Welcome to Norfolk County Planning! Norfolk County is responsible for both current development and long-term policy projects in the County. You will find plenty of helpful information below that can help you with your planning application, as well as details about ongoing policy projects.

 

COVID-19 Update

Please be advised that due to COVID-19, the timeframe for submissions made prior to the pandemic has been impacted.  The County has resumed Public Hearings; please contact the Planning Department to receive updates in regards to any previously submitted application that has not been presented at a statutory Public Hearing.  All new applications are being accepted and reviewed in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act and will be scheduled accordingly, with some potential delay in order to accommodate any existing applications that were impacted by the delays created by the state of emergency.

Virtual Public Hearings are now being scheduled using Microsoft Teams.  Applicable information will be provided to proponents, applicants and agents when the meeting is scheduled.  Furthermore, public notifications will include information about how to attend and the virtual meeting and other options for providing comment to the application. 

Norfolk County Planning Department continues to schedule pre-consultation meetings (remotely) and to accept planning and development applications.  Complete applications requiring a public meeting will be processed per the regular process. 

Please contact the Planning Department to make arrangements in regards to the appropriate manner to submit your planning application.

Payments can be mailed in or delivered to Customer Service Desk located on the first floor of 185 Robinson Street, Suite 100, Simcoe.  Please be sure to label all payments clearly with the applicable address and/or name for the application, to the attention of the Planning Department.  Please contact the Planning Department to make arrangements in regards to the appropriate manner to submit your planning application.

Disclaimer

Personal information submitted in e-mails to planning@norfolkcounty.ca is collected under the authority with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection Act, or for the purpose stated on the specific form being submitted though e-mail.  The information will be used by the Planning Department administration for its intended submitted purpose.  Questions about the collection of personal information through this e-mail may be directed to Norfolk County’s a) Chief Building Official, (185 Robinson Street, Simcoe, ON N3Y 5L6, 519-426-5870 ext. 2218), b) Information and Privacy Coordinator (50 Colborne Street South, Simcoe ON N3Y 4H3, 519-426-5870 ext. 1261), or c) the contact names of the form being submitted.

Contact information

To contact the Planning Department, please email:

planning@norfolkcounty.ca or call us at (519) 426-5870 ext. 1842

If you have an inquiry or request related to GIS, please email: norfolkGIS@norfolkcounty.ca   

Robinson Administration Building
185 Robinson Street, Suite 200
Simcoe, ON N3Y 5L6
Phone: (519) 426-5870
Fax: (519) 428-3069
Email: planning@norfolkcounty.ca
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Gilbertson Administration Building
12 Gilbertson Drive

N3Y 4L1 Simcoe, ON
Phone: (519) 426-5870
Email: norfolkGIS@norfolkcounty.ca
View Map

Development

Please visit the Developer Information page for more helpful information for developers.

Pending Development Applications can be found here.

Pre-consultation meeting information can be found here.

Guiding Documents

Applications Forms, Fees and Tools

 

Committees

Committee of Adjustment hearings are held monthly on the third Wednesday of each month in the Council Chambers at the County Administration Building beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The agenda will be posted on this page one week prior to the meeting. Committee of Adjustment Meetings are available on the Internet. Click here to view the stream!

The Committee of Adjustment’s Terms of Reference can be found here: Committee of Adjustment Terms of Reference

Should you have any questions or concerns with the schedule or if you require minutes from prior years, please contact Sherry Mott, Secretary-Treasurer, Committee of Adjustment at Committee.of.Adjustment@norfolkcounty.ca.

Before you make an application, you must consult with Planning Department staff. Staff will be able to explain the process, outline the submission requirements, and list any other applicable permits and approvals that may be required. To make an appointment, please contact Planning staff at the Robinson Administration Building:

For information on the Minor Variance and Severance Process, please download Committee of Adjustment Brochure

The Committee of Adjustment’s Terms of Reference can be found here: Committee of Adjustment Terms of Reference

Hearing Dates – 2021

  • January 20
  • February 17
  • March 17
  • April 21
  • May 19
  • June 16
  • July 21
  • August 18
  • September 15
  • October 20
  • November 17
  • December 15

Agendas

Minutes

If you would like a copy of the Committee of Adjustment Minutes please email: committee.of.adjustment@norfolkcounty.ca

Norfolk Environmental Advisory Committee (NEAC)

NEAC Terms of Reference

NEAC Guide

EIS Brochure

The meetings begin at 5:30 pm, with new business at 6:00 pm. The deadline to submit information for review by NEAC is generally two weeks in advance of the meeting, subject to change due to holidays, etc.

Meeting Dates – 2020

  • January 13
  • February 10
  • March 9
  • April 13
  • May 11
  • June 8
  • July 13
  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 19
  • November 9
  • December 14

Agendas

Minutes

 

 

Policy and Special Projects

Long Point Region Conversation Authority - Flood and Erosion Mapping Update

The Norfolk County Planning Department is assisting Long Point Region Conservation Authority with two projects to update its flood and erosion mapping. These projects will update and create new riverine flood hazard mapping along 91 kilometres of watercourses, as well as flood and erosion hazard mapping along the Lake Erie shoreline in Norfolk County. Additional information can be found here and at the links below.

Notice of Commencement – Watercourse Flood Hazard Mapping

Notice of Commencement – Lake Erie Shoreline Flooding and Erosion Hazard Mapping

A Public Information Centre regarding the Lake Erie shoreline mapping was held Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm at the St. William’s Community Centre.

A second Public Information Centre regarding the Lake Erie shoreline mapping was held Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm at the St. William’s Community Centre.

A Public Information Centre regarding the watercourse flood hazard mapping was held Wednesday, November 27 from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Simcoe Recreation Centre, 182 South Drive, Simcoe.

Lake Erie Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment

On behalf of Norfolk County, the Long Point Region Conservation retained W.F. Baird & Associates Coastal Engineers to update flood, erosion, and dynamic beach hazard mapping for the Countys Lake Erie shoreline. The hazard mapping project is now complete, including the community engagement component as part of the deliverables. This project will support Norfolk County interests, including the municipal infrastructure, flood response, Official Plan, and Zoning By-law. The Lake Erie Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment is a technical document that maps the shoreline hazards using the most up-to-date information and is not a shoreline management plan.

View the Hazard Mapping Technical Report.

Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan

Downtown Revitalization is a key component to the growth and development of the community and economic stability. A Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan document has been drafted to provide a foundation and framework to create a vision for the future development of downtown Simcoe. A Downtown Secondary Plan is a comprehensive vision for revitalizing the downtown and is intended to address two important functions. First, it presents the community’s vision for the future of the Downtown to guide public and private decision-making. Second, the Plan indicates what the County’s priorities will be for publicly funded initiatives in the Downtown.

The policies are considered draft at this point and are intended to summarize the input received to-date. Through additional public consultation, the policies will be reviewed and revised to ensure that they are meeting the needs and intended desires of the community. Future open houses meetings will be scheduled to engage the public.

DCS 19-44 Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan Staff Report

DCS 19-44 Appendix A - Draft Downtown Simcoe Secondary Plan

Population Projection Study

In June 2014, Council approved the Norfolk County Population Projection Study, as prepared by Hemson Consulting. The projections include long-term forecasts of population, housing and employment. The forecast is applicable to the entire County, but were also prepared for each specific urban area within the County from the year 2011 to 2031 and to 2041 time horizons. These years were selected as they provide a basis for planning within the 20 year provincial planning policy horizon as well as correspond with census years. The projections are intended to provide a likely “reference” scenario for a consistent basis for future growth planning of all departments within the County.

Norfolk County Population Projections 28 May 2014
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Drinking Water Source Protection

The Clean Water Act was passed in 2006 by the Ontario legislature in response to the Walkerton Inquiry in order to protect municipal drinking water sources. A Source Protection Plan is required to reduce the risk posed by identified threats. In the Long Point Region Assessment Report the sources of municipal drinking water and potential threats to water quality, the vulnerable areas around the wells and surface water intakes have been identified. Human activities have the greatest potential to cause harm to drinking water sources.

The Long Point Region Source Protection Plan contains the policies and programs needed to reduce the risk posed by the identified activities. The Plan was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and came into effect on July 1, 2016. An update to the Plan came into effect on March 25, 2019. This will require an update to the Norfolk County Official Plan within five years. The updated Plan can be found here.

Planning and Building development proposals/applications are screened to ensure compliance with the Source Protection Plan policies. If a property is in a Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA) A, B or C with a high vulnerability or the Lehman Dam Intake Protection zone, the following screening form must be completed and submitted to Stephanie Davis, Water and Wastewater Compliance Supervisor – Stephanie.Davis@norfolkcounty.ca or 519-582-2100 extension 1501.

2016-10-20 Restricted Land Use Screening Form Template

The Long Point Region Assessment Report, Source Protection Plan and further information is available from the Lake Erie Region Source Protection Committee at www.sourcewater.ca. For more information, you can also follow this link.

Norfolk County is undertaking an update to the Source Water Protection policies in the Official Plan. This will incorporate the changes made to the Long Point Region Source Protection Plan, which came into effect on March 25, 2019. Norfolk County hosted a drop-in style open house on November 13, 2019 in order to answer any questions about the proposed amendment.

Statutory Public Meeting


Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Norfolk County Administration Building – Council Chambers (2nd Floor), 50 Colborne Street South, Simcoe

Hastings Drive Zoning Study

When the Norfolk County Zoning By-law 1-Z-2014 was approved by Council, appropriate zoning for Hastings Drive was an issue. Council retained the Township of Norfolk Zoning By-law in effect for Hastings Drive in order to carry out the Hastings Drive Zoning Study. Two appeals were launched against this decision. The Hastings Drive Zoning Study was completed. The appeals of County Zoning By-law 1-Z-2014 then proceeded to an Ontario Municipal Board Hearing in January 2018.

The Ontario Municipal Board Order was issued on April 16, 2018to address the zoning on Hastings Drive. 

The County of Norfolk initiated the “Hastings Drive Zoning Study” in 2015 to review the appropriate zoning for lands located west of the lot municipally addressed as 43 Hastings Drive, Long Point. MacNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson Planning Limited (MHBC) was retained by the County to lead this project. Pierre Chauvin BSc (Agr.), MA, MCIP, RPP was the Project Manager.

The following are the main documents from this project:

Hastings Drive Zoning Study Final Terms Of Reference Sept 15

Final Issues & Options Report April 25 2016 (including Draft By-law

Please note that By-law 47-Z-2016 was repealed on December 13, 2016 through By-law 2016-132.

Rural Community Improvement Plan

Norfolk County has developed a Rural Community Improvement Plan intended to focus on incentives and programs to promote investment in tourism, agri-business, and the revitalization of downtown and hamlet areas.

For further information, please follow this link: http://www.norfolkbusiness.ca/incentives-supports/business-incentives/​ or contact:

Chris Garwood, Economic Development Coordinator
Norfolk County, 185 Robinson Street Suite 200, Simcoe ON  N3Y 1R9 519-426-5870 ext. 1264 or 1-866-834-1726

chris.garwood@norfolkcounty.ca

Norfolk County Mapping

To view different types of Norfolk County Maps please go to this page.

Open Data is here! Please visit http://opendata.norfolkcounty.ca/ to access the portal.

 

Pre-Consultation Meetings

Before you submit a planning application, please contact our office about the necessity of a pre-consultation meeting. 

These confidential meetings are hosted by the Planning Department with staff from various departments (and agencies, as applicable)  who will provide valuable feedback on your proposal and outline what will be required as part of a complete application.

After the meeting, you will receive a detailed summary of the meeting which will summarize the feedback from each department.  The document will also include a clear list of what you need to submit as part of a complete application form.  These meetings occur on the second and fourth Wednesday afternoons of each month and are booked at least two weeks in advance. 

To request a pre-consultation meeting, please email the Planning Department at precon@norfolkcounty.ca. You can also call us at (519) 426-5870 ext. 1842. 

The list of what is required for a pre-consultation is summarized below.  Once all of the required information is received, you will be scheduled for the next available date.  At present, all meetings are taking place online using Microsoft Teams, there is also a call-in function if joining online is not possible. 

Please be advised that due to the on-going COVID-19 situation, payments can be mailed to: 185 Robinson Street, Suite 200, Simcoe, Ontario, attention: Planning Department.  Please make sure the payment is clearly labelled with the proposal and address of the proposal, to the attention of the Planning Department.

 

Following is a list of what is needed to start the pre-consultation process:

  1. Description of the proposal – address (and roll number if possible)

 

  • What is being proposed and what is your vision?
  •  Location, type of use, rebuild, renovation, etc.
  •  History (what exists today, historical uses)
  • Designation and zoning being proposed
  •  Servicing (how will the development be serviced)
  •  Number of units
  •  Number of parking spaces
  • Phasing, if applicable
  •  Significant features (environmental, heritage, etc.)
  • Approximate # of vehicle trips to and from the site per day
  • How many jobs does the proposal create? Initially, and at full build-out?

 

  1. Sketch/site plan of the proposal – this does not need to be an engineered drawing; however the more details submitted means improved feedback.
  • Basic concept plan
  •  Building proposed and existing location, including dimensions
  • Entrances, exits, driveways, including dimensions
  • Proposed servicing, if known
  • Parking spaces, including dimensions
  • Snow storage
  • Lighting
  • Garbage enclosures
  • Fencing
  • Existing and proposed landscaping

 

  1. Fee: $446 (credited against future planning applications)

Planning Department Frequently Asked Questions

An Overview

Planning in Ontario is governed by the provincial Planning Act. The Act sets out the steps that the County must follow in planning, and requires County staff to make recommendations that will fit with provincial policies for environmental protection, the preservation of farmland, and the use of natural resources. The County is required to notify the public about planning proposals and hold public meetings to discuss these proposals.

If a member of the public considers that a planning decision needs to be re-examined, he or she can appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). If you wish to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, a copy of the Appellant Form is available from the Ontario Municipal Board website at www.omb.gov.on.ca or from the Clerk of the Corporation of Norfolk County.

The Appellant Form must be accompanied by the fee of $300.00 required by the Ontario Municipal Board (established by Regulation 888, R.R.O. 1990). Fees are payable by certified cheque or money order and should be made payable to the “Minister of Finance”.

How long does it take to process a planning application?

Each type of planning application has its own processing time. For example, although a complex plan of subdivision could take several months to process, minor applications take less time. The processing time for each type of application may depend on its complexity and individual issues. Requirements such as public notification; public meetings; the submission and approval of required studies supporting the proposal, all play a role in determining the processing time.

What is an official plan amendment?

The Official Plan is the County’s blueprint for the future. It contains maps that show where residential, commercial, recreational, and industrial development can go and what areas must be protected from development. An Official Plan Amendment is a formal document that changes the County’s Official Plan. Changes may be needed because of new circumstances in the County or because of a request made by property owners.

What is the official plan amendment process?

  1. Council or the public initiates an amendment to the official plan.
  2. The proposed amendment by-law is prepared.
  3. Agencies are consulted.
  4. A public meeting is held.
  5. Council passes or refuses to pass by-law amendment.
  6. The County sends Notice of Decision.
  7. Any person or public body may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
  8. If appealed, the Ontario Municipal Board holds hearing and makes final decisions.

You can find more information here: Official Plan & Zoning By-law Amendments Brochure

What is a Zoning By-law?

The Zoning By-law is a regulatory document which implements the policy direction outlined in the County’s Official Plan. A Zoning By-law generally spells out how land and building may be used, where buildings and other structures may be located, and what constraints may be applicable to the development of a particular property. Significant changes to the Zoning By-law may require a Zoning By-law Amendment. Zoning by-laws are legally enforceable decisions of Council.

What is the Zoning By-law Amendment Process?

  1. Councillor the public initiates an amendment to the zoning by-law.
  2. The proposed amendment by-law is prepared.
  3. Agencies are consulted.
  4. A public meeting is held.
  5. Council passes or refuses to pass by-law amendment.
  6. The County sends Notice of Decision.
  7. Any person or public body may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
  8. If appealed, the Ontario Municipal Board holds hearing and makes final decisions.

You can find more information here: Official Plan & Zoning By-law Amendments Brochure

What is a plan of Subdivision?

When undeveloped land is divided into lots for development, the developer must prepare a plan of subdivision, showing the position and width of roads, the size and shape of the lots, the location of schools and parks, and the availability of watermains and sewers. The County examines the plan to ensure that it will not create problems for the surrounding area. In considering approval of a Plan of Subdivision, Council must have regard to Provincial policy, the County Official Plan, the Zoning By-Law and other planning, environmental and engineering issues. Usually accompanying a plan of subdivision is a binding agreement between the subdivider and the municipality concerning the development of land. This agreement, which is registered against the land, sets out details on various matters such as servicing, road construction, and easements.

What is a plan of Subdivision Process?

  1. Submission of application.
  2. Preliminary review for compliance with County Official Plan and Provincial policies.
  3. Agencies consulted.
  4. Public Meeting is held.
  5. Draft approval or refusal (decision) by County Council (usually with attached conditions).
  6. County sends Notice of Decision.
  7. Any person or public body may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
  8. Subdivision Agreement and clearing of conditions by developer.
  9. Final approval and Registration of Final Plan of Subdivision.
  10. Construction.
  11. Maintenance Period (Assumption).

You can find more information here: Draft Plan of Subdivision and Condominium Brochure

What is a Consent?

The process required to divide a property is known as a Consent for land severance. Unlike other Planning Applications, approval of a Consent is considered by the County’s Committee of Adjustment. The Committee has the same powers as Council in considering and approving consents.

What is the Consent Process?

  1. Application is submitted
  2. Agencies are consulted
  3. A public meeting is held
  4. Application approved or refused
  5. The notice of decision is sent to applicant and those requesting notice
  6. Any person or public body may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board
  7. If appealed, the Ontario Municipal Board holds hearing and makes final decision.

What is a Minor Variance?

A Minor Variance is a small, technical adjustment to the Zoning By-law. Examples of such adjustments include regulations in setbacks for buildings, decks, lot dimensions, and other similar By-law regulations. Significant adjustments to a Zoning By-law require an amendment.

What is the Minor Variance Process?

  1. Application is submitted
  2. Agencies are consulted
  3. A public meeting is held
  4. Application approved or refused
  5. The notice of decision is sent to applicant and those requesting notification
  6. Any person or public body may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board
  7. If appealed, the Ontario Municipal Board holds hearing and makes final decision. 

What is Site Plan Control?

Site Plan Control is a tool utilized by the County to ensure that specific development proposals meet the Official Plan and Zoning By-law objectives. Essentially, site plans approved under this process are very detailed and outline precisely how a particular property will be developed. Site Plan Approval is typically the last planning approval necessary before a Building Permit is issued. Site Plan Approval is not usually required for single unit residential development. A Site Plan Agreement is sometimes required for more complicated developments. You can find more information here: Site Plan Brochure

Site Plan Control By-law 2014-97

What is Parkland Dedication? What is Cash-in-Lieu of Parkland?

The Planning Act allows Norfolk County to improve its parks and open space system by requiring all new development to contribute lands to be used for parks. Residential, institutional, and mixed use developments are required to dedicate 5% of the lands being developed to the County,  and commercial and industrial developments contribute 2%. In situations where it is determined that parkland is not required (for example, the area is adequately serviced by parks, or there is no suitable location within the development for a park), cash-in-lieu of parkland is paid instead. The applicant provides an appraisal report of the land at that time to the County and 5% of the appraised value for residential, institutional, and mixed use developments is paid, or 2% of the value for commercial and industrial developments. The lands are appraised prior to being developed.

By-Law 2016-126 provides further information about this process and can be found here: Parkland Dedication By-Law 2016-126

Summary of the Planning Process

  • Pre-consultation Meeting
    The owner, or representative of the owner, of a property must meet with staff from the Planning Department to discuss a possible development application. Staff will tell the owner what will be required for the proposal and whether special studies, such as environmental impact or traffic studies, will be needed.

  • Planning application is submitted
    The owner, or a representative of the owner, submits an application to Norfolk County’s Planning Department, along with the required fees and background studies (if applicable). The owner will be given a sign which must be put up on the property. The information on the sign describes the proposed development and lists the phone number of the Planning Department, so members of the public can call for information.
  • Circulation of application to Agencies
    The Planner sends information about the application to agencies or County Departments that may have an interest in the proposal asking for comments and any conditions that must be imposed on the development.
  • Preparation of Staff Report
    The Planner analyzes the proposal in light of the County’s planning policies, reviews any technical studies, and considers comments submitted by agencies or the public. The Planner writes a report that incorporates all this information and recommends that Council approve, modify, or refuse the application. Letters from the public may be attached to the report to Council.
  • Notice of Public Meeting
    The neighbouring property owners are sent a notice of public meeting inviting them to attend a Public Meeting which is held during regular County Council.
  • Public Meeting
    At the Public Meeting, Planning Staff describe the proposal and the issues raised in the planning report. Members of the public who have registered to speak, make presentations about their concerns or support for the application. Council discusses the proposal and votes on it.
  • Notice of Council decision and appeal period
    Anyone who has sent in comments, spoken at the Public Meeting, or have asked to be kept informed about a proposal, receives a notice of the Council’s decision. The notice includes information on how to appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, if necessary.

Public Hearing Reports and Notices of Public Meetings

Click here for information about attending a public meeting.

October 6, 2021 Public Hearing Reports

September 7, 2021 Public Hearing Reports

July 6, 2021 Public Hearing Reports

June 1, 2021 Public Hearing Reports

May 4, 20210 Public Hearing Reports

April 7, 20210 Public Hearing Reports

March 2, 2021 Public Meeting Notices

February 2, 2021 Public Hearing Reports

December 15, 2020 Public Hearing Reports

December 1, 2020 Public Hearing Reports