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Business Resources



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 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

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