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Zone Clarington

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First draft of Clarington’s proposed Zoning By-law now available for review

The first draft of Clarington’s proposed Zoning By-law includes updated general provisions that apply to all of Clarington as well as rural zoning regulations. An interactive eMap is also available that shows the current zoning and proposed future zoning for land parcels within the municipality.

View Draft Zoning By-law

Project information

Background

Clarington's Zoning By-laws specify how land can be used through permissions (residential, commercial, mixed-use, etc.) and regulations (property setbacks, building heights, etc.). Currently, the Municipality has two Zoning By-laws: Zoning By-law 84-63 and Zoning By-law 2005-109.

The Municipality's Zoning By-laws have been amended over time, but an overall review has not been undertaken since 1984. With the completion of the comprehensive review of Clarington's Official Plan, a detailed review of the Municipality's Zoning By-Laws is now underway. Until an updated Zoning By-Law is approved by Council, the existing Zoning By-Law remain in full force and effect.

The ZONE Clarington initiative will review and update our current zoning to implement the policies and goals of the revised Official Plan. The review will also provide the opportunity to update zoning regulations to address emerging trends, to reflect current planning standards and best practices, and to make the document easier to use and understand.

Our guiding principles

  • Implement the Official Plan, helping Clarington to develop and thrive
  • Modernize and improve usability of the Zoning By-law
  • Respect our unique mix of urban and rural communities
FAQs
Why are we reviewing Clarington's Zoning By-laws?

The Planning Act, which sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario, requires that municipalities review and update their municipal Zoning By-law(s) to conform to their Official Plan no later than three years after the Official Plan comes into effect. After a comprehensive review, an amendment to the Clarington Official Plan was adopted by Council on November 1, 2016 and approved by the Region of Durham on June 19, 2017.

New zoning will likely be adopted in some places to meet the land uses described in the updated Official Plan. With Clarington’s two existing Zoning By-laws, the opportunity to consolidate Zoning By-laws 84-63 and 2005-109 into a one comprehensive Zoning By-law helps avoid redundancy, improve consistency and allow for easier use.

What does the ZONE Clarington work plan include?

The entirety of both by-laws will be reviewed including:

  • Definitions
  • General and Special provisions
  • Zone categories and site-specific exceptions
  • Zoning By-law layout and design

The review will be conducted in two stages, which will address Clarington’s rural areas (including lands within the Oak Ridges Moraine) and urban areas (including Bowmanville, Courtice, Newcastle and Orono).

Following the review of each stage, the public will be invited to open house sessions to learn about the proposed changes and provide their feedback. The first meeting will be held in early 2019. To help us plan for communities in Clarington, we encourage your participation with the first phase launch of ZONE Clarington.

How does the Zoning By-law review affect me?

The Zoning By-law defines the permitted uses for land and regulations for its associated structures. If you are considering changing the use of your property or constructing new buildings or additions to existing buildings, you will need to consult the Zoning By-law to see what is permitted. The by-law review may change what was previously allowed on your property to allow more flexibility, or to be more restrictive, depending on how your property is designated in the Official Plan.

What if my property does not comply with the new zoning?
When new zoning is established, the new regulations and provisions cannot eliminate structures and uses already in existence. Existing buildings or structures lawfully used for such purpose on the date of passing of the by-law will become legal non-conforming, commonly referred to as "grandfathered," so long as it continues to be used for that purpose. Therefore, permission to exist 'as-is' will not be lost when zoning changes permit otherwise moving forward.
What happens if my property zoning is changed and I am deemed legal non-conforming?

When the proposed new zoning comes into effect, there will be no change to the requirements imposed on your property. You can continue living in your home, and/or operate your business without any implications, provided the uses continue 'as-is.'

Once a use or structure is removed, the legal non-conforming status ceases. To alter or make changes to a legal non-conforming use or structure, permission may be required through a Zoning By-law amendment or minor variance unless the proposed changes comply with the new zoning of the property.

The reason that non-conforming uses lose their legal status is to encourage lands to be used in conformity with the Official Plan and Zoning By-law. Non-conforming uses are encouraged to relocate or redevelop so that the subject land may be used in conformity with the policies of the Official Plan and the provisions of the implementing Zoning By-law.

What if I am not happy with or don't want the new zoning to apply to my property?

We encourage the community to participate in the ZONE Clarington consultation process so that we can consider your concerns in the early stages of the project. Public meeting dates will be advertised at least two weeks ahead of time. Consider bookmarking this page and visiting it regularly, or subscribe to the ZONE Clarington mailing list to follow the review process and to be made aware of important dates.

Once the by-law has been approved by Council, if you are still unhappy, you may appeal the by-law to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal provided that you have been engaged in the process. The Municipality must give notice of the new by-law's passing within 15 days of its approval. You will then have 20 days after the notice of passing of the by-law is given to file a notice of appeal with the Municipal Clerk.

How does Clarington implement the Zoning By-law?

Zoning establishes a set of rules so that the community has a common understanding as to how property will be used. The Municipality enforces the Zoning By-law to protect the rights of all residents. When an individual applies for a building permit, Municipal staff are required to ensure that the proposed use, building or structure complies with the Zoning By-law. If the proposed use, building or structure does not comply the building permit cannot be issued.

If there is a contravention of the Zoning By-law where a building permit is not required, the Municipality's By-law Enforcement will meet with the property owner to discuss what is required to bring the property into conformity with the current zoning. If the owner does not take steps to correct the problem, the Municipality may lay charges against the property owner.

How will changes to the Zoning By-law affect my property taxes?

Property taxes are calculated by taking the assessed value of your property (as established by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation or MPAC) and multiplying it by the rate assigned to the property class your land has been assigned.

MPAC uses many different factors to determine the assessed value of a piece of land. More information on how MPAC's assesses properties is available by visiting MPAC's website.

Information sheets
Reports

Stay informed - Get involved!

To assist the Municipality with its review of the Zoning By-laws, we will be engaging Council, the community, and key stakeholders to obtain feedback and comments on zoning matters of interest. Project information and consultation event notices will be posted on the ZONE Clarington web page.

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