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Zoning & By-Law Amendments

What is a Zoning By-law?

A Zoning By-law controls the use of land in a community and generally sets out:

  • How land and buildings may be used;
  • Where buildings and other structures can be located; and
  • Lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements and building heights.

The Official Plan sets out a municipality’s general policies for future land use. A Zoning By-law implements the Official Plan and provides for its day-to-day administration. For example, the Official Plan may designate an area generally for Residential uses. The Zoning By-law may then zone specific areas for single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, townhouses or apartments. A Zoning By-law contains specific requirements that are legally enforceable. Construction or new development that does not comply with a Zoning By-law is not allowed and a municipality will refuse to issue a building permit.

Why do you need a Zoning By-law?

A Zoning By-law:

  • Implements the objectives and policies of a municipality’s Official Plan;
  • Provides a legal way of managing land use and future development; and
  • Protects you from conflicting and possibly dangerous land uses in your community.

Is there a Zoning By-law in Kenora?

Zoning By-law Number 101-2015, applies to the City and is composed of text and a series of maps. The Zoning By-law:

  • Divides the City into zones;
  • Specifies uses allowed in each zone;
  • Establishes building setbacks related to property lines;
  • Sets out how many parking spaces are to be provided for each use; and
  • Includes regulations on other matters such as building heights, building coverage and setbacks from the street for parking lots.

Should a property owner or tenant be aware of the content of Kenora’s Zoning By-law?

Since the Zoning By-law defines the way in which you and your neighbours can use your property it is in your best interest to be aware of the content of Zoning By-law Number 101-2015.

Can Kenora’s Zoning By-law be amended?

The Ontario Planning Act and Regulations establish a process which allows a Council or an individual to request an amendment to the Zoning By-law at any time. The process is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • Provides fair notice to all those who might have an interest in the proposed amendment;
  • Allows people to provide input to Council on the proposed amendment; and
  • Provides an opportunity to challenge a Council decision at the Ontario Municipal Board.

Why would I apply to amend the Zoning By-law?

If a proposed use for a property is not permitted, or if the standards of a zone cannot be met by a development proposal, an application may be made to amend the zoning by-law or to “rezone” the property.

An amendment to the zoning by-law must conform to the Official Plan. If it does not, the amendment may not be appropriate or an amendment to the Official Plan is also required.

Where minor changes to zoning regulations are proposed, an application for a Minor Variance may be more appropriate. This is a different process, involving the Kenora Planning Advisory Committee.

The City of Kenora Official Plan (2015) requires that applicants pre-consult with the Planning Department before submission of an application. Please contact the Planning Department at 807-467-2059 or to arrange an appointment or for further information.

Applications are circulated to internal departments, in addition to the agencies and provincial ministries which are regulated by the Planning Act. The application is reviewed by the Kenora Planning Advisory Committee for a recommendation to Council. Kenora City Council makes the decision on whether or not to approve an application to amend the Zoning By-law.

If someone objects, is my application automatically refused?

NO. The Kenora Planning Advisory Committee must weigh all the evidence presented at the public hearing and make a determination on that basis. The Kenora Planning Advisory Committee will use section 51(24) of the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement and City of Kenora Official Plan when considering the application.

Do I get my money back if my application is refused?

NO. Staff time and costs are incurred regardless of the outcome.

What can I do if my application is turned down?

You can file an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board . You have twenty days following the date of notice of decision made by the Kenora Planning Advisory Committee decision is made to file an appeal with the Secretary-Treasurer.