Land Use Planning

Land use planning affects almost every aspect of life in Ontario. It helps decide where in our community homes and businesses should be built; where parks and schools should be located; and where roads, sewers and other essential services should be provided. Good planning leads to orderly growth and efficient services. It impacts all of us and also helps us to have the kind of community we want.

The Township of Whitewater Region provides a broad range of policy and land development services.  The Planner/Economic Development Officer, with the support of the Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk, is responsible for the administration of the County’s Official Plan and Township’s Zoning By-laws, as well as the creation of long-range policies and guidelines for a sustainable and prosperous community.

To View Current and Recent Projects - Read More

1.   Development Charges By-law Review

2.   Village and Hamlet Growth Study

3.   Recreational Vehicle (Tent/Travel Trailers, Motorhomes, etc.) Licensing By-law

Official Plan of the County of Renfrew

An Official Plan is a statutory document which sets out the land use policy directions for long-term growth and development in a municipality. It is prepared with input from residents and others in the community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.  The County Official Plan sets out policies for the physical growth and development of the Township of Whitewater Region and affects all lands within our municipality.

Pursuant to Section 26 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER P.13, the County of Renfrew undertook the update of its Official Plan which was approved by the Ministry in March 22, 2019.

Zoning By-laws

A Zoning By-law governs the use of all lands, buildings and structures within a municipality. It also outlines how land and buildings may be used, where buildings and other structures may be located, and what constraints may be applicable to the development of a particular property (i.e. parking requirements, lot coverage, density, etc.).  The policies and mandates of the Official Plan are implemented through the Zoning By-law.

Land-Use Planning Applications

A pre-consultation between the applicant and the Township, prior to the submission of land use planning applications being formally submitted, is required in accordance with the policies of the Planning Act. This consultation will help ensure a complete application is submitted and provides opportunities for early feedback and information sharing on the proposed concept.

Official Plan Amendment

Any development proposal in the Township of Whitewater Region must conform to the County of Renfrew’s Official Plan. If the proposal does not meet the requirements set out in the Official Plan, a property owner may have to apply for an Official Plan Amendment. Any changes to our County Official Plan must also conform to the Provincial Policy Statement.

Zoning By-law Amendment

Any development proposal in the Township of Whitewater Region must conform to the applicable Zoning By-law. If the proposal does not meet the requirements set out in the Zoning By-law, a property owner may have to apply for a Zoning By-law Amendment. Any changes to our Zoning By-law must also conform to the municipal official plan.

Minor Variance

A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the Zoning By-law. A minor variance may allow property owners to use their land in a way that does not comply exactly with the requirements of the Zoning By-law. It is often necessitated by circumstances specific to the property that prevent the owner from developing it in a way that conforms to the by-law's provisions.

Site Plan Control Approval

Site Plan Control is a form of development control provided to municipalities by the Ontario Planning Act. In order to undertake any development that is subject to Site Plan Control, an application must be submitted to the Township and may require the submission of engineering drawings and studies. Once the plans are approved, a site plan agreement is generally executed. This agreement contractually binds the owner to develop and maintain a site in accordance with the approved plans and the terms of the agreement.


A consent or severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. This regulation ensures controlled land development in compliance with the Official Plan and Zoning By-law.  The County of Renfrew is the approval authority for Consent/Severances and the Township acts as a commenting agency.

If you are considering applying for a Consent/Severance, you are encouraged to communicate with the Township Planner/Economic Development Officer as a first step in the process. 

Plan of Subdivision/Condominium

The County of Renfrew processes and approves Plans of Subdivision and Plans of Condominium within the Township of Whitewater Region.  The Township, however, must approve each Plan of Subdivision to the County, pass any necessary Zoning By-law amendment, and enter into a subdivision agreement. A subdivision agreement is an agreement between a developer and the Township, concerning the subdivision in which your home may be located. The agreement is registered against the title of the lot and contains conditions of the approval.