Land Use Planning
The purpose of the Bruce County Official Plan is to establish a policy framework to guide the physical, social and economic development of the County and to protect the natural environment within the County to the year 2021. For more information on any current County-wide amendments to the County's Official Plan, or to download a PDF version, please visit the Bruce County Official Plan service page.
Municipal Planning Documents and Active Planning Applications
Each of the 8 municipalities within Bruce County have their own Comprehensive Zoning By-law and may have a Secondary Official Plan. To view these documents, please visit the municipal web page within the County website by selecting the municipality of interest from the listing above. Active planning applications and associated documents for each file are also available for viewing on each of the municipal pages.
Pre-consultation is required with the appropriate planning hub (listed below) prior to submission, providing an opportunity early in the planning process to identify all submission requirements for a complete application. Application processing takes 3 to 4 months. If you are interested in filing an application, please first complete a Property Inquiry Form (PDF available below under Planning Forms) and provide a site sketch of your proposal, and submit to the appropriate planning hub (listed below).
Submitting an Application
On-line submissions of applications are not accepted as original applicant and Commissioner of Oaths signatures are required. Applications may be printed from the PDF's on this page, or paper applications are available from municipal and county offices.
Clear, legible site plans detailing all existing and proposed buildings, structures and uses (including septic beds and wells), their dimensions and distance to lot lines are required for all application types. Please refer to the information sheets provided below, for further information. Pre-consultation is required with the appropriate planning hub prior to submission.
Application 'Form One' (available below) is a multi-purpose application form used for:
- Official Plan/Secondary Plan Amendment
- Zoning By-Law Amendment
- Minor Variance
As per the Fees and Charges By-Law, the Bruce County Planning department charges fees for each planning application.
In many municipal and land use planning contexts, there is a general principle that: “Development should pay for development.” Under this principle, applicants are required to cover the costs for providing the service of processing applications.
Application fees are intended to charge costs directly to the benefiting party (i.e., applicant), while eliminating or minimizing the burden on the property tax base for the parties that do not benefit directly from the service.
Planning fees are paid at the time an application is filed. For applications for Consents, Subdivisions and Condominiums, another fee is paid at the time of final approval.
NOTE: Bruce County is updating its land use planning application fees. Updated fees are needed to recover the full cost for planning applications and service delivery. The new fees are effective starting May 10, 2021. See the complete list of up-to-date planning application fees under Planning Forms.
How to Appeal a Decision
Each completed planning application will have a 'Decision' issued, containing an 'Appeal By' date. The hearing of appeals is undertaken by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT); To access the required LPAT forms and further details on LPAT Appeal procedures, please visit the LPAT Website.