Zoning By-law Project

This web page is the online home for the Town's Zoning By-law Project. It contains all information that is available to the public for review. This is a resource to help individuals understand the land use planning process in Ontario and Zoning By-laws in particular. If you would like to be added to the Town's mailing list pertaining to the Zoning By-law Project, please fill out the form below and submit to the Town via e-mail, mail or fax to Director of Planning, Building and By-law Services. directorplanningbuilding@thebluemountains.ca.

What is a Zoning By-law and why do we need one?

The authority and requirement for a municipality to adopt a Zoning By-law comes from Section 34 of the Planning Act. The Government of Ontario has produced a series of Citizens' Guides which explain how the land use planning process works in Ontario. They provide general information only and may be accessed at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page338.aspx

A Zoning By-law controls the use of land within a municipality. More specifically, Zoning By-laws state exactly:

The purpose of a Zoning By-law is to implement the policies of an Official Plan. The Official Plan contains general policies that affect development and the use of land throughout the municipality, and further incorporates Provincial policy (http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Asset1421.aspx) at the local level.

The Zoning By-law implements the Town's Official Plan and provides for its day-to-day administration while providing a legally enforceable way of managing land use and future development.

Why are we undertaking a Zoning By-law Project?

The Blue Mountains was created in 1998, and is made up of the former Town of Thornbury and the Township of Collingwood. The Town inherited two Zoning By-laws from these former municipalities enacted in 1977, and 1983, respectively.

Since 2001, there have been substantial changes to the land use planning framework in Ontario and to development practices within the Town. Most notable is the approval of the Town's new Official Plan. As a result, many provisions in the existing two Zoning By-laws have become outdated. Over time, numerous amendments have been adopted, resulting in continual additions to the text of each By-law. Consequently, the Town's By-laws have become relatively complex for current and prospective residents, business owners and developers to understand. Essentially, the current Zoning By-laws with their numerous amendments, are complicated to administer and do not respond to present day development scenarios and activities.

As part of our commitment to creating greater service efficiencies, the Town, in consultation with the public, will prepare a new comprehensive, accessible Zoning By-law for all, consistent with Town-wide standards.

What will the Zoning By-law Project produce?

The Zoning By-law Project will produce three components:

How will the Zoning By-law Project affect me?

Since the Zoning By-law defines the manner in which you and your neighbours can use your property, the Town encourages all community stakeholders and residents to participate in the Zoning By-law consultation process and to be aware of the content of the Zoning By-law. Most changes being proposed will not have an impact on the average landowner or the manner in which they use their property. In some instances, however, the proposed changes may result in the rezoning of property or change the standards that apply on a lot or the uses that are permitted.

It is the Town's intent to not remove any development permissions that exist today unless such a change is already contemplated in and supported by the Official Plan or Provincial Policy Directions.

How much will the Zoning By-law Project cost?

Council approved a total budget of $88,687.50, exclusive of GST, to complete all components of the Zoning By-law Project. The contract was advertised through a competitive tendering process (Request for Proposal TBM-2008-61) and awarded to Meridian Planning Consultants.

Funds for this project were originally approved as part of the 2008 Budget and are further reflected in the Draft 2009 Budget. It is noted that 90% of the cost of this project is to be funded by way of Development Charges.

The Importance of Public Consultation

The Planning Act requires that the public be consulted directly with the preparation of a new Zoning By-law. In this regard, four Open Houses and a Statutory Public Meeting (required under the Planning Act) are proposed, with frequent updates to be delivered to Council. Upcoming meeting dates can be found in the Blue Mountains Courier-Herald.

For information relating to the Town's Zoning By-law Project, please contact the following:

The Blue Mountains
Director of Planning, Building and By-law Services
Tel: 519-599-3131, ext. 246
Toll Free: 1-888-258-6867
E-mail: directorplanningbuilding@thebluemountains.ca

Meridian Planning Consultants Tel: 905-532-9651

Mailing List Sign-Up Form

I would like to be placed on the mailing list for the Zoning By-law Project.


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*Your address and e-mail address will not be shared with third parties or other departments within The Blue Mountains. Your address and e-mail address will be retained in a database for NOTIFICATION PURPOSES ONLY.

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Zoning By-law Project Comment Form

The Town would like to hear from you respecting this new comprehensive Zoning By-law.

Please use this form as a method to provide comments to the Town regarding the Zoning By-law Project. Your personal information will not be shared with third parties or other departments within the Town.

Comments may be submitted by using the following format, in a number of ways:

  1. Download and fill in the pdf form document (to the right) and submit by mail or fax:
  2. Fill in the online form below and:
    1. print and mail it
    2. print and fax it
    3. submit online

Online Zoning Project Comment Form

Contact Information:


Mailing Address:

Blue Mountains Property Address:

Home: Business:



I would like to be placed on the mailing list for the Zoning By-law Project.

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OR (for mail- or fax-in)

The Blue Mountains
Planning & Building Services
32 Mill Street, Box 310
Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0
Attention: Zoning By-law Project
Attention: Zoning By-law Project