Planning and Building

Welcome to the Planning and Building Departments. Whether you're building a garage or severing a lot, you will find the information you need on these pages.  This page has been developed with a focus on providing you with information on the most common planning matters and does not reflect a summary of all matters governed under the Planning Act and land use tools.

For all building information including application forms and info guides, please click here.

On This Page:

Fact Sheets

To learn facts on the following topics, click on that subject listed below:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is land use planning?

Land use planning is a means of ensuring that land and resources are managed and that growth occurs in a manner in which the community desires. Planning guides development while guarding against negative impacts. The Official Plan and Zoning By-law are daily tools that the municipality uses to implement its land use planning goals.

What is the Official Plan?

The Official Plan is a key planning policy document that outlines the long term goals and objectives of the municipality in relation to land use planning. It is a statement about where and how development should take place now and in the future. It also defines the planning policies and land use designations such as Rural, Settlement Areas, Industrial, Environmental Protection, Wetlands etc., currently in effect. The Plan includes text and maps which show how lands are designated or classified. To determine the designations of your property please contact the Planning & Development Department.

An Official Plan is adopted by Council and approved by the Province (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing).   Official Plans are to be reviewed every ten (10) years.

Council, Township Committees and staff must have regard for the Official Plan when reviewing any planning application/proposal such as zoning by-law amendments, severances, minor variances, plans of subdivision, site plans, etc. An application must meet the Official Plan policies or it will not be approved. If an application does not conform to the Official Plan an Official Plan Amendment could be pursued. The Official Plan Amendment process is outlined in the Planning Act, R.S.O. and related regulations.

For more information on the Official Plan please contact the Planning & Development Department. Another source of information regarding Official Plan Guidelines can be found at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's web site - check out

What is the Zoning By-law?

The Zoning by-law can be considered the current rules and regulations the municipality uses to regulate a specific property’s use. To use land or to build on it, it must be permitted by the Zoning By-law. The Zoning by-law includes maps and text. It provides "zones" which outline:

1) Permitted Uses in the Zone, which lists how the lands can be used and provides definitions and general provisions related to these uses.

2) Zone Requirements, which outlines minimum lot size, frontage and setbacks* from front, rear and side lot lines and prescribes maximum heights permitted and the extent to which lot can be developed.

*Setbacks are the required distance from front, rear and side lot lines and vary according to type of structure and from zone to zone. Please consult with the Planning Department regarding specific setback inquiries.

3) General Provisions and Definitions, which outline numerous other requirements for matters such as parking area regulations, driveway setback to lot lines, driveway widths, home based business provisions, etc.

What zoning rules and regulations apply to my property?

Please contact the Township’s Planning & Development Department to confirm the zoning on your property and discuss your specific construction project, as the setbacks may vary, e.g. depending on whether you are constructing a residential addition or a deck. Text and zone maps can be viewed under The Zoning By-law page, under Comprehensive Zoning By-law 13-21.

What is a Minor Variance?

A minor variance process can be pursued to provide relief to property owners from Zoning By-law requirements they may be unable to comply with. For example, if a property owner wishes to build a new shed but cannot meet the minimum setback requirement for development in that zone, an option may be to apply for a minor variance. If the relief from the Zoning By-law is not "minor" it may require a zoning by-law amendment.

The procedure related to minor variance applications are outlined under the Planning Act and related regulations. Minor variance applications are heard and assessed by the Committee of Adjustment. Under the Planning Act, there are four tests, all of which are to be satisfied/met in order to approve an application:


1) be minor;
2) be desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building, or structure;
3) maintain the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law;
4) maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan.

The Committee of Adjustment also has the authority to permit expansions or changes to legal non-conforming uses as authorized under the Planning Act. Please refer to the Committee of Adjustment, as titled below, for an outline of their roles and responsibilities.

How do I divide my property?/What is a severance?

A severance (or consent) is a land division process followed to create only one (or two) new lots from an existing parcel provided it conforms to the Official Plan policies, the Zoning By-law and the Provincial Policy Statement and Planning Act.  Any further division, e.g. three or more lots, would necessitate the filing for approval of a plan of subdivision.

The County of Leeds & Grenville is the approval body for both severances and plans of subdivisions. Procedures related to both severances and plans of subdivision processes are outlined in the Planning Act and related regulations.

To permit a severance it must meet all the policies and requirements of the Township’s Official Plan, Zoning By-law and related provincial policy and other regulations.

The County of Leeds and Grenville has consent granting authority in this municipality over granting severances. The Township does however receive notice of filed applications and reviews filed severance applications, and makes recommendations to the County Consent Granting Authority (through the Planning Advisory Committee and Council).

The review of the severance application by the Township includes having regard for Provincial policy, fish habitat issues, the current land use designation under the Official Plan, consent policies contained in the Official Plan and zoning provisions.

The County Planner has consent granting authority as does a County Consent Review Committee.  The County Planner can render decisions on a severance or can refer an application to the County Consent Review Committee for a decision by the Committee.   Individuals can also request that a decision on a severance be "bumped up" or rendered by the Consent Review Committee rather than being considered by the County Planner.

Please contact the Planning and Development Department if you have a specific severance proposal that would like reviewed in relation to its conformity with the Official Plan and Zoning By-law prior to formally applying. The Township also offers ratepayers the opportunity to appear before the Planning Advisory Committee for preliminary severance consideration ($200.00 fee) prior to filing a formal application.

For further information on the severance or plan of subdivision process, you can also contact the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville:

Consent Granting Authority
United Counties of Leeds & Grenville (Administration)
25 Central Ave. W., Suite 100
Brockville ON K6V 4N6
Ph: 613-342-3840
Fax: 613-342-2101

Severance (Consent) Process:
Judy Richards, Secretary-Treasurer

Plan of Subdivision Process:
Cherie Mills, County Planner

What is the Planning Advisory Committee?

For more information on the Planning Advisory Committee's role in the Planning Process, click here.

What is the Committee of Adjustment?

For more information about the Committee of Adjustment and their role in the Planning Process, click here.

Suggested Links

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website contains considerable information on the planning process in the province of Ontario. To access the online Citizen's Guide To Land Use Planning go to their website at

Additionally you may wish to review the Ontario Municipal Board's website at The OMB hears appeals on planning matters.

Contact the Planning Department

For information on any of these subjects, please contact the Planning and Development Department: Director of Planning and Development Barbara Kalivas

Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley
6544 New Dublin Rd
RR 2
Addison, ON K0E 1A0

613-345-7480 or 1-800-492-3175 (within the 613 area code)



Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley, 6544 New Dublin Rd, RR 2  Addison, ON, K0E 1A0
Tel. 613-345-7480 or 1-800-492-3175, Fax. 613-345-7235, Email:
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

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