The City Development Department reviews and comments on a number of development applications. Please click on the drop down options below to learn more about the different development applications.


It is mandatory for applicants to consult with Pickering City Development staff prior to submitting the following development applications (Pre-Consultation By-law 6942/09):

  • Official Plan Amendment
  • Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Plan of Subdivision
  • Plan of Condominium
  • Site Plan Control

The owner of the property, or authorized agent, must meet with staff from the City and any applicable commenting agencies to discuss the proposed development application. Staff will discuss the proposal and the requirements to submit a complete application (i.e. required plans and technical studies).

Please submit your request for a Pre-Consultation to the City Development Department. Download the Request for a Pre-Consultation form.

 Municipal Addressing

Municipal addresses are assigned to properties in order to help locate the property, are based on the location of the structures on that property, and consist of 2 parts, including a street name and a civic number.  The City of Pickering is responsible for assigning the name and civic number. This process is regulated by the terms and conditions laid out in Municipal By-law 7686/19.  Learn more about Municipal Addressing of Properties.

Types of Development Applications

Official Plan Amendment

An official plan amendment is a formal document that changes a City’s Official Plan. If an applicant wants to develop a property differently than the Official Plan prescribes, they must apply for a site-specific Official Plan Amendment. Official plan amendments are approved by City Council and the Region of Durham.

The Pickering Official Plan implements the Planning Act, other Provincial plans and policies, and the Durham Regional Official Plan. It sets out the land use policy direction for long-term growth and development in a municipality. The Official Plan includes schedules of land uses, transportation systems and resource management, and addresses land use designations including the following:

  • Urban Residential Areas
  • Mixed Use Areas
  • Employment Areas
  • Agricultural Areas and Oak Ridges Moraine Countryside Areas
  • Open Space System
  • Rural Settlements

View the City of Pickering Official Plan - Edition 9, and Schedules.

Zoning By-law Amendment

The City of Pickering has 6 Zoning By-laws that:

  • divide the City into zones
  • specify uses allowed in each zone
  • establish building setbacks related to property lines, and include regulations on matters such as building heights, building coverage, parking requirements and setbacks from the street for buildings and structures.

A Zoning By-law implements the Official Plan and provides for its day-to-day administration. A Zoning By-law contains specific requirements that are legally enforceable and the City can refuse a building permit for any construction or new development that does not comply.

A zoning by-law is not a static document and can be changed. A zoning by-law amendment is a process which is required in order to make a change to the City of Pickering’s zoning by-laws. A zoning by-law amendment, or rezoning, can change the permitted use of land, maximum number of units permitted in a building, minimum lot area or width, distance between the lot line and the building, parking requirements and other zoning provisions. Any requested change to the zoning by-law will need to conform with the City of Pickering Official Plan, the Durham Regional Official Plan and Provincial Plans and Policies. Zoning by-law amendments are approved by City Council.

Plan of Subdivision

A subdivision is when you divide a piece of land into smaller lots or blocks and secures the owner’s responsibilities for development through a subdivision agreement. A plan of subdivision is generally required where more than three lots, new roads or extensions to existing roads or services are proposed. A plan of subdivision is approved by the Director of City Development.

Plan of Condominium

The Condominium Act allows for the creation of different types of ownership for a multi-unit development, such as Standard Condominium, Common Elements Condominium and Vacant Land Condominium. If an applicant wants to sell individual units as condominium units, they must obtain Plan of Condominium approval. A plan of subdivision is approved by the Director of City Development.

Site Plan Control

All lands within Pickering are subject to site plan control with some exceptions (see Site Plan Control By-law 7632/18). Site Plan Approval is a form of development control provided to municipalities by the Planning Act. Site plan control allows the City to review and approve development details for a property such as building location; massing and exterior design of buildings; loading and parking facilities; landscaping; grading and servicing; and accessibility and sustainable design matters in order to ensure that the City's, the Region's and other agency requirements are satisfied.

No one should undertake any development, which is subject to site plan control unless the City has reviewed and approved certain plans. Once the plans are approved, a site plan agreement is generally executed. This agreement contractually binds the developer to develop and maintain a site in accordance with the approved plans and the terms of the agreement. Site plan approval is granted by the Director of City Development.

Please read the Site Plan Approval application form and ensure all requirements have been met prior to submitting your site plan application. 

Minor Variance Application

A minor variance is a small change from the specific requirements of a zoning by-law. The approval of a variance will allow an owner to build or use their land in a way that does not exactly comply with the requirements of the zoning by-law, but follows its general intent. Minor variance applications are approved by a committee of members of the public, appointed by City Council.

For more information, please visit our minor variance page. 

Consent (Land Division) Application

A land severance (consent) is required if you want to separate a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. A land severance is also required if you want to sell, mortgage, or lease (for more than 21 years) a part of your property. This applies to rights-of-way, easements and any change to your current property boundaries.

Land Division applications are approved by a committee of members of the public, appointed by the Region of Durham. Before applying for a consent, it is recommended you contact the Region’s Land Division Committee.

Heritage Permit

The Heritage Act states no alterations are permitted to properties/areas designated as Heritage, unless permitted by the Municipality. Depending on the scope of work proposed in the heritage permit application, approvals may be granted by the Director of City Development or the Heritage Pickering Advisory Committee.

To learn more about designated heritage properties/areas, please visit the Heritage Planning page.

Application Processing Fees

Schedule of Application Fees and Information Price List