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Development Review
Process & Forms

Before you’ll ever see shovels in the ground, there is an in-depth application and review process for proposed developments. This public process is essential to ensuring the City is designed and built to serve our growing community. 

Types of Applications

Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment Applications

When required, the City's Official Plan and Zoning By-law can be amended through a public process. The goals of this process are:  

  • to assess whether the proposed amendment is in line with the long-term vision and goals for how our community should grow;
  • and to ensure members of the public who may be affected by the proposed amendment have an opportunity to voice their views on the matter.
Plan of Subdivision or Condominium Applications

Dividing a parcel of land into multiple lots (which can then be sold) requires a plan of subdivision or condominium approval. This approval process helps ensure:

  • the land in question is suitable for the proposed new use;
  • the proposed development conforms with the City's Official Plan, and with provincial plans and policy;
  • and residents are protected from development which may be inappropriate or might place strain on municipal services, facilities, or financial resources.

The City of Barrie has been delegated authority by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to approve draft plans of subdivision (Ontario Regulation 417/01 under the Planning Act). The approval process is provided for under section 51 of the Planning Act. Section 51 also applies to the approval of a Plan of Condominium (under subs.9(2) of the Condominium Act).

Note for Plan of Subdivisions: Once a complete application has been received, processing the application may take six to eight months.

Site Plan Approval Applications

Site Plan Control

Site Plan Control helps ensure development in the urban environment takes place in a safe, efficient, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing manner, and new development is compatible with existing neighbouring properties (provided for under section 41 of the Planning Act). Site Plan Control regulates the placement of buildings and structures on a lot, the relationship of structures to adjacent properties and streets, and matters of exterior design.

A significant portion of land within the City is subject to Site Plan Control. If a property is located within a designated Site Plan Control area, then an application for Site Plan Approval is needed before any development can take place on the property. (For the purposes of Site Plan Control, “development" includes erecting new buildings, adding to or altering an existing building in a way that substantially increase its size or usability, and establishing a commercial parking lot.)

Development or alteration of any lands within a Site Plan Control Area are subject to the Site Plan Approval process, unless otherwise exempt by the Director of Planning and Building Services. Learn more about the process in the Site Plan Application Manual.


Exemptions from the Full Site Plan Approval process may be considered for minor development and/or site alterations on lands subject to Site Plan Control, in accordance with this process and at the discretion of the Director of Planning and Building Services, or their designate. Within the City, minor development and/or site alterations may include, but are not limited to exterior building façade improvements/alterations, minor building additions, exterior patio additions, minor parking lot additions/alterations and temporary sales trailers. 

If the property is not located within a Site Plan Control area, then the owner can proceed to apply for a building permit (subject to zoning confirmation and other applicable municipal requirements.)

Consent and Minor Variance Applications

In some cases, you may need to apply for:

  • Consent to subdivide land without the requirement of a plan of subdivision;
  • or a minor variance for permission or relief from the requirements of the City's Zoning By-law where circumstances make it difficult to comply with the specific zoning standards.

Visit the Committee of Adjustment page for more information.

How to Apply

alert Save Time: Apply Online! Use APLI, our application portal, to apply for or request any of the following:

  • Pre-Consultation and Conformity Review
  • Site Plan Approval or Exemption from Full Site Plan Approval
  • Official Plan Amendments and Zoning By-law Amendments
  • Plans of Subdivision or Condominium
  • Consent and Minor Variance
  • Permitted Use Letter
      button: Get started

Forms & Reports

Application Forms

Apply online through APLI or complete the relevant PDF forms, which include information on how to submit the application.

Approval of Plan of Subdivision

Conformity Review

Exemption from Full Site Plan Approval

Extension or Revision to Draft Approved Plan of Subdivision or Condominium

Official Plan Amendment and/or Zoning By-Law Amendment (including Removal of Hold)

Part Lot Control Exemption and/or Deeming By-Law

Plan of Condominium Approval or Exemption

Site Plan Control Approval

Pre-Consultation Request Form: Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-Law Amendments Plan of Subdivision/Condominium

Pre-Consultation Request Form: Site Plan Control

Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU) Scoped Site Plan Approval*

Pre-Servicing Agreement*

Cost Recovery Form*

Owner Authorization - Planning Applications (Property Owner Consent)*

Telecommunication Facility*

* These forms are only available in PDF format. All other forms can also be completed online through APLI.

Terms of References for Studies & Reports

The Development Review Process

Development applications undergo a multi-step review process. 

1. Pre-consultation

The first step in the development application process is a pre-consultation, where the applicant presents their development proposals and concept plans to City staff. This allows for staff to:

  • identify key issues and provide preliminary written comments on the proposal;
  • clarify the application process and fees for the applicant; and
  • identify and confirm the plans, supporting studies, and other information that will need to be provided for the full development application to be considered complete.

The pre-consultation application is circulated to the relevant City departments and external agencies for review and commentary. A technical review meeting between the applicant, City staff, and any necessary outside agencies will be scheduled within a minimum of four weeks from when a complete pre-consultation application is submitted.

2. Public Consultation: Neighbourhood Meeting

The applicant is required to host an informal Neighbourhood Meeting with Planning Services before applying for:

  • Official Plan Amendments
  • Zoning By-law Amendments
  • Draft Plan of Subdivision or Condominum (this requirement was established by Council Resolution 14-G-225)

The meeting gives the public a chance to ask questions and receive information about the proposal. No decisions are made at these meetings.

Meeting Notice

Notice of the meeting is sent by regular mail to property owners located within 240 metres of the subject lands and emailed to residents of the applicable ward who have signed up to receive corporate e-bulletins. Neighbourhood Meetings are also promoted via:

Addressing the Feedback

Applicants must address the feedback received through the public consultation process in the Planning Justification Report (required as part of a complete application) by:

  • detailing how the comments have been addressed in the submission; or
  • providing justification as to why comments have not been addressed in the submission.
3. Submit Complete Application

Following pre-consultation and the Neighbourhood Meeting, City staff will provide the applicant with a list of the studies and reports which must be included with the application for it to be considered complete. These studies help staff assess the potential impacts of the proposed amendment to make an informed recommendation on the application. ​A list of the studies that may be required can be found in section 6.11 of the Official Plan.

Once an application has been received and confirmed as complete, it is assigned to an individual File Manager. This “one-window" approach gives the applicant a single point of contact with City staff during the review process. Details regarding the applications will be listed under Proposed Developments.

4​​. Public Notice

As part of the complete application process, a Public Notice sign must be posted on the subject lands. The Planning & Building Services Department has requirements for positioning the Public Notice sign layout and positioning on the property, as well as a guide to the Public Notice symbols displayed on the sign. The applicant is responsible for all costs associated with preparing and posting the Public Notice.

5. Public Meeting

A formal Public Meeting about the application will be held in front of General Committee, as required under the Planning Act. At this meeting, the applicant will present the proposed amendment and members of the public will have a chance to speak and ask questions. Members of the public can also make written submissions if they cannot attend the meeting. No decisions are made at this meeting.

Notice of the Public Meeting is sent by regular mail to property owners located within 120 metres of the subject lands and  a sign is posted on the subject lands.

6. Technical Review, Recommendation & Council Decision

In addition to conducting their own technical review, Planning staff circulate the application to other City departments and to relevant outside agencies (such as Conservation Authorities or provincial ministries) for commentary.

Following this review, Planning staff submit a report making a recommendation to General Committee regarding the proposed amendment. General Committee will consider this report and then make a recommendation to City Council, which will decide on the application.

Information Requests

There are times when it is helpful to gather specific information about a property, including when buying, selling or mortgaging a particular site. Letters providing or confirming information related to planning are available to support.

Zoning Compliance Letter Requests

A Zoning Compliance Letter provides information the City may have ​with respect to the status of zoning on a property. This includes Zoning Designation and By-laws Pertaining to the Planning Act. Zoning Compliance Letters do not include Building Permit Record Information, such as Building Code Orders or status of permits. 

To obtain a Zoning Compliance Letter, please complete the Zoning Compliance Letter Request Form ​and submit payment (as per the City of Barrie Fees By-law) to Service Barrie. ​

Permitted Use Letter

A Permitted Use Letter is written confirmation of the zoning and permitted uses at a subject property. The letter is often requested by a business owner to confirm their proposed business is permitted on a specific property. The letter does not confirm compliance with any other regulations set out in the Barrie Zoning By-law. 

If you require a Permitted Use Letter, save time and apply online using APLI. To apply in person, please complete a Permitted Use Letter Request Form and submit payment (as per the City of Barrie Fees By-law) to Service Barrie. ​


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