guide to Land Use Planning

Other Helpful Links:

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