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Zone Clarington

ZONE Clarington Logo

If you have questions about your property's current zoning, please view our current zoning by-laws web page or email your questions to

The Municipality of Clarington is undertaking a comprehensive review of its zoning by-laws. Clarington’s zoning by-laws specify how land can be used through permissions (residential, commercial, mixed-use, etc.) and regulations (building heights, property setbacks, etc.). 

Current status

On December 14, 2020, Council directed staff to resume work on the rural phase of the zoning by-law review project, which had been placed on hold in October 2019.  Specifically, staff were directed to prepare a report and zoning by-law amendment that includes:

  • Keeping the Environmental Protection (EP) zoning, which is currently in place in Clarington’s existing Zoning By-law(s).
  • Adding maps to the draft Zoning By-law from other agencies that will provide information on corresponding land use regulations, which may apply if a new development of a property is being proposed.
  • Adding advisories into the zoning by-law(s) to make it clear that a property owner also has obligations to comply with external agency rules relating to land use.
  • Stopping work on the Site-Specific EP Zoning Review Process, including site-specific visits.

Staff anticipate reporting back to Council on progress with the draft zoning by-law late 2021.

View the full notice of Council’s direction and a copy of Resolution #C-512-20.

Zone Clarington is guided by the following principles:

  • To implement the Official Plan, helping Clarington to develop and thrive
  • To modernize and improve usability of the Zoning By-law
  • To respect our unique mix of urban and rural communities

Project documents

Information sheets
Public meetings and events

The ZONE Clarington team carried out a series of public open houses after the release of a First Draft Zoning By-law in November of 2018. The team continues to accept written comments and respond to questions and information requests from Advisory Committees of Council, organizations, businesses and residents. If you have questions, comments, or would like to be kept advised of future events and reports to Council, it is encouraged that you register using the methods listed below.

Frequently asked questions

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 one comprehensive Zoning By-law
will help to avoid redundancy, improve consistency and will 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
Staff will conduct the review in two stages to 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, residents will be invited to open house sessions to learn about the proposed changes and provide their feedback. To help us plan for communities in Clarington, we encourage public participation in ZONE Clarington.
How does the Zoning By-law review affect me?
Zoning by-laws define permitted uses for lands and specify regulations for buildings and structures on this land. 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, possibly, 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 or uses that already exist. Existing buildings and structures that are lawfully used for such a purpose on the date of passing of the by-law will become 'legal non-conforming' so long as they continue to be used for that purpose. The permission to exist 'as-is' will not be lost when zoning changes permit otherwise moving forward.
What happens if my property zoning changes and is deemed 'legal non-conforming'?

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

Once a use or structure is removed, the legal non-conforming status stops. To make changes to a legal non-conforming use or structure, permission may be required through a Zoning By-law amendment or minor variance if the proposed changes do not comply with the new zoning of the property. 

What if I do not 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 at every stage of the project. Public meeting dates will be advertised at least two weeks in advance of their scheduled times.

Once the Zoning By-law has been approved by Council, you may be able to appeal it to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. 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 the passing of the by-law to file a notice of appeal with the Municipal Clerk.

How will the new Zoning By-law be implemented?

Zoning establishes a set of rules so that the community has a common understanding of how property will be used. The Municipality enforces the Zoning By-law to protect the rights of all its 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 a building permit was not required and there is a violation of the Zoning By-law, Municipal By-law Enforcement will meet with the property owner to discuss what is needed to make the property comply with 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 multiplying the assessed value of your property by the property class tax rate of your land. The assessed value of each property is determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), not the Municipality of Clarington. MPAC uses several factors to assess land values. Visit MPAC's website to learn more.

Stay informed. Get involved.

Send us questions or comments on the Zoning By-law Review using our feedback form.

Subscribe to this page using the green button below to receive news, updates and notice of upcoming meetings, and to be added to the ZONE Clarington interested parties list. To receive updates via mail, contact the Planning and Development Services Department at 905-623-3379 or email us and provide your full mailing address.


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