What is a Zoning By-law?

A Zoning By-law:
•      Implements the policies of the Official Plan
•      Provides a legal way of managing land use.
A Zoning By-law controls the use of land in your community. It states exactly:
•      How land may be used.
•      Where buildings and other structures can be located.
•      The types of buildings that are permitted.
•      The lot sizes, parking requirements, building setbacks etc.
A Zoning By-law divides the Municipality into different land use zones.

I would like to build an accessory structure (such as a deck, boathouse, shed, garage, gazebo, sleeping cabin or dock) on my property. What are the zoning requirements I should be aware of? 

The Township of Georgian Bay’s Zoning By-Law provides specifics on the maximum size, height, lot coverage and setbacks from property lines for accessory structures. All new construction projects must conform to the provisions of the by-law. To determine the zone you reside in and the corresponding by-law provisions, please view the Interactive Township Mapping and call the Planning Department or e-mail them at planning@gbtownship.ca

Where can I find Planning Application Forms?

Right here

Where can I find the schedule for the Committee of Adjustment meetings?

You can find the schedule of meetings, including deadlines for submission of applications, here.

My new project doesn't seem to fit within the zoning requirements. What can I do? 

If you feel you cannot modify your project to fully comply with the relevant provisions, and you feel the contravention is minor, causing you "undue hardship," an application can be made to the Committee of Adjustment.  This Committee has the power to grant a minor variance (permission) for your project.

What is lot coverage?

Lot coverage is the combined area covered by all buildings and structures (including boathouses on the water and decks over 1 metre in height off the ground) on the lot and calculated as a percentage of the lot area.  Each zone has its own maximum allowable percentage.

Can I build on my vacant property?
As long as your property has access (road or water), and the proposed structure would conform to the Zoning By-law and the Ontario Building Code, there should be no issue with construction.  The Zoning By-law states that no accessory structure shall be built prior to the construction of the main principal dwelling. 

Can I divide my property?

This process is referred to as Consent (severance).  Your property would have to meet the minimum lot requirements (frontage and area) and comply with the Official Plan policies and Zoning By-law.  In most cases, Environmental Impact Studies are required (Species at Risk, for example) to prove there will be no negative impact to the environment as a result of the lot creation.

What is an EIS?    
The requirement for the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a process that has become entrenched in current environmental planning processes throughout the Province of Ontario.  The intent is that an individual proposing development must demonstrate that the development will not negatively impact the features and functions for which an area has been identified.  Such studies must be completed by a consultant qualified to make such determinations and an explanation of these qualifications must be appended to any submitted study.

Where can I find Zoning By-laws 91-19, 14-75 and the Official Plan?

The Zoning By-law 91-19 can be found here, Zoning By-law 14-75 here and the Official Plan can be found here.

Do I need site plan approval for the change I am proposing to my commercial property?

In general, any change which may alter the site plan or changes/additions to the building(s) will require a Site Plan Agreement.  Please contact the Planning Department to determine if the changes proposed will require site plan approval

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