Zoning By-law Update

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Project update

The Project Team is currently undertaking a project initiation notice circulation. The purpose of the circulation is to advertise the project and open the lines of communication between the project team and the community. Additional information related to the project initiation notice can be found in Report DS-2021-0078.

A discussion paper will be presented to Council on Oct. 27, 2021. The discussion paper will provide an overview of the initial analysis and background research undertaken to inform the Zoning By-law Update Phase I Study. Preliminary options and recommendations for addressing key themes will be identified to provide direction and guide the preparation of the Draft Zoning By-law.

A video has been created to help explain the first phase of the process. 


The Town is updating Zoning By-law No. 500 to bring it into conformity with the Official Plan. This will involve a review of the existing zoning by-law regulations and mapping against the policies and land use designations in the Official Plan. The project is currently in Phase I of II.

Project description

Phase I will update the zoning of lands within the Town’s Countryside Area as shown on Schedule A1 of the Official Plan. The focus of Phase I will be to carry forward the policies and land use designations of the Environmental Protection Area, Agricultural Protection Area and Rural Area as shown on Schedule A2 of the Official Plan into zoning provisions and mapping.  

Phase II will address the zoning of the remaining lands in Town that are within settlement areas as well as the general provisions for all zones. Settlement areas are shown on Schedule A1 of the Official Plan and include the Urban Area (Keswick), Towns and Villages (Sutton/Jackson’s Point and Pefferlaw), Hamlet, and the Lakeshore Residential Area. Phase II is proposed to begin in 2023.

Phase 1 study

Public and stakeholder engagement opportunities

The Town understands the importance of public and stakeholder engagement in the planning process and encourages feedback and comments.

A Public Engagement and Communications Plan for Phase I outlines the project team’s approach to how and when engagement and communications with landowners, residents and businesses within the study area will occur.

Refer to "How can I stay informed and provide my comments?" in the FAQs section of this webpage to learn how you can provide your comments outside of formal engagement opportunities.

Staff reports to Council

Additional project information

Technical working group

A technical working group has been established to provide technical expertise at key milestones or as the need arises during the project. The working group includes representation from the Development Services Department, York Region Community Planning Branch and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.


What is a zoning by-law?

Zoning by-laws are the principal regulatory tool municipalities use to implement the policies of an official plan. Zoning by-laws control the use of land in a community by stating exactly:

  • How land may be used
  • Where buildings and other structures can be located
  • The types of buildings permitted and how they may be used
  • The lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and densities (the number of people, jobs and building floor area per hectare), and setbacks from the street and other property lines

Compliance with the zoning by-law is required to receive a building permit.

To learn more about zoning by-laws, check out the Citizen’s guide to land use planning – zoning by-laws.

Does the Town currently have a zoning by-law?

Yes. Zoning By-law No. 500 is the Town’s comprehensive zoning by-law. This means all properties within the Town are assigned a zone category with specific permitted uses and regulations.

How can I find out the zoning of my property?

Follow the How to Find Zoning By-law Provisions for a Property step-by-step guide to locate the zoning of your property.

What is happening?

The Town is undertaking a statutory planning exercise to update Zoning By-law No. 500 to bring it into conformity with the Official Plan.

Who is updating the zoning by-law?

Development Services staff will complete the majority of the work with assistance from the Information Technology Services Division, the Communications Division and the Town’s retained consultant, Hardy Stevenson Associates Ltd.

A technical working group has been established which also includes representatives from the York Region Community Planning Branch and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

When is this project taking place?

The review and update is scheduled to take place between May 2021 and May 2022. See the Project Gantt Chart (Project Timeline with Tasks) for more details.

Where in Town is the zoning being updated?

The study area for Phase I includes all lands within the rural countryside area of the Town as shown on the Key Map provided below.

Why is the Town updating the zoning by-law?

The Town is fulfilling its statutory requirement in accordance with Section 26(9) of the Planning Act to ensure the zoning by-law conforms to its Official Plan. This section states that within three years after a revision to an official plan comes into effect, the Town is required to amend all zoning by-laws in effect in the municipality to ensure they conform with the policies and land use designations of its official plan.

The Town’s Official Plan came into force and effect on Nov. 23, 2016, following a review and update of the 2002 Official Plan. The Official Plan establishes an updated vision, policies and land use designation in mapping to guide growth and development while protecting the Town’s natural resources.

What could this mean for my property?

If your property is located within the study area, there is a good chance it will be rezoned in some way. This may affect the uses that are permitted on your property, and where buildings and structures for permitted uses may be located.

Where does this zoning update fit into the bigger planning picture?

Since compliance with a zoning by-law is required by law to receive a building permit, zoning by-laws are generally the planning document that connects members of the public to the larger Ontario planning system.

Land use planning in Ontario takes place within a hierarchy as shown in the diagram below. The hierarchy ranges from the Ontario Planning Act at one end to the zoning by-law at the opposite end.

Local official plans and secondary plans must comply with the upper-tier policy documents of the Region and the Province, while providing a local vision for how the community will evolve over time.

Zoning by-laws are the primary tool used to implement the policies, permitted uses and land use designations contained in local official plans and secondary plans.

To learn more about the components of the Ontario planning system that apply to land use planning and development in Georgina, visit the Policy Planning webpage.


Figure: Ontario planning system hierarchy

How can I stay informed and provide my comments?

Updates and information related to the project will be posted on this webpage.

Notices of upcoming public engagement events will be advertised on this webpage, in the Georgina Advocate and through the Town’s social media platforms.

To be put on the project mailing list to receive updates and notifications or to share your thoughts and comments, email ZoningUpdate@georgina.ca.

To speak with someone at the Town regarding this project, contact:

Tolek Makarewicz, MCIP, RPP
Senior Policy Planner
Planning Policy Division
Development Services Department
Town of Georgina
905-476-4301 ext. 2297