Zoning is the process of dividing land in a municipality into sections, or 'zones', in which specific land uses are permitted or prohibited. The type of zone determines whether permission for a given development is granted.
Zoning is detailed in the Town's Zoning By-Law, which is directed by the Town's Official Plan.
Interactive Zoning Map
Use the interactive map to search by address to see the zoning of a specific property and/or parcel of land.
Property Information Requests are available upon request through the Building Services Division. Information is generally requested by lawyers and real estate agents seeking to ensure that a property is in compliance with Town of The Blue Mountains By-laws. Information is available to any interested party.
Please note, the Town does not provide verbal zoning confirmation over the phone or in-person. Requests must be formally submitted using the Property Information Request Form. Please return the completed form to the Zoning Coordinator.
Payment may be made by credit card by phone 519-599-3131 ext 239, or by Cheque payable to "The Town of The Blue Mountains".
Please allow a minimum of 5 business days to receive a written response via e-mail.
The Zoning By-law guides the implementation of policies in the Town's Official Plan. The Official Plan contains general policies that affect the use of land throughout the Town. These policies specify where certain land uses are permitted and, in some instances, specify what regulations should apply to the development of certain lands.
A Zoning By-law controls the use of land within a municipality. More specifically, a Zoning By-law states exactly:
- how land may be used;
- where all buildings and structures can be located on a lot;
- the types of buildings and structures that are permitted, and how they may be used; and
- the number of parking and loading spaces required, in addition to other amenities.
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. The Zoning By-law also provides the day-to-day administration of the Official Plan, while providing a legally enforceable way of managing land use and future development.
A portion of the Town of The Blue Mountains is located within the Niagara Escarpment and as such, is administered through Niagara Escarpment Development Control by the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
The Government of Ontario has produced a series of Citizens' Guides that explain how the land use planning process works in Ontario.
The Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA) process provides a way to change zoning regulations for individual properties. It is generally initiated by the property owner and allows for site-specific amendments to the Town’s Zoning By-laws. ZBA's are approved by Town Council.
The ZBA application package is available online, at the Town Office or by contacting Planning Services.
The Committee of Adjustment is an independent body appointed by Town Council, under authority granted by the Province of Ontario. The Committee of Adjustment is composed of three members of the public, who are appointed by Town Council.
The Town's Committee of Adjustment has authority under the Planning Act to grant minor variances from the Zoning By-law and Fence By-law; and other associated powers under Section 45(2) of the Planning Act with extensions and similar/compatible uses to non-conforming uses, and conformity of uses that are defined in general terms.
If a proposal does not comply with the Zoning By-law, the owner of any land, building or structure (or any person authorized in writing by the owner), may apply to the Committee of Adjustment for a Minor Variance.
The goal of a Minor Variance is to seek relief from a specific Zoning By-law requirement.
Minor Variances may be granted under the following criteria:
- The request is minor in nature;
- The variance is needed for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure; and
- The general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law and the Official Plan are maintained.
What you need to know about applying for a Minor Variance:
- The Minor Variance application fee is payable to the Town, however, there may be associated Agency commenting fees;
- A pre-consult can be requested to determine the associated fees;
- Public Notice must be circulated to residents within 60 metres of the subject property ten days prior to the hearing date. A placard of the Public Notice is required to be posted on the subject lands ten days prior to the hearing date;
- An appeal period of 20 days is required after making a decision on a minor variance application; and
- The Committee of Adjustment typically convenes public hearings on the third Wednesday of each month, with these meeting dates being posted on the Meeting Calendar.
Download a copy of the application package: TBM Minor Variance Application Package
If you require this document in an accessible or alternative format please contact the Planning & Development Services Department.
The following resources can help individuals understand the land use planning process and Zoning By-laws: