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Business Resources

DEVELOPMENT APPROVALS

The Planning Division is responsible for the Durham Regional Official Plan, which establishes the broad policy framework for managing the future growth and development of the Region. Goals of the Plan are to protect the environment, preserve agricultural land, provide an integrated and efficient transportation system and encourage economic opportunities for the well-being of present and future residents. Ongoing review ensures that the Plan is responsive to emerging trends and provincial policies and plans. The Plan is implemented through the review and approval of development applications, including local municipal official plan amendments, plans of subdivision/condominiums, and consent to sever. Citizen engagement is facilitated through input from Advisory Committees on Agriculture, Environment and Trails.

The Planning Act outlines the development review process in Ontario with the following development applications reviewed at the Regional level:

  • Regional Official Plan Amendments (ROPA)
  • Area Municipal Official Plan Amendments (OPA)
  • Plans of Subdivision, Condominium and Part-Lot Control
  • Consents
  • Zoning By-Laws
  • Minor Variance

View the applicable Regional fees

Process

The Planning Act outlines the development review process in Ontario. The development applications reviewed at the Regional level are: regional official plan amendments, area municipal official plan amendments, plans of subdivision/condominium and part-lot control exemption by-laws, consents, zoning by-laws and minor variances.

Regional Official Plan Amendments (ROPA)

  • Amendments to the regional official plan (ROP) are required when an application does not conform to the existing policies in the plan.
  • Contact the Region's Planning Division to find out if you are required to submit a ROPA.
  • For more information

Timeframe: Generally takes six months to process a ROP application, however more complex applications (e.g. environmental constraints) may take longer.

Area Municipal Official Plan Amendments (OPA)

  • If you require an amendment to the ROP, you may be required to submit an application to the area municipality as well.
  • Contact the appropriate area municipality to find out if you are required to submit an OPA.

Plans of Subdivision, Condominium and Part-Lot Control

  • A subdivision, condominium or part-lot control application is required to divide land into two or more parcels for development purposes.
  • If your property is located within Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa or Clarington, please contact the appropriate area municipality.
  • If your property is within the townships of Uxbridge, Brock or Scugog, please contact the Region.
  • For more information

Timeframe: Generally takes six months to process, however more complex applications may take longer.

Consents

  • Consents generally include the creation of new lots (e.g. severances), lot line adjustments, easements, rights-of-way, and permission for mortgaging or leasing parts of lots for more than 21 years.
  • Contact the Region's Land Division Committee to being the application process.
  • For more information

Timeframe: Generally takes three to four months to process a consent application. However, a consent approval may have certain conditions attached to it, which may add to the length of the time required to process the application.

Zoning By-Laws

  • Each of Durham's eight area municipalities has a comprehensive zoning by-law. Zoning by-laws control the use of land and are often comprised of land use restrictions (permitted uses) and technical provisions (setbacks, lot size requirements etc.).
  • You may require an amendment to a zoning by-law if your application doesn't meet the permitted uses outlined in the existing by-law.
  • To begin the application process, please contact the appropriate area municipality.

Timeframe: The range and complexity of zoning amendment applications can vary. In most cases, a rezoning application can be processed within three to six months. More complex applications related to development applications may take longer.

Minor Variance

  • A minor variance is a minor adjustment to the zoning by-law and may be required to approve your application. To begin the process, please contact the appropriate area municipality.

Timeframe: The average minor variance process is three months on average. More complex applications involving conditions for approval may take longer.

Contact information:

Planning and Economic Development Department
Planning Division
Regional Headquarters - 4th Floor
605 Rossland Rd. E.
P.O. Box 623
Whitby, ON   L1N 6A3
905-668-7711
1-800-372-1102
planning@durham.ca

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