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Planning Services

The team provides information and guidance to individuals, organizations and developers. We process all planning and development applications and provide compliance reports and lawyer’s letters regarding planning and development. Additionally, we maintain the Municipality’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws.

Melanie Ducharme
Municipal Clerk / Planner

Natasha Liard-Bigras
Planning and Building Clerk

Tanya Lelievre
Building Services Intake Clerk

Zoning and Land Use

A zoning by-law controls the use of land in your community. It states exactly:

  • how land may be used (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.);
  • where buildings and other structures can be located;
  • the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used; and
  • the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks.

Every property in West Nipissing is subject to the provisions of Zoning By-law 2014/45. The Zoning By-law will be used to confirm your plans align with current policies on how land may be used in your community.

To submit an amendment to either the current Official Plan or current Zoning By-laws, consult with the Planning Department and complete an Application for Official Plan Amendment/Zoning Amendment.

Zones and Zone Symbols

Residential Zones

R1 – Single detached Residential Zone

R2 – Single detached and Two Unit Residential Zone

R3 – Medium Density Residential Zone (3 to 8 units)

R4 – High Density Residential Zone (8+ units)

SR- Shoreline Residential

RR – Rural Residential

MHR – Mobile Home Residential

Commercial Zones

C1 – General Commercial – Traditional downtown areas

C2 – Highway Commercial

C3 – Tourist Commercial – Properties providing primarily tourist accommodations and camps

Industrial Zones

M1 – Light Industrial – Industrial uses primarily within a building that do not create significant compatibility issues

M2 – Heavy Industrial – Industrial uses more intensive in nature which may include portions of the operation outdoors

M3 – Extractive Industrial – Licensed pit and/or quarry operations

M4 – Waste Disposal Industrial – Public and private waste management uses

Agricultural and Rural Zones

A1 – Prime agricultural area

A2 – Prime agricultural area with restriction on residential uses

RU – Rural area with varied agricultural potential

Other Zones

CL – Crown Land

CF – Community Facilities

OS – Open Space

PSW – Provincially Significant Wetland

Overlay Zone

HZ – Hazard Waste Management

WM – Influence Area

Minor Variance

A minor variance may be obtained in the event that an applicant requires a small variation from the provisions of the Zoning By-Law. After consulting with Planning Services, complete the Application for Minor Variance Form and include the following with your application:

  • Two (2) copies of the Application for Minor Variance Form
  •  One (1) copy of the Property Identification Sheet for the subject property
  • One (1) sketch or drawing as outlined in the application form
  • Municipal application fee of $700

The Property Identification Sheet can be obtained at the Land Registry Office in North Bay or by the Municipal Office (additional fee).

Zoning By-law Amendments

In certain circumstances it may be necessary to change the zoning designation of a property in order to proceed wth a particular development.  In such instances, a Zoning by-law amendment may be sought.

Step 1
Consult with Planning Services.

Step 2
Complete the Application for Official Plan Amendment/Zoning Amendment form. Include the following with your application:

  •  A cheque, made payable to the Municipality of West Nipissing, to cover the application fee. Please note there are different fees for each type of application (Application to Amend the Official Plan and Application to Amend the Zoning By-law)
  • Your written authorization (with dated, original signature), identifying by name the individual who will act as your agent or solicitor for filing and handling your Application(s), if you are using an agent or solicitor.
  • Additional information which may be helpful in assessing an application, and/or any information and materials identified at the pre-application consultation meeting

Applicants are strongly recommended to submit photographs or other relevant documentation that will assist in evaluating the application. To avoid delays, please ensure all drawings are neat and legible, and that all dimensions are accurate.

A separate justification report may also be included to address any of the questions within the application.

Step 3
Submit the complete application package.

Step 4
The application is assessed for completeness and is either accepted or returned to the applicant, requesting further information (back to Step 3).

If the application is complete, the file is opened and timelines for processing are established. Once the application is accepted, all of the information that was submitted is open to review by the general public, including name, address, phone number, etc. This is a public process.

Step 5
A Municipal Review is conducted: A “Notice of Application” and a “Notice of Public Meeting” is circulated to the required agencies, departments, and nearby property owners. This may be published in the North Bay Nugget and/or The Tribune explaining the nature of the requested amendment(s), specifying the date, time, and location of the meeting and inviting comments. Comments and opinions submitted on this matter become part of the public record and may be viewed by the general public and published in the Report to Planning Committee and Council Agenda.

Step 6
Based on analysis of the application and the comments provided by the public, agencies and departments, the Planning Department prepares a report to the Planning Committee, summarizing their findings.

Step 7
A Public Meeting is held before the Planning Advisory Committee, as advertised. The owner/applicant/agent may make representation regarding their application. Any member of the public may appear before the Committee to comment on the application.

If a person or public body does not make oral or written submissions at the public meeting, or make written submissions to the Municipality before the proposed amendment(s) are adopted, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Council of the Municipality to the Ontario Municipal Board, nor will they be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal.

Step 8
Council deliberates the amendment at a Municipal Council Meeting.

Step 9
Following the Council meeting (within 15 days), a resolution is drafted, describing the decision and intention of Council regarding the application:

  • Council will provide notice of an approval or refusal to the amendment to the owner/applicant/agent, and anyone who made written request to the Clerk during the process.
  • Where an application is referred back to staff, the owner/applicant/agent should contact the planner on file to discuss the options and opportunities going forward, and for clarification of the referral.

Step 10
Following the decision of Council, and subject to the conditions specified in the Planning Act, an appeal may be made to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by filing a notice of appeal with the Municipal Clerk.

Planning Fees (Fee Increase in effect as of March 23, 2023)

New Planning user fees are now in effect as of March 23, 2023.

Application Type

(includes technical severances and lot additions) 


Minor Variances:

Subdivision Approval:
Application/Administration and review fee of $1,750.00 plus variable fee of $100.00 per lot/block created
Condominium Approval: 

(Standard/Vacant Land or conversion) 

Application/Administration fee of $1,750.00 plus $100.00 per each unit created

Zoning By-law Amendment: 

(Including Temporary Use By-Law) 


Zoning Confirmation: 

$125.00 for each request in writing

Official Plan Amendment: 


Combined Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment: 


Deeming By-Law: 


Certificate of Consent :

$100 per lot, including retained lands

Amending Application (material amendment original application requiring notification) :


Certificate of Cancellation of Prior Consent :


Certificate of Validation (corrects prior Planning Act violations) :



Lot Creation and Subdivisions

Consent (Severances)

Begin your consent process by consulting with Planning Services to determine:

  • the need for a consent and the type of consent involved (i.e., creation of a new lot, easement, lease, addition to a lot, right-of-way, mortgage, etc.);
  • if a minor variance application or a rezoning application is required to amend a Zoning By-law;
  • if there are any servicing requirements or limitations, or land dedications involved;
  • if the proposal is beyond the scope of the consent process and is, for example, a subdivision situation.

After consulting with Planning Services, the application process takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks from beginning to certification.

Step 1
Complete the Application for Consent Process Form.

Step 2
Submit the application form to Planning Services along with all required plans and specifications as outlined in the form.

Step 3
The application form will be circulated by the Committee of Adjustment at least 14 days prior to their next committee meeting. The Committee will circulate the application to every person assessed to be within 60 metres of the subject property, and to prescribed agencies and Municipal Departments. Any other person or public body wanting to be notified of the Committee’s decision on the application must make a written request.

Step 4
A decision will be made on the application by the Committee of Adjustment.

Step 5
Within 15 days of the Committee’s decision, a copy of the decision will be mailed to the applicant, to anyone who submitted a written request, and to all prescribed agencies and Municipal Departments.

Step 6
An appeal may be made within 20 days of the Committee’s decision. If no appeal is made within this period, the decision is final and binding.

Step 7
Proceed to fulfill the conditions of consent. Prepare and submit the appropriate documents (e.g., a deed or mortgage) to the Committee of Adjustment for certification.

Good to know

  • There are different fees for each type of consent application
  • Other related applications may be processed concurrently during this process
  • Applicants may be required to submit a separate justification report to address any of the questions within the application.
  • When a consent is granted with conditions, the conditions must be fulfilled within one year of the “giving of notice of a decision” or the consent is deemed to be “refused.” Where a conditional consent has to be certified as to the fulfillment of the conditions, the consent “lapses” after two years from the date of the certificate.

After consulting with Planning Services, complete the Application for Subdivision Form and include the following with your application:

  • Three (3) hard copy prints of the draft plan signed by the owner and surveyor
  • Three (3) copies of the Application for Subdivision Form signed by the owner
  • Three (3) copies of the background information report on the proposal (Please note that all plans must be in metric units)
  • One (1) legible paper print or mylar of draft plan reduced to letter (8.5” x 11”) or legal (8.5” x 14”) size
  • Municipal application fee of $1750 plus $100 per lot/block
  • Supporting studies and information that may be required (e.g. a preliminary storm water management report, noise or traffic report, etc.)

Review your application with Planning Services before submitting to avoid possible errors or omissions.


After consulting with Planning Services, complete the Application for Condominium Form and include the following with your application:

  • Five (5) copies of the Draft Plan of Condominium
  • Two (2) copies of the Survey Plan

Good to know

  • Several additional studies and plans may be required at the time of submission or prior to final approval, as outlined in Section 2 (page 3-4) of the application form. Consulting with Planning Services will ensure you include the necessary documents with your application submission to avoid processing delays.
  • All information and materials required in support of your application will be made available to the public, as indicated by Section 1.0.1 of The Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, C.P.13.


Planning and Development applications are reviewed within the context of The Planning Act, the Municipality’s Official Plan, Zoning By-laws, and Provincial Policy Statements.

The Planning Act

The Planning Act is provincial legislation that outlines the rules for land use planning in Ontario. This includes how land uses may be controlled and who may control them.

The Municipality of West Nipissing must ensure all planning applications are in conformity with The Planning Act and are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014.

View The Planning Act or read more information on its purpose and role to learn more about planning and development in Ontario.

Provincial Policy Statement

The Provincial Policy Statement provides policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. As a key part of Ontario’s policy-led planning system, the Provincial Policy Statement sets the policy foundation for regulating the development and use of land. It also supports the provincial goal to enhance the quality of life for all Ontarians.

The Provincial Policy Statement provides for appropriate development while protecting resources of provincial interest, public health and safety, and the quality of the natural and built environment. The Provincial Policy Statement supports improved land use planning and management, which contributes to a more effective and efficient land use planning system.

The policies of the Provincial Policy Statement may be complemented by provincial plans or by locally-generated policies regarding matters of municipal interest. Provincial plans and municipal official plans provide a framework for comprehensive, integrated, place-based and long-term planning that supports and integrates the principles of strong communities, a clean and healthy environment and economic growth, for the long term.

Land use planning is only one of the tools for implementing provincial interests. A wide range of legislation, regulations, policies and programs may also affect planning matters, and assist in implementing these interests.

The Municipality of West Nipissing must ensure all planning applications are in conformity with The Planning Act and are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020.

View the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020, or read more on Land Use Planning to find out more about Ontario’s land use policies.

Official Plan and Maps

Every municipality in Ontario must have an Official Plan, which sets out the land use policy direction for long-term growth and development in a municipality.

The Municipality of West Nipissing Official Plan contains policies governing various land use designations, such as Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural and Open Space and Natural Heritage. These designations are broadly established on a land use map, also referred to as a schedule. Other policies relating to Mineral Aggregate Resources, Prime Agricultural Lands, Transportation and Community Improvement are incorporated into the Plan.

The current Official Plan for the Municipality of West Nipissing was approved by the Province on December 8, 2011. Any development application submitted will be reviewed under this Official Plan. This ensures your plans align with long-term municipality growth.

See the Official Land Use Plan for your community:

Site Plan Control By-law

The West Nipissing Site Plan Control By-Law No. 2015-63 was enacted as a tool to establish areas of Site Plan Control in order for the Municipality to ensure that development in specifically designated zones will proceed in accordance with certain standards.

In the Municipality of West Nipissing, specific zone categories, sensitive land uses as well as properties which are the subject of planning approvals (severance, zoning by-law amendment, subdivision, etc.) are designated within the Site Plan Control Area.

A Site Plan is required to address, among other things, dimensions of the land, location of proposed buildings, the relationship of proposed structures and buildings to adjacent publicly and privately owned properties, elevations and cross sections to determine surface drainage patterns and the general location of all services to the property.

Frequently asked question concept, question mark cubes

Frequently asked planning questions

Construction gear, hard hat and tools

About the building renovating process

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See all municipal forms

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