Types of Planning Applications

Learn about the various types of planning applications that the Planning Services team can assist with.

There are a variety of services that we can help you with related to planning. Some of these services include:

Consent and minor variance

Some changes, like dividing land or making changes to how the land is used, known as variances, require approval from the Committee of Adjustment. Visit the Committee of Adjustment page for more information.


Visit the Heritage Permit page for information on permits required for alterations to properties designated individually or as part of a heritage conservation district under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Official plan amendments

An official plan is a policy document that describes how land should be used in the community. It provides direction for future planning activities and for public and private initiatives aimed at improving the existing physical environment. In Oakville’s case, the official plan, Livable Oakville, is based largely on input made by citizens through the public participation process. Official plans address issues such as:

  • where new housing, industry, parks, shopping areas, schools, hospitals, offices and other land uses are to be located
  • what services such as sewers, water mains, roads and schools will be needed
  • when and in what order parts of the community will grow

If you want to use your property or develop it in a way that conflicts with the approved official plan, you will need to obtain an official plan amendment. Every official plan amendment triggers a review by staff, approval by Council, as well as public meetings and negotiations. Before you apply for an amendment, you should discuss your proposal with Planning Services.

Part lot control

Part lot control is a provision of the Planning Act that, regulates the transfer or sale of part of a lot within a registered plan of subdivision. 

The municipality uses this as a means of preventing the possible uncontrolled division of lots within a plan of subdivision after the plan has been registered. Exemption from part lot control is commonly used to facilitate semi-detached and town-house developments. This approach is used because of the difficulty the builder would have in ensuring that the common centre wall between two dwelling units was constructed exactly on the property line. Before you apply for part lot control, you should discuss your proposal with Planning Services.

Plan of condominium

A plan of condominium is the process of dividing property so that an individual holds title to a portion of a building, or a unit, as well as a share of the rest of the property that is common to all the individual unit owners. A condominium can apply to residential, commercial or industrial properties. Before you apply for a plan of condominium, you should discuss your proposal with Planning Services. 

Plan of subdivision

A Plan of Subdivision is the process of dividing land into two or more parcels so that those parcels can be held in separate ownership. The approval process is governed by the Planning Act and ensures that:

  • the land is suitable for its proposed new use
  • the proposal conforms to the official plan and zoning, as well as to provincial legislation and policies
  • you, your neighbours and your community are protected from developments which are inappropriate or may put an undue strain on community facilities, services or finances

Before you apply for a plan of subdivision, you should discuss your proposal with Planning Services. 

Site plan

Site plan control is a site-specific type of development control, authorized under Section 41 of the Planning Act. Site plan control applies to construction, development and re-development on all lands within the corporate boundaries of the town, with some exceptions.

Zoning by-law amendments

A zoning by-law is a document used to regulate the use of land. It states exactly what land uses are currently permitted in the town and provides detailed information such as:

  • where buildings or structures may be located
  • types of uses and dwellings permitted
  • standards for lot size, parking requirements, building height, side yard dimensions and setback from the street

If you want to use or develop your property in a way that does not comply with the existing by-law, you have to apply for a zoning change. A rezoning, or zoning amendment, can be considered only if your new use is allowed by the official plan, Livable Oakville. Every zoning amendment triggers a review by staff, approval by Council, as well as public meetings and negotiations. Before you apply for a rezoning, you should discuss your proposal with Planning Services.