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Types of Planning Applications

With all Planning Act applications, you must pre-consult with Town Planner before you make an application. The Town Planner can help ensure your plans meet the requirements of the Town’s Official Plan and work with you to ensure your approval process is a smooth and efficient as possible.

Please Note: Due to work volume visits with the planning department are by appointment only. Please call or e-mail to schedule an appointment. 

Megan Rueckwald
Town Planner
(613) 623-4231 ext. 1816

Click here to view all current Planning Notices

Planning Documents

Town of Arnprior Official Plan – Updated December 2017

Notice of Passing of a new Comprehensive Zoning By-Law

By-Law – 6875-18 -Zoning By-law  and Schedule A

Schedule B – Development Charge

Community Improvement Plan

Heritage Designation Guidelines   Heritage District Map

Application Forms

Pre-Consultation Form

Plan Requirements for Development Applications

Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment Form

Minor Variance Form

Consent Form

Part Lot Control Form

Site Plan Control Form

Request for Encroachment

Lifting of Holding Symbol Form

Lifting of 0.3m Reserve Form

County of Renfrew Application Forms

Application for Approval of Plan of Subdivision or Condominium Description

Official Plan Amendments

An official plan is a policy document that describes how land should be used in the community. It provides direction for future planning activities and for public and private initiatives aimed at improving the existing physical environment. Official plans address issues such as:

  • where new housing, industry, parks, shopping areas, schools, hospitals, offices and other land uses are to be located
  • what services such as sewers, water mains, roads and schools will be needed
  • when and in what order parts of the community will grow

If you want to use your property or develop it in a way that conflicts with the approved official plan, you will need to obtain an official plan amendment. Every official plan amendment triggers a review by staff, approval by Council, as well as public meetings and negotiations. Final approval of amendment to the Town’s Official Plan is made by the upper tier authority, the County of Renfrew.

Zoning By-law Amendments

A zoning by-law is a document used to regulate the use of land. It states exactly what land uses are currently permitted in the town and provides detailed information such as:

  • where buildings or structures may be located
  • types of uses and dwellings permitted
  • standards for lot size, parking requirements, building height, side yard dimensions and setback from the street

If you want to use or develop your property in a way that does not comply with the existing by-law, you have to apply for a zoning change. A rezoning, or zoning amendment, can be considered only if your new use is allowed by the Town’s Official Plan policies. Every zoning amendment triggers a review by staff, approval by Council, as well as public meetings and negotiations.

Consent and Minor Variance

Some changes, like dividing land or making changes to how the land is used, known as variances, require approval from the Committee of Adjustment.  The Town’s Committee of Adjustment is made up of five members of the public who are appointed by council for the term of council.  Meetings are held on an as needed basis. The committee considers applications for minor variances from the zoning by-law, applications for land division (consent to sever land), and any other variances specified by council that implement the official plan. Applications to the Committee of Adjustment are processed in accordance with the requirements of Sections 45 and 53 of the Planning Act, applicable regulations (O.Reg. 200/96 and 197/96 as amended), the Statutory Powers Procedures Act and applicable town policies. The committee is authorized by the Planning Act to consider applications for:

  • Minor variances from the provisions of the zoning by-law
  • Extensions, enlargements or variations of existing legal non-conforming uses under the      zoning by-law
  • Land division (severing a new lot from an existing lot, adding land to an existing lot,      easements, mortgages or leases in excess of 21 years)
  • Determining whether a particular use conforms with the provisions of the zoning by-law where the uses of land, buildings or structures permitted in the by-law are defined in general terms.

Minor Variance

The zoning by-law regulates how land and buildings are used and where buildings and structures can be located. The zoning by-law also specifies lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and other provisions necessary to ensure proper and orderly development. When a proposal does not comply with the provisions of the zoning by-law, an owner may make application to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance. A minor variance provides relief from a specific zoning by-law requirement, excusing a property owner from meeting the exact requirements of the by-law. The committee must ensure that the variances, if approved, satisfy the following:

  • Is considered to be a “minor” change from the zoning requirements
  • Is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure
  • Generally maintains the intent and purpose of the official plan
  • Generally maintains the intent and purpose of the zoning by-law

Land Division

Property owners must make application for consent in order to:

  • Create a new lot; (NOTE: Normally, new lots are created through approval of an application for a plan of subdivision, however, when only one or two new lots would be created and no new road is required, a full subdivision application may not be necessary. In this case, an application for consent to sever may be appropriate).
  • validation of title,
  • lease land for a period over 21 years,
  • establish a Right of Way or create an Easement over 21 years, or adjust a lot line or change a boundary


A heritage permit is required to undertake changes to properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act or which is part of the Heritage Conservation District. Planning staff will review applications, supported by the Municipal Heritage Committee. The Ontario Heritage Act specifies that all proposals for demolition, new construction or to alter the exterior appearance of properties within a heritage conservation district must be approved by Council, and a permit must be issued before any work may begin. In some cases, the proposed alteration may not require a heritage permit.

Part Lot Control

Part lot control is a provision of the Planning Act that, as the term implies, regulates the transfer or sale of part of a lot within a registered plan of subdivision. The municipality uses this provision as a means of preventing the possible uncontrolled division of lots within a plan of subdivision after the plan has been registered. Exemption from part lot control is commonly used to facilitate semi-detached and town-house developments. This approach is used because of the difficulty the builder would have in ensuring that the common center wall between two dwelling units was constructed exactly on the property line.

Plan of Condominium

A plan of condominium is the process of dividing property so that an individual holds title to a portion of a building, or a unit, as well as a share of the rest of the property that is common to all the individual unit owners. A condominium can apply to residential, commercial or industrial properties.  Condominium approval is given by the upper tier authority, the County of Renfrew.

Plan of Subdivision

A Plan of Subdivision is the process of dividing land into two or more parcels so that those parcels can be held in separate ownership. The approval process is governed by the Planning Act and ensures that:

  • the land is suitable for its proposed new use
  • the proposal conforms to the official plan and zoning, 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

Site Plan

Site plan control is a site-specific type of development control, authorized under Section 41 of the Planning Act. Site plan control applies to construction, development and re-development on all commercial and industrial lands within the corporate boundaries of the town, with some exceptions.