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Zoning By-laws

A Zoning By-law controls the use of land in a community. Pickering has 4 general 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

The Official Plan sets out a municipality's general policies for all land use. 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. The Ontario Planning Act and Regulations establishes a process, which allows a Council or an individual to request an amendment to the Zoning By-law at any time. The process is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • provide fair notice to all those who might have an interest in the proposed amendment,
  • to allow people to provide input to Council on the proposed amendment, and provide an opportunity to challenge a Council decision at the Ontario Municipal Board

Visit the Committee of Adjustment page or contact us for further information on the amendment process.

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