Municipal Zoning By-Laws lay down development parameters for each type of zoning. These are rules that stipulate building restrictions such as building lines or setbacks; height restrictions; maximum coverage; bulk building sizes; on-site parking requirements; and the number and width of access points to the property.

These three-dimensional building envelopes create a measure of certainty by informing landowners of their property rights and what can be expected on the surrounding properties. It provides some comfort in knowing what type of building might be constructed next to your property in the future.

If you decide to develop your land or extend your existing home, but you find that your plans do not comply with zoning restrictions, you may apply for a departure (i.e., a deviation or relaxation) from the zoning scheme. This allows some flexibility to accommodate site-specific circumstances and local conditions. This is called a permanent departure.

Development restrictions often also appear in the title deed of a property. This means that you may also have to apply for the removal or relaxation of the relevant title deed conditions.

With a Temporary Use Departure, a development proposal deviates from the permitted land uses in specific zoning to allow for a use that is not provided for in the Zoning Scheme. The use must be temporary and will expire after a maximum of five years. Temporary land use departures are normally unique in each instance.

Since some departure proposals involve complicated technical issues or require detailed architectural drawings and site development plans, you will be wise to approach Planning Space to help you prepare your application. We can assist you to prepare an application that is compliant with the ruling legislation.

Contact us about Departures