What is Site Plan Approval?

Site Plan Approval is a form of development control, provided to municipalities by Ontario's Planning Act.

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.

What is the Purpose of Site Plan Approval?

The Site Plan Control process allows City staff to review and approve the following:

  • building siting and site design
  • building massing
  • the relationship of the proposal to surrounding land uses
  • driveways, curbing and traffic direction signs
  • loading and parking facilities
  • emergency vehicle routes
  • all pedestrian accesses, such as walkways and ramps, and their proposed surfacing
  • landscaping for the site and to buffer the development to adjoining lands
  • refuse and other waste material storage and collection areas
  • grading and servicing
  • need for City and Regional road widenings

Site Plan Control ensures that City, Regional and other agency standards and requirements are met.

The City may, as a condition of Site Plan Approval, require;

  • an owner of land to enter into one or more agreements with City for the provision of road widenings, and/or the provision and maintenance of certain site-related facilities and services associated with the development
  • the agreement to be financially secured
  • an owner of land to enter into one or more agreements with the Regional Municipality of Durham respecting the provision of road widenings or servicing

Who is Affected?

Site Plan Control By-law 7632/18 applies to all lands in the City of Pickering.  The following classes of development are exempt from Site Plan approval:

  • residential development of 1 or 2 dwelling units per lot
  • agricultural and farm related buildings or structures that are used in farming operations, including new buildings or structures that are used for agricultural purposes within the Natural Heritage System of the Greenbelt Plan (provided that the new buildings or structures are located outside of the 30.0 metres minimum vegetation protection zone from a key natural heritage or key hydrologic feature identified in the Pickering Official Plan)
  • tents and similar structures to be erected for a temporary period not exceeding 12 weeks
  • accessory buildings or structures not exceeding a total gross floor area of 50 square metres
  • any expansion or enlargement of a building or structure that is less than 20 square metres or less than 10 percent of the total floor area of the building, whichever is less
  • any building or structure owned or operated by the City, the Region of Durham, a Conservation Authority, the Government of Ontario or of Canada
  • any building or structure being rebuilt that were destroyed by fire, explosion or flood or other similar causes, subject to conditions, and
  • development of sales offices and model homes

Site Plan Application Form

For more information about land-use planning, visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.