The planning and development guides and resources linked below are helpful in understanding various aspects of the development application process and land use planning policy. For more information, you can contact one of Middlesex County's planners.
Each of the eight local municipalities within Middlesex County has its own Official Plan and Zoning By-law to regulate land use. Please visit your local municipality's website to view land use plans and policies, or to get more information about development applications.
Provincial guides and manuals help to direct municipal policies and/or explain planning processes and practices to the general public. The links provided below include reference guides created by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs which are relevant to Middlesex County's Agricultural Areas, as well as guides on land use planning and land use planning processes created by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
> Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Citizens Guide to Land Use Planning
> Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing’s Planning & Application Resource Centre
> Understanding the Subdivision & Condominium Application Process
> Natural Heritage Reference Manual
> Minimum Distance Separation Manual
> Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Ontario’s Prime Agricultural Areas
> Environmental Noise Guidelines
> Environmental Land Use Planning Guide
Legislation & Regulation
The Planning Act establishes the rules for land use planning within the Province of Ontario and describes how land may be controlled. The Provincial Policy Statement is a guidance document issued under the Planning Act that contains clear, overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. Municipalities implement these policies through Official Plans and local Zoning By-laws.
The function of Conservation Authorities is to regulate land uses in flood zones for the protection of people and property and to coordinate the implementation of source water protection planning. Regulations can take the form of development set back requirements from natural heritage features and hazardous lands to land use regulations that protect our water sources from environmental contaminants. Find your local Conservation Authority or use the links below for more information about the Conservation Authorities in Middlesex County.
> Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
> Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
> Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
> St Clair Region Conservation Authority
> Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority
Ontario Land Tribunal
The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) is an adjudicative tribunal that hears cases in relation to a range of municipal planning, financial, and land matters such as Official Plans, Zoning By-laws, Subdivision Plans, Consents and Minor Variances, and other issues assigned by Ontario statutes. The OLT reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. When an Applicant appeals to the OLT, Middlesex County does not have the authority to make any decisions, however, the OLT provides the municipality the opportunity to work with the Applicant to resolve issues. To learn more about the OLT, visit:
> Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Citizen’s Guide to the Ontario Land Tribunal
Middlesex County's interactive mapping tool allows you to view map layers in order to get information about locations in the County. Search by address, streets, or facilities to find a location. Many different layers of information are available such as property parcels, roads, and aerial photos.
Community Improvement Plans
A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a plan adopted by a municipality that identifies one or more areas that may benefit from redevelopment. These areas are referred to as Community Improvement Project Areas (CIPAs). CIPs give municipalities the authority to work towards improvements in CIPAs with help from the private sector by providing financial incentive programs to encourage investors (business and/or property owners) to take on projects that align with the unique goals and visions set out in the CIP. Examples of CIP projects can range from façade and landscaping improvements, to signage installation, to large scale industrial development.
The goals and visions that are laid out in the CIP are often distinctive to the needs and wants of the community and are developed in consultation with the community including local businesses, residents, organizations, public and private agencies, as well as local Council. Many CIPs are composed of the background of the community, legislation and policy framework, the CIPAs, the vision, goals, and objectives of the community, policies and incentive programs, as well as implementation and monitoring. Several of the local municipalities within Middlesex County have adopted a CIP. To see if your local municipality has adopted a CIP, or if a CIP is in the works, please visit your local municipality’s website to find out more.
> Middlesex County Community Improvement Plan Primer