What is a Zoning By-law?
A Zoning By-law is a detailed municipal By-law that regulates the types of land uses and activities that may occur on a property or within buildings; and the height, location, massing and character of buildings and structures.
The specific matters that may be regulated by a Zoning By-law are outlined in the Ontario Planning Act. The Planning Act allows the Council of Haldimand County to pass Zoning By-laws to restrict the use of land, and to regulate the size, location and character of buildings and structures within the County.
Zoning By-laws are used by municipalities in Ontario to manage land use compatibility and manage the character and appearance of neighbourhoods and communities. Zoning By-laws are also prepared to implement the policies of a municipality’s Official Plan, which establishes goals and policies respecting the types of permitted land uses and desired built form within different geographic areas of the municipality.
The Zoning By-law is used to translate these policies into more specific permitted land uses, and lays out the requirements for lot and buildings by establishing zone categories and regulations which apply to all lands in the municipality.
A Zoning By-law is primarily implemented through the Building Permit application process. Where a property owner or occupant wishes to construct something on their property, and applies for a Building Permit, the proposal must conform to the provisions of the Zoning By-law. If the proposal does not conform to the Zoning By-law, the applicant can:
- Apply for a minor variance to seek relief from the provisions of the Zoning By-law;
- Apply for a rezoning (Zoning By-law Amendment) to change their zone or seek major relief from the provisions of the Zoning By-law; or
- The applicant can rework their proposal so that it complies with the Zoning By-law.