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Official Plan Amendment Application

What is an Official Plan Amendment Application?

An Official Plan Amendment Application is a formal request to change (amend) the Official Plan. The Clarington Official Plan is a long range land use policy document prepared under the Ontario Planning Act. It outlines Clarington’s goals, objectives and policies designed to manage growth and development in the entire Municipality on a broad level.

An Official Plan Amendment may have the effect of changing a land use designation contained in the mapping, modifying the text or policy of the Official Plan, or both.

The Municipality has the ability to initiate amendments as warranted. In accordance with the Planning Act, the Official Plan is reviewed and updated every five years.

Privately initiated amendments are generally discouraged where possible. However, if an Official Plan Amendment is pursued, the applicant must provide sufficient justification as to why the amendment should proceed. Under certain circumstances planning applications may only be considered at the time of an Official Plan review. Details regarding the type of applications falling under this category can be obtained from the Planning Services Department.


Prior to submitting an application, the owner/applicant must consult with staff and agencies in accordance with the Municipality’s pre-consultation procedure. Learn more about Clarington’s pre-consultation process or view the pre-consultation request form.

How do I apply?

Official Plan Amendment application forms are available online or at the Planning Services Department. The completed application form must be accompanied with a copy of the proposed Official Plan Amendment, copies of any background and/or technical documentation, the required number of proposed plans and all other requirements included on the form and discussed during the pre-consultation meeting, as well as the appropriate application fees.

What happens next?

A Planner will be assigned to your application and will circulate your application to other departments and agencies for comments.

The Region of Durham will determine whether the Region or the Municipality of Clarington will be the approval authority, granting approval or denying the amendment.

You will be given information on how to post a sign on the property advertising the Official Plan Amendment application and the date of the public meeting. The Municipality will mail notice of your proposal to all property owners within 120 metres (400 feet) of the property boundaries. Notice of the Public Meeting may be placed in local newspapers.

The Planning and Development Committee will hold a public meeting in Council Chambers at the Municipal Administrative Centre at 40 Temperance Street in Bowmanville.

A public meeting report will be prepared by staff detailing the application and is available in the Planning Services Department generally on the Thursday afternoon before the public meeting.

Additional information about an application is available from the Planning Services Department. Typically, at a public meeting the Planning and Development Committee will refer the application back to staff for further review and to consider all comments expressed at the public meeting.

The applicant may also be asked to provide additional information or to provide revised drawings to reflect any comments from other departments such as the Building Services Division. The Planning Services Department will prepare a second report incorporating comments that have been received and addressing planning-related concerns. The report will also include a recommendation of approval or denial of the application. Again, the report is generally available the Thursday afternoon before the meeting.

The decision of Committee will be ratified by Council the following Monday evening. If the Municipality is the approval authority, the Clerk of the Municipality will issue a Notice of Decision. If the Region is the approval authority, the Region will issue a Notice of Decision. Appeal of the decision to Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) must be submitted to the approval authority’s Clerk within 20 days of the issuance of the Notice of Decision. If no appeal is filed, you will receive a letter advising you that the decision is final and binding.

What are the fees?

Please refer to the current fee schedule for applicable fees.

All applications must be signed before a Commissioner of Oaths. The Municipality of Clarington provides this service.

Are there other fees?

In addition to the application fee refer to the Agency review fees for development application. The Region of Durham Planning Department requires a non-refundable processing fee. The Region of Durham Health Department requires a fee to review the application and the Conservation Authority also requires a fee for processing. These fees are payable to the individual agency, but submitted to the Municipality when making an application.

An additional non-refundable fee will be required prior to adopting an Official Plan Amendment. Also a fee will be required, payable to the Region of Durham, prior to adoption of a non-exempt Amendment to the Official Plan (refer to the current fee schedule).

How long does it take?

The Official Plan Amendment application procedure described here applies to most applications and takes approximately six months. The timeframe will vary for complicated applications and is affected by Council’s schedule and the number of applications processed at any given time.

Can the decision be appealed?

If the Municipality fails to make a decision within a prescribed timeframe the applicant has the right to appeal the non-decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT). An appeal may also be made within 20 days of issuance of the Notice of Decision. Any person who has an interest in the application, including the applicant or agent and has a valid reason for disagreeing with the decision may lodge an appeal. An appeal must include a completed OLT Appeal Form and be accompanied by a cheque payable to the Minister of Finance. All appeals and fees must be submitted to the approval authority’s Clerk.


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