How to Apply

Anyone wishing to place a building or structure on their property from a deck or garden shed to a new shopping plaza or apartment building should contact the Planning and Heritage Division to ensure the proposal is permitted and located appropriately. Each application is evaluated on its merits and compliance with applicable laws.

Please use the City's Development Application Guidelines to inform and assist you through the Planning Act application and approvals process.

Be advised, as of July 1, 2023, our Planning Application fees have changed.  An updated list of our fees can be found here.  Our Fees and Charges By-law No. 2022-066 can be found in its entirety here.  

General Information - Planning Application Form
General Information, Planning Application Form A.0

When formal application under the Planning Act is required, in accordance with the Official Plan, the applicant is required to consult with the Planning and Heritage Division to initially outline the City's requirements for the proposed application. Through the pre-consultation process, applicants will be made aware of the necessary requirements of a 'complete' formal application under the Planning Act.

This initial step provides the applicant with an understanding of the necessary application processes, expected studies, drawings, and documents that will be required for the City to make an informed decision on the merits of a formal application. Pre-consultation allows the applicant to understand the potential costs and timeline of the project at the outset.

Staff will also be able to advise applicants if the application is difficult to support on a policy basis. Staff will also let you know if there are any opportunities for financial assistance under the Community Improvement Plan to support your proposal.

Pre-consultation, Planning Application Form A.1

Who is the Development Team?  
The Planning and Heritage Division provides a 'one window' main contact to applicants seeking information on potential property development or change of use in the City of Owen Sound. The Planning and Heritage Division together with the Engineering Services Division form the basis of the City of Owen Sound Development Team. Together, when a development proposal is brought forward, they will determine which of the other City departments and key external agencies would be most helpful to bring to the Development Team table. 
Who do I see for a Proposal?  
A cornerstone of the development process is a plan showing the proposal. On the basis of a site plan (sample site plan), the Planning and Heritage Division can confirm whether your proposal can proceed to building permit and if additional steps or information is required.  
How Long Does it Take? 
Depending on the complexity of the application, the pre-consultation process as a whole may take up to 2 months. Complete pre-consultation packages will significantly shorten the review time of any formal application. 
Who Gets my Application after the Planning and Heritage Division?  
The Planning and Heritage Division uses the requirements of the Planning Act to write a report to either Council or the Committee of Adjustment. The Committee of Adjustment considers applications for minor variance to the Zoning By-law and applications for consent. For Official Plan amendments and Zoning By-law amendments, the application will go to Council. The Planning and Heritage Division also works with the Community Services Committee and Accessibility Advisory Committee
Site Plan Approval

Under Section 41 of the Planning Act, the City of Owen Sound has passed a Site Plan Control By-law to designate the City a site plan control area.

The following types of development are subject to site plan approval:

  • Industrial, commercial and institutional development
  • Multiple residential development in excess of 4 units

Site plans are required for new projects and redevelopment projects. There are exceptions to this general list (i.e. low density residential and additions less than 30 square metres). Please contact the Planning and Heritage Division to determine if a particular development project is subject to site plan approval.

Site Plan Approval, Planning Application Form A.2

Committee of Adjustment - Minor Variance & Consent Applications

Please consult with the Planning and Heritage Division prior to making any submission.

The 2024 Meeting Dates and Application Checklist for the Committee of Adjustment provides the meeting dates and submission deadlines for the calendar year.

The Application Guide provides a description and instructions on how to apply to the Committee of Adjustment.

Please note that there may be fees required from other departments and agencies for any one of the above noted applications and fees are subject to change at any time. Early consultation with the Planning and Heritage Division will ensure the appropriate fees are paid.

Official Plan Amendment

Prior to submitting an application to amend the Official Plan, all applicants must first undertake a mandatory Pre-consultation process. Please contact the Planning and Heritage Division for more information regarding the fees and requirements for this process.

Official Plan Amendment, Planning Application Form A.4

Plan of Subdivision/Condominium 

Prior to submitting an application for Draft Plans of Subdivision or Condominium, all applicants must first undertake a mandatory Pre-consultation process to outline the City's requirements to support an application. Applications submitted prior to pre-consultation will not be considered complete. Please contact the Planning and Heritage Division for more information regarding the fees and requirements for this process.

Plan of Subdivision/Condo, Planning Application Form A.6 

Zoning By-law Amendment

Prior to submitting an application to amend the Zoning By-law, all applicants must first undertake a mandatory Pre-consultation process. Please contact the Planning and Heritage Division for more information regarding the fees and requirements for this process.

Zoning By-law Amendment, Planning Application Form A.7 

City Development Charges Exemption

Development Charges Exemption, Planning Application Form B.1

City Engineering Services Review
Site Alteration
Site Alteration, Planning Application Form C.2 (coming soon)
Grey Sauble Conservation Planning Review

Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Application Form 

Grey Sauble Conservation Planning Review Fees

Property Inquiry Request Form

Complete the Property Inquiry Request Form and submit your cheque via mail or drop off in person at City Hall (808 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound, ON N4K 2H4).

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