The Durham Region Official Plan sets out broad land use categories and policies for the Region of Durham. It is the parent document of the Pickering Official Plan and is approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and administered by the Region of Durham.
The Pickering Official Plan, approved by the Region of Durham and administered jointly by the City of Pickering and the Region of Durham, fine-tunes the policies of the Durham Regional Official Plan in Pickering, providing more detailed policies and land use categories.
Pickering's Zoning By-laws, which are set and governed by City Council, implement the policies and land uses outlined by the official plans. The Zoning By-laws are very specific regarding types of uses and development standards at the individual lot level.
To make minor changes to the zoning, such as building an addition on to a house that extends slightly into a minimum yard depth required by the Zoning By-law, the property owner must apply to have the zoning amended by the Committee of Adjustment.
To make major changes to the zoning, such as a change in permitted use, or a drastic reduction in required lot size, the property owner must apply to have the zoning amended by City Council. This requires the formal consideration of City Council and may be a lengthy and complicated process.