Official Plan amendments, Zoning Bylaw amendments, and draft plans of subdivision

Development application guidelines – Updated

Getting started: meeting with planning staff

Please schedule a meeting with Planning staff to discuss your ideas or your preliminary proposal. Staff will provide information and guidance on the development application process and next steps. Contact Planning Services to set up a meeting:

Initial Planning meeting request form

519-822-1260 extension 5616
[email protected]

Development application fees and forms

Please review development application fees and development application forms for more information associated with each application and stage of the development review process.

Apply for a Development Review pre-consultation meeting

Applicants are required to attend a Development Review Committee (DRC) pre-consultation meeting before submitting an application for an Official Plan amendment, a Zoning Bylaw amendment, or a Draft Plan of Subdivision. Please complete the pre-consultation meeting application and Planning staff will connect to schedule a meeting.

During the DRC pre-consultation meeting, staff from various departments and external agencies will discuss your proposal, provide preliminary feedback and identify the list of information (e.g. plans, reports, studies) required to be included with the development application submission. Planning staff will also provide direction on the next pre-submission review process. Depending on the nature and complexity of the proposal, there may be limited situations whereby planning staff recommend that applications proceed directly to the formal application review stage.

Following the meeting, staff will provide a DRC Summary letter including comments and outlining all application requirements in a consolidated DRC Checklist.

The requirement for a pre-application Neighbourhood meeting in accordance with the Terms of Reference is a new requirement identified for certain applications that is intended to promote early public consultation and to help streamline the formal development application review process.

Pre-Submission Review Stage

In response to Bill 109 implementing changes to the Planning Act regarding application review timelines, the City has introduced a new pre-submission review stage. This new process provides the opportunity for applicants to work collaboratively with City staff to resolve issues prior to deeming applications complete. After this, the formal review process would begin and Bill 109 timelines would start. This new pre-submission stage will also reduce the likelihood of formal application submissions being deemed incomplete.

Planning staff will advise applicants on the detailed requirements of the Pre-Submission Review stage through initial DRC pre-consultation.

During this Pre-Submission Review stage, the applicant must submit all technical studies and reports identified in the DRC checklist for review by staff and external agencies. Following this review, clearances will be provided by the applicable City staff to proceed to the formal review stage. Please note multiple pre-submissions may be required.

Applicants will be strongly encouraged to have applications reviewed under this new Pre-Submission Review process.

Formal Development Application Submission

Prior to submitting a formal development application, the applicant may arrange a meeting with the Planner assigned to the file.

A complete formal development application must include:

  • The completed application form with all applicable sections completed and signed;
  • The required application fee per the current fee schedule; and
  • All required materials and information identified in the DRC checklist through the formal pre-consultation process
  • Copies of the required clearance letters (from the pre-submission process, as applicable)

Notice of Complete Application and Public Meeting

Within 30 days of receipt of a formal development application, a notification of completeness will be sent to the applicant. Applications that are deficient of required materials or fees will be deemed incomplete. The applicant will be notified and will need to resubmit a full submission package for reconsideration.

Within 15 days of an application being deemed complete, a Notice of Complete application and Public Meeting will be circulated to relevant City departments, external agencies and all property owners within 120 metres of the subject site. In certain circumstances a Notice of Complete application and Public Meeting notice may be published and distributed separately. The Public Meeting notice will be sent a minimum of 20 days prior to the City Council meeting.

In addition to the Notice, the applicant will be required to install signage on the subject lands that notifies the public about the application.

Public Meeting

Public meetings give City Council, citizens and community groups an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and comment on the proposed development project in person or in writing. The Planner assigned to the file gives a presentation to Council related to the application.

Registered delegations from the community may address City Council for up to ten minutes each.

Technical Review of Application

Following circulation of the application, staff and external agencies will review the submission and provide comments to the City Planner assigned to the file. The City Planner will review the comments and send them to the applicant.

Please note, the review of formal development applications will generally be limited to a single review. This is in recognition that the Pre-Submission Review stage will provide the opportunity and necessary time for the applicant to work collaboratively with staff, external agencies and the public to address issues and revise proposals through re-submissions, as required.

Recommendation to City Council

After the public meeting and technical review, the City Planner assigned to the file will prepare a recommendation report which will include:

  • An analysis of the proposed development and applicable policies and by-laws
  • A review of technical issues and responses
  • Comments on matters raised during the public meeting (including those identified by members of City Council)
  • A recommendation whether to approve or refuse the development application(s)

City Council Decision Meeting

The City will mail a decision meeting notice to anyone who participated in the statutory public meeting or requested information about the development application. Anyone who addressed City Council or provided written comments before or during the statutory public meeting may address City Council again and/or provide additional written comments during the decision meeting.

After considering staff’s recommendation and community input within the development application, City Council may:

  • Adopt City staff’s recommendation
  • Amend the recommendation
  • Reject the recommendation
  • Refer the development application back to City staff for further consideration and/or information

If the development application is approved:

  • Bylaw(s) amending the Zoning Bylaw or Official Plan are passed; and/or
  • A Draft Plan of Subdivision is approved

Notice of decision

Within 15 days of City Council making a decision, the City will issue:

  • A Notice of Adoption after an Official Plan amendment
  • A Notice of Passing after a Zoning By-law amendment
  • A Notice of Decision after a Draft plan of Subdivision

The notice includes information about the location, purpose and effect of the by-law amendments, any conditions that must be met, and deadlines for anyone making an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) Appeals

Within 20 days of the date of the Notice of Decision, a party may appeal Council’s decision related to a development application.

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hears and decides appeals and matters related to land use planning, environmental and natural features and heritage protection, land valuation, land compensation, municipal finance and related matters.

If no appeals are received, the decisions are final and come into effect.

For more information

City of Guelph Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 5616
[email protected]

The City of Guelph development application process, guidelines and schedules are governed by the Ontario Planning Act.