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Development Planning

The County of Simcoe is one of the fastest growing counties in Ontario. This keeps our staff and member municipalities very busy processing a substantial number of development applications annually.

The County is involved from two perspectives. First, the County is the approval authority for all local municipal official plans/amendments, as well as for subdivisions and condominiums for the Township of Severn and Township of Tiny. Second, the County is a commenting agency to ensure County interests and by-laws are appropriately addressed. Prior to initiating any condominium, subdivision, or any other type of development application, the County strongly recommends pre-consultation as outlined below.

The County of Simcoe is the plan of subdivision and condominium approval authority for the following member municipalities:

  • Township of Severn
  • Township of Tiny

For all other municipalities we are a commenting agency and are circulated plans of subdivision for review.  It is the intention of the County to eventually delegate this authority to all member municipalities.

Where County Planning Staff receive an application for a plan of subdivision/condominium which is also subject to an official plan amendment, the subdivision/condominium application will only be accepted once the official plan amendment has been adopted by the Local Municipality.  Any applications received prior to adoption will be returned to the applicant.

The County will only accept an application for Condominium Exemption in the following circumstances:

  • where the applicant is proposing to convert an existing rental apartment building where the only change is legal tenure;
  • where the land is contained within a registered plan of subdivision and/or has already undergone an extensive planning review.

Note that the County does not consider site plan approval itself to be the equivalent to an extensive planning review due to the lack of consultation with the appropriate agencies and public.

The authority to grant draft approval and final approval for a plan of subdivision or condominium or to exempt a plan of condominium from draft approval has been delegated by County Council to the Director of Planning.  The authority to refuse any of the above applications has been retained by the County Committee of the Whole.

For a detailed explanation of the submission requirements and the process please refer to the Subdivision/Condominium Application and Submission Guidelines.

Please be aware that our member municipalities for which we are also the approval authority have their own fees, application and submission requirements which will also have to be satisfied. 

We work very closely with the Local Municipality to ensure a timely and efficient process.  To avoid duplication we will always request the Local Municipality, once a complete application is received, to hold the required public meeting for a plan of subdivision on behalf of the County.

Submission of digital plans is required and must be in accordance with County specifications.  Refer to the GIS portion of our website for these requirements.

While informal conversation about the suitability of a concept often takes place, any formal consultation should be done according to these guidelines.  Potential applicants are encouraged to read the following information when considering the development of a property.

  • With the passing of County of Simcoe Pre-Consultation By-Law No. 5528, the County Planning Department requires consultation prior to a formal submission of a County of Simcoe Official Plan Amendment and/or a Plan of Subdivision/Condominium application for which the Corporation of the County of Simcoe is the approval authority.
  • Purpose of Pre-consultation:  to provide planning application proponent with an opportunity to describe a development proposal, and to provide him/her with an evaluation of the proposal or concept in comparison with the policies of the County of Simcoe Official Plan, the PPS, and other relevant matters.
  • Staff of the local municipality is included in the pre-consultation.
  • No final judgment is given with regard to the suitability of the prospective application, but the positives and negatives are discussed, compared to the policies of the Plan.
  • Can be done on site or in office.
  • Send a follow up letter to (1) identify Plan policies that affect the prospective application, (2) indicate study requirements for an application, e.g. EIS, TIS.

New local municipal Official Plans are approved by County Council. Amendments to local Official Plans are approved by Council’s Corporate Services Committee.​

Local municipalities are the approval authorities for zoning bylaws and consents. The County is a commenting agency.​

Local municipalities prepare and approve site plans. The County must also approve site plans on properties which abut County Roads.​

The Planning Act permits local municipalities to pass by-laws to exempt any or all lots or blocks within registered plans of subdivision from part-lot control, so further subdivision of individual lots or blocks can take place. Local municipalities in the County of Simcoe may pass a by-law exempting land situated in a registered plan of subdivision from part-lot control to allow the registration of a reference plan to divide the land into a number of parcels or to change existing lot lines. 

If the local municipality is not the approval authority for subdivision/condominium applications, the County of Simcoe’s Director of Planning must approve this by-law.

Exemption from part-lot control is commonly used to facilitate semi-detached and town house developments. This approach is used because of the difficulty the builder would have in ensuring that the common centre wall between two dwelling units was constructed exactly on the property line. 

Applicants are advised to consult both the local municipal Planning Department and the County’s Planning Division prior to the submission of applications. Following submission of this application, the local municipal council must pass a resolution to enact a by-law to exempt the subject lands from part lot control.  In cases where the County remains the approval authority for subdivisions and condominiums, the endorsed bylaw and additional materials are then sent to the County of Simcoe Planning Division for processing and approval.  It is vital that the County receive the following information and materials to adequately review each proposal:

  • 1 Original Copy of the Endorsed Bylaw

  • 2 Certified Copies of the Endorsed Bylaw

  • 3 Copies of the applicable Registered Plan (with legible Plan #)

  • 3 Copies of the Reference Plan

  • Covering Letter explaining background information (e.g. existing zoning, proposed use(s), type of access available, servicing, etc.)

  • $250.00 Fee payable to the County of Simcoe (subject to full cost recovery)

To view study requirements or to submit development applications to the County, please visit the Development Applications and Fees webpage.

To view any active development applications currently being processed by County Planning staff, please visit the Current Development Applications webpage.

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