Municipal planning policy, enacted through the Zoning By-Law, and often a Municipal Plan as well, control the use and physical form of land development, or the expansion and redevelopment of an existing building. There may be further regulatory controls hidden in the municipal Charter in addition to those in the Municipal Plan and the Zoning By-Law. This framework of planning policy and zoning regulation can vary widely from municipality to municipality. The restrictions, or rights, contained in many Zoning By-Laws are open to interpretation. Some municipal planning departments are more flexible than others. Some municipalities are open to amending their Zoning By-Law to respond to the exigencies and opportunities of development… others are rigorously bound by the process established by their Municipal Plan. There may be View Plane (height) or Flood Plain development restrictions, usually contained in the Zoning By-Law but sometimes hidden in other regulations. To further confuse matters, the path to approval can range from straight-forward permits to complicated political processes. When looking at development options for land, or redevelopment opportunities for a property, it is imperative to understand not only what options are available, but also what planning processes are required to receive approval.
Whether you already own the real estate, or are contemplating a potential property acquisition, we can analyse the property, the local area, and the governing rules, to help you understand all the development options available. We will identify each option and evaluate it against the approval timelines and the risks associated therewith.
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