rolled papers

The primary role of the Planning Department is to establish, co-ordinate and administer a comprehensive planning program in the Town of Hanover to ensure orderly, socially and economically beneficial physical expansion and development within the planning legislative framework. Planning and Development staff provide administrative support to the Planning Advisory Committee who is responsible for the preparation and recommendation to Council on applications to amend the Official Plan, and the Zoning By-Law as well as on applications to subdivide land or to approve site plans for individual parcels of land. The Department provides comments to government agencies and local politicians and responds to general enquiries related to land use in the Municipality as well as specific enquiries related to proposed development applications, plus prepares statistical information and mapping.

Planning Applications

The purpose for Planning is to guide the physical development and redevelopment of the Municipality. Land use planning affects almost every aspect of life in the Town. It helps decide where in our community homes, shopping facilities and industrial development should be located; where parks and schools should be located; and where other essential services should be provided. Good planning encourages public participation and leads to orderly growth and the efficient provision of services and resources.

Official Plan Amendment
An Official Plan is a statutory document which sets out land use policies to guide future development and manage growth. If an applicant wants to develop a property differently than the Official Plan prescribes, they must apply for an Official Plan Amendment.
Zoning By-law Amendment
Zoning By-laws regulate land use (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) and development standards for building on a property (i.e. lot size, height, frontage, etc.). If an applicant wants to develop a property differently than the Zoning By-law(s) prescribes, they must apply for a Zoning By-law.
Plan of Subdivision
A subdivision is a parcel of land that has been divided into several blocks or building lots. It identifies the exact surveyed boundaries and dimensions of lots and blocks on which houses or buildings are to be built, location and width of the lots/blocks, names of streets, and locations for parklands, etc.

If an applicant wants to create new, separate parcels of land that can be legally used for the sale of lots they must apply for a Plan of Subdivision. A plan of subdivision must be approved by County of Grey (known as Draft Plan Approval) and registered in order for the lots and blocks to be legally sold or conveyed separately.

Site Plan Application
All lands within Hanover are subject to site plan control with the exception of Residential Development containing 2 units or less (see Site Plan Control By-law 1552-05-05-86). If you are planning to build a new building or addition, you may be subject to site plan control. A building permit cannot be issued and construction cannot begin unless site plan approval is obtained. Through the site plan application process, the Town will review the design and layout of the buildings and development including building location, landscaping, parking, drainage, pedestrian access, etc. to ensure compliance with Town standards, by-laws and guidelines.

Committee of Adjustment

The Committee of Adjustment is an independent body appointed by Hanover Council and is legislated/ regulated under the Planning Act. The Committee of Adjustment considers minor variances to the Town’s zoning by-law and to the severance of properties within the Municipality and is administered by the Planning Department.

A minor variance allows variances to the provisions of the Town’s Comprehensive Zoning By-Law or to extend land uses that have existed prior to the passing of the current by-law. The Ontario Planning Act establishes there are four tests which the Committee must consider when arriving at a decision. These four tests are:

  1.  whether the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan is maintained.
  2. whether the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law is maintained;
  3. whether the relief being sought is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure; and
  4.  whether the relief being sought is minor in nature.

Consent (Land Division) Application
A land severance, also referred to as a consent, is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new properties. Consent to sever is required if a portion of land is to be sold, mortgaged, charged or is to form part of an agreement lasting more than 21 years. In addition to the division of land, the registration of rights-of-way, easements and any changes to existing property boundaries requires consent approval. Legislative provisions for consent applications are outlined in the Ontario Planning Act.

Zoning By-Law

Zoning by-laws are a set of regulations governing land uses that implement the policies in the Official Plan. A Zoning by-law contains specific requirements that provide a way of managing land use and future development that is legally enforceable. It also protects property owners from conflicting land uses. Zoning by-laws cover such items as the use of land, where buildings and other structures may be located, the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used, lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, landscape and buffer requirements, building heights and setbacks from property lines. Zoning bylaws are regulated by the Ontario Planning Act.

Amendments to the Zoning By-law are common. Accordingly, all information contained in the link below should be confirmed with Town Staff.

Official Plan

The Official Plan sets goals about how the Town will grow and develop and reach these goals while keeping important social, economic and environmental concerns in mind. It balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the whole community, including the Provincial Policy Statement on numerous planning issues.

The current Official Plan provides land uses policies for the geographic area in Hanover.