Planning is the ongoing technical, political and social process by which a community defines and acts to attain its preferred quality of life.
Planners aim to achieve the orderly disposition of land and resources and to protect the physical, economic and social health of communities.
The municipal planning process is governed by upper tier requirements and standards which are established in a hierarchy of legislation, regulations, common law, policies, and guidelines and standards.
Physical Address: 21 Trowbridge Street West, Meaford (Municipal Administration Building)
Regular Office Hours: Monday-Friday; 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Official Plans are municipalities' primary strategic documents for guiding land use and devleopment.
Official Plans contain the goals and objectives of the community and establish policies to direct the form, location, nature and rate of growth and change over a set period of time – typically a 20 year planning horizon.
Official Plans have legal status, deriving their authority from the Planning Act of Ontario and all municipal public works and by-laws must conform to the Plan.
An Official Plan is made up of text and maps.
The text portion of the Plan describes the goals, objectives and policies for various land uses (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, environmental protection). The text also includes general development policies which relate to matters such as provision of water and sewer, transportation, heritage resources and the requirements for subdivision of land.
The maps identify the location and extent of the various land-use designations, environmental constraints, and other features such as the Niagara Escarpment Planning Area.
The Official Plan provides general policy direction. Implementation of these policies is carried out by municipal by-laws, including the Municipal Zoning By-law, subdivision and site plan control; and, the Municipal Budget.
Updated Official Plan (via OPA #14)
2005 Official Plan (prior to 5 Year Review & Update)
Amending the Official Plan:
In some cases, an amendment to the Official Plan may be required or appropriate.
The Official Plan should only be amended when the policies of the Plan have been found not to address issues or alternatively, issues have been raised with respect to site specific proposals that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
A common reason for amending the plan is that the general nature of the Plan's policies may not recognize the potential, or limitations, of a particular property.
- The rational or basis for the change
- The direction provided by the Provincial Policy Statement
- The goals and objectives of the Official Plan
- The desirability and appropriateness of changing the plan
- The impacts the proposed change will have on the character of the area
- Conformity to the County of Grey Official Plan
A Zoning By-law regulates and directs land use within the Municipality.
The Municipality of Meaford adopted its new Comprehensive Zoning By-law (#60-2009) in September 2009. This by-law replaces the prior Zoning By-laws which applied to the former Townships of St. Vincent and Sydenham and the former Town of Meaford.
The Comprehensive By-law has been created with the goals of unifying permissions across the Municipality and ensuring greater clarity and consistency in application of Zoning regulations.
A Zoning By-law consists of text and mapping.
The text describes specifically the types and location of land uses, buildings and structures that are permitted within the Municipality. It establishes a number of different categories or 'zones', and specifies that types of uses and structures that are permitted in each.
The mapping shows the location of the various zones across the Municipality. By looking at the mapping, a property owner can determine the zoning that applies to their individual lot(s).
For additional information about Zoning By-laws as well as the Zoning Amendment process, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housings Citizen's Guide #3 - Zoning By-laws.
Amending the By-law:
Where a use is proposed that does not meet the permissions or exact standards of the Zoning By-law, a Zoning By-law Amendment may be considered.
An amendment to the by-law may only be considered if the proposed use is permitted by the Municipal Official Plan.
Should you wish to pursue a Zoning Amendment, Staff strongly encourage you to contact the deparmtent to schedule a preconsultation meeting prior to submitting your amendment application.
The Development in Meaford page is being designed to help you find information regarding different development projects in Meaford. Please use the Maps to find the development you an interested in learning more about or choose the development by name from the list below:
Development Maps - You can choose the property on the map and follow the hyperlink to the development webpage:
List of Development Projects:
|Preconsultation:||Applications in Progress:||Zoning Approved:||Draft Plan/ Site Plan Approved:||Registered/ Developed:|
|Golf Course||Meaford Haven||Cook Street||Denmark Street||Coleman Street|
|Old Canadian Tire||Meaford Highlands Resort||Emily Glen Manor||Golfview Estates||Gates of Kent|
|Trowbridge Street/ Wharf||Legion||Pinehurst||Golf Course Villas|
|Nelson Street||Grace Avenue|
|St. Andrews Drive|
|Queen's Bush Estates|
Section 50 of the Planning Act sets out specific circumstances where land can be subdivided or by which an interest in land can be convyed to another person.
The Consent process, under Section 53 of the Act, is typically used to provide for the creation of a new lot; the enlargement of a lot/alteration to existing lot boundaries; or the creation of a right-of-way or easement that extends beyond 21 years in duration.
The Municipality of Meaford's Committee of Adjustment has been delegated the authority of Council to make decisions on applications for consent. All decisions of the Committee must conform to applicable Official Plans and must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.
Should you be interested in pursuing an application for consent, Staff strongly recommend you participate in a pre-submission consultation. At this meeting we will review the applicable policy, discuss the procedure and requirements, and help you to determine the costs and timeframes involved with completing your consent transaction.
For additional information on severances, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housings Citizen's Guide # 5 - Land Severances
A minor variance is a special permission that may be granted to a property owner upon application to the Municipality. A variance, in effect, excuses a land owner from a specific requirement of the Zoning By-law.
Section 45(1) of the Planning Act states that the Committee of Adjustment may authorize a minor variance from the provisions of the Zoning By-law "in respect of the land, building or structure or the use thereof, as in its opinion is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure, if in the opinion of the committee the general intent and purpose of the by-law and of the official plan, if any, are maintained"
In accordance with the Planning Act, when evaluating an application for minor variance, Staff and the Committee of Adjustment must consider how the proposal meets the 'four tests' of a minor variance. Each test must be met in order for the Committee to approve an application.
Should you be interested in submitting an application for Minor Variance, you are encouraged to preconsult with planning staff.
GIS stands for "Geographic Information System". Such a system combines digital cartography or mapping with a database function. This allows for use of the GIS for spatial and statistical analysis. Maps can be queried, altered and overlaid in many useful ways.
A GIS is a very powerful tool in land-use planning and municipal operations in general.
For example, in evaluating a development application, staff using the GIS can view an overlay of lot boundary mapping with air photos, land use descriptions, municipal servicing, nearby road networks and environmental conditions or constraints.
The GIS can be queried, for example to locate a particular lot by civic address or owner, identify all vacant parcels in an area or perhaps identify the location of potential aggregate resources in the Municipality.
The GIS can also be customized and manipulated for illustration or decision-making purposes. The GIS may be used to measure a distance on an airphoto or to apply a uniform buffer around a natural feature, for example. Such a system is also useful in preparing customized mapping for municipal use such as mapping of cultural assets or ongoing development applications.
The new Comprehensive Zoning By-law 60-2009 is GIS based which allows for the production of high-quality Zoning Schedules and clear consolidations of amendments into a comprehensive digital map.
The Site Plan/Development Review process has been established by the Municipality to ensure comprehensive review of development applications.
Site Plan/Development Review may be undertaken in relation to Plans of Subdivision and Condominium*; commercial and industrial development/redevelopment applications and those other types of development specified by the Site Plan Control By-law.
Should you wish to pursue a Site Plan or Development Approval, the Municipality strongly encourages you to preconsult with a member of the Planning Services Staff prior to submitting an application.
The Development Review Brochure (at right) outlines the generalized process and includes a brief preconsultation checklist.
For information regarding the subdivision process please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housings Citizen's Guide #4 - Subdivisions.
* Please note that the County of Grey is the approval authority for Plans of Subdivision and Condominium.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Fact Sheets:
Community Planning and Development Portal (617.09 kB)
Planning Approvals and the Complete Application (388.44 kB)
Planning for Climate Change (1.38 MB)
Planning for Community Design (565.08 kB)
Planning for Intensification (556.47 kB)
Transition-Supportive Land Use Planning (605.42 kB)
Land Use Planning Publications Guide (5.92 MB)
Planning Act Tools Poster (1.05 MB)