Project Backgroud

Every property within Grey Highlands is subject to the provisions of the Zoning By-law. A zoning by-law is a legal document passed under Section 34 of the Planning Act. It is considered “applicable law” under the Ontario Building Code Act and is intended to reduce conflict between incompatible land uses, as well as to be an implementation tool that gives effect to the Municipality’s Official Plan.

A zoning by-law contains provisions to control:

  • What a property can be used for;
  • How big the property or structure can be;
  • Where buildings can be placed;
  • How tall, what size, and how many buildings can be built; and
  • How many parking spaces are needed, and where the parking spaces can be located.

The by-law consists of maps to show what zone each property is in and the permitted uses for each zone.

Why is Grey Highlands updating its Zoning By-law?

The Zoning By-law significantly influences the built environment, the economy, and private property rights. Societal needs are constantly changing, and land use policies much be updated to respond to these needs. The Planning Act also mandates that the Municipality regularly update its Zoning By-law in a comprehensive manner to align with higher-level land use planning policies. Grey Highlands is due for a new Zoning By-law to address the needs of its citizens and to comply with the direction of the Planning Act.

Scope of Project

The Zoning By-law review will include:

  • General Zoning By-law discussion, including why they exist and their purpose
  • Presentation of the Draft Zoning By-law and review of common challenges
  • Discussions on zoning by-laws and how they align with Provincial direction
  • Discussion/debate on permitted/prohibited uses in the new Zoning By-law

The Zoning By-law review will not include:

  • Requests to change zoning on specific properties that are more appropriately dealt with through private development applications.

More proposed changes

1. The base set of zones have been modified, with some zones being merged into a singular “Agricultural” zone that will permit and regulate the various uses permitted in the five existing countryside zones.

2. Defined terms have been revised for clarity.

3. Fourplexes are permitted in any residential zone with full municipal water and wastewater.

4. Additional permissions for accessory buildings and additional dwelling units.

5. Home industries with maximum gross floor area of 250 square meters are permitted in the Agricultural zone without requiring a zoning amendment.

6. Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) requirements apply to all new dwellings in the countryside.

7. Permitted home business uses are expanded.

8. Large renewable energy systems are only permitted by site-specific zoning amendments.

9. Holding provisions are applied to natural heritage features.

10. The minimum parking requirements are significantly reduced.


Zoning Phases

How can you participate in the process?

The Zoning By-law review project will include several open houses across the municipality. We are developing timelines for public engagement and creating a project website to keep the public informed and get valuable feedback into the Zoning By-law.

The Municipality welcomes and encourages the public to participate in this process. Comments can be provided by written submission to:

The Municipality of Grey Highlands


Dates for public open houses will be advertised in the coming weeks.