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Contact a Planner:

  • Malcolm Norwood, Senior Planner, contact details on Staff page.
  • Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services, contact details on Staff page.

The Township of Rideau Lakes provides planning services for both the review of development applications and the long-term planning of the community. The Township employs two planners to facilitate the review of applications, plan for the long-term growth of the Township, and help ratepayers and the development community with general zoning and development related inquiries.

Zoning By-Law

Official Plan

Official Plan United Counties of Leeds & Grenville

Provincial Policy Statement

Citizens Guides

What Type of Application/Permit Do I Need?

Most construction requires a Building Permit, but a Building Permit cannot be issued if other Planning approvals are first required.

Site Plan Control Approval

All non-residential development (i.e. commercial, industrial, institutional) of any kind requires Site Plan Control Approval. This includes additions or expansions to existing non-residential uses.

All development within 100 m (300 ft) of a waterbody that is over 30 square metres in size (320 sq ft) requires Site Plan Control Approval. Site Plan Control is a tool the Township uses to review elements of proposed developments which are difficult to regulate through the Zoning By-Law. Issues such as site access, drainage, stormwater management, traffic patterns, road upgrades, and environmental issues are reviewed as part of this process. The Planning Advisory Committee generally meets two times per month depending upon demand. Applications must be received at least 20 days prior to the meeting.

Minor Variance

Any development that cannot meet the regulations dictated by the Zoning By-Law (setbacks, lot coverage, etc.) requires a Minor Variance. The Minor Variance process is intended to be a mechanism to provide relief from the Zoning By-Law under certain circumstances. The most common Minor Variance request in the Township is the reduction of the 30 metre (100′) waterfront setback. Minor Variances are reviewed by the Committee of Adjustment which is a committee appointed by Council. There are four general criteria used to determine whether a Minor Variance should be granted:

  • Does it conform with the intent of the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law;
  • Does it represent the minimum relief necessary from the By-Law;
  • Does the application represent a reasonable use of the property; and
  • Is the request minor in nature.

It is recommended that prior to submission of an actual application that a Township planner, contact details on Staff page, be contacted to review the application or do a site inspection. In most cases, the planner will be able to provide some direction to an applicant as to whether an application will be supported by Staff.

If both Site Plan Control and Minor Variance approvals are required there is a Combined Application Form.

Zoning By-Law Amendment

Any use proposed that is not permitted by the Zoning By-Law requires a Zoning By-Law Amendment. Minor Variances can be applied for if one is seeking a minor reduction or relief from a quantitative aspect of the Zoning By-Law (i.e. Reduce the front yard setback from 7.5 m to 5m) but Zoning By-Law Amendments are necessary to allow uses not permitted, alter other non-quantitative aspects of the Zoning By-Law, or request major reductions from quantitative aspects of the Zoning By-Law. Zoning By-Law Amendments are reviewed by the Planning Advisory Committee of Council and approved by Council following a public meeting.

Official Plan Amendment

An Official Plan Amendment is required if a proposed development is not permitted by the Official Plan. The Township’s Official Plan was approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in April, 2004. The Official Plan contains policies which are intended to guide public and private interests in such a way as to ensure the best form of development under the most desirable conditions. In addition, the Official Plan sets out guidelines for the preparation of municipal regulations which implement the Plan, establishes policies to govern both the division and development of land, and finally, identifies public actions which need to be taken to support private development. The Township and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs approve all amendments to the Official Plan. The Official Plan is required by the Planning Act to be reviewed at least every five years.

Unopened Road Allowances/Road Closing

Unopened road allowances can be stopped up, closed, and conveyed to adjacent property owners at the discretion of Council. A Road Allowance Closure Guidelines & Application is made which is reviewed first by the Planning Advisory Committee. The closing of an unopened road allowance requires notification in a newspaper, notice to neighbouring property owners, and a By-Law to be passed. Since this is Township property, the closed portion of the road allowance is typically required to be purchased from the Township at market value.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if my application will be approved before I make an application?

The approval body (Committee of Adjustment, Planning Committee or Council depending on the application) is the only body that can give an approval. Staff are available to review the application prior to the submission of an application. Staff will provide as much guidance as possible based on their knowledge of the Township’s planning documents, the history of Committee decisions on similar applications, and the circumstances of the individual property. Applicants should be advised that while staff have a good understanding of the Township’s regulations and policies and how the approval bodies have reviewed similar applications in the past, it is not always possible or advisable for staff to be absolutely confident of how successful an application will ultimately be.

When do I need to have my application in to get on an agenda?

Generally 20 days for a minor variance and 30 days for a Zoning By-Law amendment prior to a meeting is sufficient to allow notices to be sent to your neighbours and staff to review the application. During the summer peak months a delay of one meeting may occur.

What is my recourse if the application is denied or I am dissatisfied with the conditions of approval?

An appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal within 20 days of any decision is your recourse. Contact Staff to find out more about how to make an appeal or visit the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal’s website.

How are application fees determined?

Council sets the fee schedule each year. The fee is set based upon a calculation of staff time, mileage to travel to the site, Committee member stipends, file storage costs, notices sent to adjacent property owners and placed in newspapers, and general administration of the process.

Can someone else besides the owner apply?

Yes, as long as the owner signs the application, anyone can act as the agent with the approval of the owner.

Where can I find the regulations and restrictions for my property?

The Township Zoning By-Law is the most important document and regulates all land use in the Township. The Township Official Plan may also be used during the review of a Minor Variance application.

Where can I find the regulations and policies governing Waterfront properties?

The Planning section of the Development Services website includes a general description of the Waterfront development review process as well as the relevant Zoning By-Laws and Official Plan policies.

Will a Staff planner visit my property prior to an application being submitted to assess the possibilities of having the application approved?

The Development Services Department strives to provide such a service dependent upon other workload priorities. Staff would prefer that potential applicants understand how Staff and the Committee may review an application and this is often best done through a site visit prior to an application being submitted. Please be reminded though that while Staff have a good understanding of the Township’s regulations and policies and how the Committee has reviewed similar applications in the past, it is not always possible or advisable for Staff to be absolutely confident of how successful an application will ultimately be. A site visit will be done upon submission of the application in any case.

How soon can I get a Building Permit following a Minor Variance, Site Plan approval, or a Zoning Amendment?

A Minor Variance and Zoning Amendment have a 20-day Appeal Period following the decision. No Building Permit can be issued until the Appeal Period expires. The Building Permit can be applied for during the Appeal Period for it to be ready to be issued at the expiration of the Appeal Period. There is no appeal period for Site Plan approval and the Building Permit can be issued as soon as the decision is made and the agreement is signed by the owner.

I would like to open a business in the Township. What approvals do I need?

The Township does not license commercial businesses except for Chip Wagons. However, the Zoning By-Law does restrict commercial businesses to land that is zoned Commercial or Industrial. The Zoning By-Law does include a section permitting Home-Based Businesses such as day cares, professional offices, and crafts persons. Section 3.7 of the Zoning By-Law includes the standards by which the Township expects Home-Based Businesses to operate.

Does the Township have surveys of my property on file?

Generally the Township does not house legal surveys of properties. The Township maintains a GIS system which includes all parcels of land within the Township. The land parcel information is maintained by a Provincial agency. The information contained within the system can be used for general information but is not meant to be survey accurate. Detailed information about the legal description or status of a property can be obtained at the Land Registry Office in Brockville, 7 King Street West, Brockville, Ontario K6V 3P7. Tel: 613-345-5751 Fax: 613-345-7390

How did the Township determine the Official Plan designation and Zoning of my property?

The Official Plan designations were developed through mapping provided by Provincial Ministries, historic information from previous Official Plans, research by staff and Council, and information received at public meetings. The zoning of properties was completed to be in conformity with the Official Plan designations. Other information from the public, landowners, and research by staff were also considered when determining the zoning of a particular property.

Will the Conservation Authority or another outside agency review my application?

The Township is obligated under the Planning Act to circulate certain applications to various agencies. The Conservation Authority is circulated Minor Variance, Official Plan Amendment, and Zoning Amendment applications. Other agencies that are required to be notified of applications include neighbouring municipalities, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, school boards, and utility companies.

Land Division/Severance

There are two methods to divide land in the Province of Ontario, either through the Consent (severance) process or by Plan of Subdivision. Applications for both are handled by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Land Division Committee. The Township reviews each application and provides comments to the Committee but does not accept or approve the applications. All applications for the creation of new lots and other severances (i.e. lot additions) must conform to the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law. It is highly encouraged for those considering a Land Division application to consult with one of the Township’s Planners prior to applying since issues may be identified which may be difficult to overcome once an application has been submitted.

County Land Division Committee contacts:

Township Land Division review contacts:

  • Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services
  • Malcolm Norwood, Senior Planner

Leeds and Grenville Consent Granting Authority

Contacts

Township of Rideau Lakes

Malcolm Norwood, Senior Planner 1-800-928-2250 Ext. 236, contact details on Staff page

Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services 1-800-928-2250 Ext. 244, contact details on Staff page

Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority

Environmental Planner, CRCA – 1-877-956-2722 (613 area code only) or 613-546-4228

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Planner, RVCA – 1-800-810-0161 or 613-267-5353 x 131

Local Planning, Environmental, And Geotechnical Consultants

Note: the following lists are only offered for information purposes. The Township of Rideau Lakes does not advocate the use of any particular consultant. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and has been developed based on third party requests to be added. If you are a qualified firm or individual in the Eastern Ontario region and wish to be added to the list, please contact Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services Ext 244., contact details on Staff page

Local Environmental Consultants for Environmental Impact Assessments

Note: The following list is offered for information purposes only. The Township of Rideau Lakes does not advocate the use of any particular consultant. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and has been developed based on third party requests to be added. If you are a qualified firm or individual in the Eastern Ontario region and wish to be added to the list, please contact Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services Ext 244., contact details on Staff page.

Brian Paquin, Ainley Group Belleville/Ottawa (613) 966-4243

BCH Environmental Consulting Inc. South Lancaster (613) 571-8883

Bowfin Environmental Consulting Cornwall (613) 935-6139

Dillon Consulting Limited Ottawa (613) 745-2213

Ecological Services Elginburg (613) 376-6916

Eco-Tec Merrickville (613) 269-2826

Dan McNicoll, Exp Services Inc. Ottawa/Kingston (613) 688-1899

Glen Briscoe, Geofirma Engineering Ltd. Ottawa (613) 232-2525

Andrew Benson, Golder Associates Ltd. Kanata/Kingston (613) 592-9600

Craig Houle, Houle Chevrier Engineering Ltd. Ottawa (613) 836-1422

Matthew McCombs, Matrix Solutions Inc. Ottawa (226) 314-1917

Matthew Wheeler, McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd. Kingston (613) 542-3788 x3123

Andrew McKinley, McKinley Environmental Solutions Ottawa (613) 620-2255

Tim Dickson, MMM Group Limited Ottawa (613) 736-7200

Morrison Hershfield Ottawa (613) 739-2910

Bernie Muncaster, Muncaster Environmental Planning Inc. Ottawa (613) 748-3753

Oakridge Environmental Peterborough (705) 745-1181

Pinegrove Biotechnical Lanark (613) 259-2847

Local Planning Consultants

Note: The following list is offered for information purposes only. The Township of Rideau Lakes does not advocate the use of any particular consultant. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and has been developed based on third party requests to be added. If you are a qualified firm or individual in the Eastern Ontario region and wish to be added to the list, please contact Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services Ext 244., contact details on Staff page.

Brian Paquin, Ainley Group  Belleville / Ottawa, ON (613) 966-4243

Bob Clark, Clark Consulting Services  Kingston, ON (613) 549-0444

Dillon Consulting Limited.  Ottawa, ON (613) 745-2213 Website Link

Margo Watson, FoTenn Consulting Inc  Kingston, ON (613) 542-5454

Mark Touw IBI Group Kingston, ON (613) 531-4440 Website Link

Lloyd Phillips, Lloyd Phillips & Associates Ltd.  Ottawa, ON (613) 236-5373

Marko Cekic, McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd.  Kingston, ON (613) 267-6524 x219

Amarjit S. Sandhu MHBC Planning Kingston, ON (613) 384-7067

Tim Dickson MMM Group Limited  Ottawa, ON (613) 736-7200

Morrison Hershfield  Ottawa, ON (613) 739-2910

Greg Mignon, Novatech Engineering Consultants Inc.  Ottawa, ON (613) 254-9643

Glenn Tunnock, Tunnock Planning Perth, ON (613) 464-8805

Tracy Zander ZanderPlan Inc.  Perth, ON (613) 264-9600 Website Link

Please also see the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) Consultant Directory

Local Geotechnical Consultants

Note: The following list is offered for information purposes only. The Township of Rideau Lakes does not advocate the use of any particular consultant. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and has been developed based on third party requests to be added. If you are a qualified firm or individual in the Eastern Ontario region and wish to be added to the list, please contact the Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services Ext 244. contact details on Staff page.

Brian Paquin, Ainley Group  Belleville / Ottawa, ON (613) 966-4243

DBA Engineering Ltd. Kingston, ON (613) 389-1781

George Thomas, DST Consulting Engineers  Ottawa, ON (613) 748-1415

Dan McNicoll, Exp Services Inc. Ottawa / Kingston, ON (613) 688-1899

Troy Skinner, Golder Associates Ltd.  Kanata / Kingston, ON (613) 592-9600

Craig Houle, Houle Chevrier Engineering Ltd. Ottawa, ON (613) 836-1422