Site plan control and approval

The City reviews all proposed site plans to ensure new developments are well-designed, have enough water and waste water services, parking, and other on-site facilities, and to prevent new developments from having negative impacts on neighbouring properties.

Apply for site plan approval

Do I need site plan approval?

Standard site plan applications

The City must approve site plans for:

  • Most new buildings or structures
  • Additions or alterations to existing buildings which substantially increase a building’s size or usability
  • Commercial parking lot layout
  • Commercial or industrial buildings or structures on a farm
  • Lodging houses, coach houses, garden suites, bed and breakfasts, group homes, residential care facilities, nursing homes
  • Single-detached dwellings with a zero lot line
  • Three or more mobile homes

Minor site plan applications

Less complex applications can go through the minor site plan review process:

  • Redeveloping existing buildings to add less than 50 per cent of the existing gross floor area
  • Amending individual drawings for an approved site plan (e.g. landscape plan, elevations, etc.)
  • Expanding existing parking lots to increase the number of spaces by no more than 50 per cent
  • Sales trailers and sales pavilions for real estate sales
  • Garden centers in parking lots
  • Food vehicles located outside of a defined parking space

Site plan approval may not be required for:

  • Low-density residential developments, including single-detached and semi-detached dwellings
  • Farm-related development including buildings and structures for agricultural use
  • Buildings or structures used for flood control or conservation purposes
  • The working areas of licensed pits or quarries
  • Portable classrooms on a school board site
  • Construction trailers on a construction site as defined in the Zoning Bylaw
  • Exterior storage tanks, dust collectors and mechanical units
  • Changes to exterior cladding and façade alterations

Before you apply for a building permit:

Contact the City’s site plan coordinator at 519-837-5616 or planning@guelph.ca to find out if your development requires site plan approval.