Planning and Development

* Planning Application submissions are now VIRTUAL *
See below for more details

Planning Act Applications

The Planning Act is provincial legislation that governs land use planning and development within Ontario by describing how land uses may be controlled and identifying who has the power to control them.

Under the authority of the Planning Act, the Township has implemented various development review processes to ensure proposed land uses are compatible with the local environment.

Planning Act Applications Processed by the Township

All development within the Township must comply with the Township’s Zoning By-law. Where a proposed use or development is not permitted, an applicant may seek a Zoning By-law Amendment to request a change of use on the subject property. Zoning By-law Amendment Applications are part of a public process that goes before the Council for the Township of Guelph/Eramosa for a decision.

Please note: to be considered, the proposed amendment must be in line with the permitted uses of the applicable land use designation under the County of Wellington’s Official Plan.

Click Here for more information on the requirements and submission process for a Zoning By-law Amendment Application.

A Minor Variance Application is a formal request to allow minor relief from specific provisions of the Zoning By-law. This allows for slight flexibility where the provisions of a Zoning By-law cannot be met so that a building permit may be obtained. Minor Variance Applications are heard and considered by the Committee of Adjustment during a scheduled Public Hearing.

To be considered through a Minor Variance Application, the proposed relief must meet the four tests:

  1. Is the application minor in nature?
  2. Is the application desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure?
  3. Is it in keeping with the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law?
  4. Is it in keeping with the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan?

Click Here for more information on the requirements and submission process for a Minor Variance Application.

In accordance with Section 41 of the Planning Act, the Township has implemented By-law 61/2010 (as amended) to designate certain lands within Township as Site Plan Control areas. All proposed development on lands within the designated Site Plan Control areas are subject to site plan review and approval prior to construction.

Click Here for more information on the requirements and submission process for a Site Plan Application.

Before a formal Planning Act Application may be submitted, applicants shall be required to undergo a Mandatory Two-Phase Pre-Consultation Process. This process includes a (1) pre-consultation meeting to identify the information and materials necessary for the processing of an application and (2) preliminary review of the submission materials.

Click Here for more information.

Planning Act Applications Processed by Wellington County

In their authority as our upper-tier municipality, the following Planning Act Applications are processed by the County of Wellington:

The County of Wellington Official Plan is the principal document used to guide long range planning for the Township of Guelph/Eramosa. The Official Plan contains various designations that identify the intended use of lands within the Township, including requirements for new lot creation.

Any proposed amendment to the Official Plan must be discussed with the County. Click Here for more information.

The County of Wellington processes Plans of Subdivision and Condominium on behalf of the Township of Guelph/Eramosa.

To assess the feasibility of the proposed development, please consult both the Township’s Zoning By-law and the County’s Official Plan, which outlines the permitted land uses and requirements for lot creation within a specific land use designation.

Note: Use the County Index Map and associated Schedules to identify your property’s Official Plan designation.

For more information, please contact the County of Wellington at (519) 837-2600.

Please be advised that prior to submission, applicants shall be required to undergo the Township’s Mandatory Two-Phase Pre-Consultation Process. Click Here for more information.

The Wellington County Land Division Committee is responsible for Consent Applications, including proposed land severance and lot line adjustments, within the Township of Guelph/Eramosa. 

The County of Wellington Official Plan outlines requirements for lot creation within each land use designation. Click Here to access the County’s Official Plan.

Note: Use the County Index Map and associated Schedules to identify your property’s Official Plan designation.

In addition to the Official Plan, please refer to the Township’s Zoning By-law to identify the zoning of the subject property, along with specific regulations for that zone, such as minimum lot size and frontage requirements, etc. Proposed Consent Applications must meet both the requirements of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

Please contact the County at OR (519) 837-2600 for more information.

Other Information

The local conservation authority is the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA). To identify whether your property is regulated, please Click Here to access the GRCA’s Online Interactive Mapping.

More information can be found on the GRCA’s Planning & Development webpage.

Note: if your property is regulated, GRCA approval is required prior to issuance of a Building Permit.

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) regulates the development or alteration of buildings, structures, roads, entrances, and signage within their Permit Control Areas. Within the Township of Guelph/Eramosa, the MTO has regulatory authority over activities taking place in proximity to the Highway 6 and Highway 7 (Includes Alma St. and Main St. S.) corridor. Note: Any Development within the MTO’s Permit Control Area must receive MTO approval prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.

Click Here to confirm whether your property is regulated by the MTO.

Before commencing a construction, alteration or demolition project, the Building Department must be contacted to confirm whether a Building Permit is required. Click Here for more information.

Development charges are fees imposed on new development to pay for increased capital costs arising from development of the area, including costs associated with public works, fire protection, recreation, education, water and wastewater (as applicable), and administrative services, etc. Click Here for more information.

Wellington County is responsible for issuing Sign Permits on County and Township roads. Click Here for more information.

Note: If you are planning to erect or alter a sign or advertising device on a property within 400m (¼ mile) of any Provincial Highway Right-of-Way, a separate permit from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) may be required. Click Here to access the MTO website.

The Township is currently undergoing a review of Planning Service Fee By-law 18/2018.

The proposed changes are discussed in Planning Report 24/03. This report was presented at the March 18th Committee of the Whole Meeting, at which time staff were directed to proceed with the scheduling of a Public Meeting.

The Public Meeting will be held both virtually and in-person on April 15th, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. For more information on how to participate, please refer to the Notice of Public Meeting.

The Planning Service Fee By-law 17/2024 was approved by Council on May 6, 2024 and is avalable here. 


Note: A previous review of the planning service fees was undertaken by Watson and Associates Economists in 2017. Click here to view their resulting technical report, which was referenced as part of the current fee review.

Parkland dedication is one of the ways in which the Township secures additions to its park system. The dedication of parkland is a requirement under the Planning Act and allows the Township to ensure that its park system grows along with the community.

There are two types of parkland dedication – the dedication of physical land or the payment of money in lieu of dedicating lands (often referred to as cash-in-lieu of parkland).

Click here to access the Parkland (Cash in Lieu) By-law 15/2021 for more information on the conveyance of land for park, or other public recreation purposes, as a condition of development.

To view the Cash in Lieu of Parkland fees, please refer to the Township Fees and Charges By-law. Note that the fees will vary depending on the type of development.

Information on the Parkland Dedication New Unit or Floor Fact Sheet for 2024 is coming soon.

Click Here to view the Parkland Dedication Lot Creation Fact Sheet.

The Township of Guelph/Eramosa values its rural countryside character and its natural environment, which are potentially threatened by poorly considered or even inadvertent over-lighting. As such, the Township has implemented an Outdoor Lighting Policy to ensure the protection of these important features and to prevent negative impacts to neighbouring properties. 

Click Here to view the Township’s Outdoor Lighting Policy.

The Township’s “Business Information Package” is a useful resource for new and existing businesses, providing general information about the Township, as well as information on zoning and planning, development applications, building permits, fire safety and internal and external resources for local businesses. Click Here to view the Business Information Package.

For more business-related content, including information on the Township’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP), please refer to the “Doing Business Here” webpage.

Helpful Resources