The Region of Waterloo has been delegated responsibility by the Province of Ontario under the Planning Act to process, review and approve development applications.
This Development Review function involves the processing and review of development applications submitted under the Planning Act or initiated in response to Regional Official Policies Plan (ROPP) policy. In this function the Region plays three distinct roles:
- Regional Corporate Interest
The first role is to comment on how the proposed development affects Regional corporate interests such as Environmentally Sensitive Policy Areas, municipal water supplies, Regional Roads and wastewater treatment. In these circumstances, the Region has a direct corporate interest in, and liability for, Planning Act approvals that impact on Regionally owned and operated facilities. These interests are defined by policies in the Regional Official Policies Plan as well as other corporate protocols and guidelines.
- Approval/Delegated Authority
The Region's second role is as an approval authority for official plans, official plan amendments, plans of subdivision, plans of condominium, and part-lot control by-laws in Cambridge, Waterloo and the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. This role has been assigned to the Region through the Planning Act or for old applications has been delegated to the Region by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH). As either an approval authority or a delegate of MMAH, the Region has the responsibility to ensure that the provisions of the Planning Act and other related legislation are appropriately dealt with during the approval of development applications.
Responsibility for approval of the above noted applications in Kitchener, with the exception of Official Plans and Official Plan Amendments, has been delegated to the City of Kitchener.
- Delegate of the Province Relating to Plan Review
The third role played by the Region is to provide comments on behalf of five Provincial Ministries: Ministry of the Environment, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), Ministry of Citizenship, Culture (MCI) and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The delegation of its responsibility from the Province to the Region occurred through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the Province and the Region in the summer of 1996. The Region is bound by this agreement to fulfil specific responsibilities on behalf of the Province.
Development Staff Contacts
If you are considering a property for development, please contact Regional planning staff before submitting an application. They can tell you what information, including any special studies, you will need to provide, and whether your proposal complies with the relevant Provincial and Regional policies, legislation and regulations or if further review as to its suitability is necessary. See Greenfield and Reurbanization Area map for geographic coverage of Development Planning.
You can also find information below about:
Digital Submission Standards
All applications for Plans of Subdivision or Condominium must include copies of the Plan in the following formats:
Updated digital plans are required at several stages in the review process (draft submission, draft approval and registration) as described in the Application for Plan of Subdivision or the Application for Plan of Condominium.
The required contents of the drawing file (.dwg) are described in the Digital Plan Submission Standards for Subdivisions and Condominiums.
Digital plans must be geo-referenced in UTM coordinates. Applicants can request a copy of the Teranet parcel fabric for the subject and surrounding properties from the Region to assist in the geo-referencing of the plans. The Teranet parcel fabric will be supplied for this purpose, at no cost to the applicant, under the terms of Data License for Teranet Data for Digital Plans Submission.
Development Applications Review Process
The Region requires a pre-consultation meeting (link to by-law) prior to the submission of a Plan of Subdivision or Plan of Condominium to determine the submission requirements. Once your Application for a Plan of Subdivision or a Plan of Condominium has been submitted and is deemed complete, the Region's planning staff will review and evaluate it using criteria including:
The following flow charts detail the Region's development review process:
If your application is draft approved, you will be advised of the conditions that need to be met to obtain final approval and registration. Conditions of draft approval may include: road widenings, Record of Site Condition, noise studies and any other municipal requirements. The draft approval may also establish a time frame for the conditions to be met before the draft approval lapses. You may also be required to enter into agreements to fulfil and/or to ensure the conditions are met after the plan has been registered.
Following this decision, there is then an appeal period when you, the Minister, a municipality in which the proposed development is located and any person or public body that meets certain requirements as set out in the Planning Act, may appeal the Region's decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Once the appeal period has lapsed and if no appeals are received the Region will notify you that the approval is in effect and you can proceed to fulfil the conditions of approval, if applicable.
Registration of Plans of Subdivision and Condominium
Prior to final approval of a Plan of Subdivision or Condominium, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit a summary package briefly describing how each condition has been satisfied, including copies of the relevant agency and area municipal clearance letters and agreements to the Regional Planner responsible for the application. The summary package should be submitted with the required mylars and plans as outlined in the draft approval. The developer is also required to submit the Regional Registration Release fee in accordance with the Region's fee by-law (By-law 10-001) or as amended.
To ensure final approval prior to year end, it is the responsibility of the developer to ensure that all conditions have been satisfied and the required clearance letters, agreements, mylars, fees and any other required information or approvals have been deposited with the Regional Planner responsible for the application, no later than Dec. 15. Regional staff cannot ensure that a plan will be given final approval prior to year end where the owner has failed to submit the appropriate documentation by this date.
Together with the submission of the request to release the plan for registration, the developer is required to submit the final digital file representing the plan to be registered in accordance with the Region's Digital Submission Guidelines. Once the Regional Commissioner is satisfied all the above requirements have been satisfied the plan will be released for registration at the Registry office.
Status of Plans of Subdivisions/Condominiums in Waterloo Region
These maps show the locations of the Plan of Subdivision and Plan of Condominium in Waterloo Region. The maps are updated regularly and are colour-coded to show if a Plan is:
- Pending - Formal application and required studies have been submitted and are under review by the Region, Area Municipality and other agencies.
- Draft-approved - the Region has reviewed and given draft approval to a Plan, subject to conditions.
- Registered - When all conditions of the draft approval have been met, final approval is given and the plan of subdivision is registered in the provincial land titles or registry system.
Status of Plans (Cities)
Status of Plans (Townships)
For information regarding Plans of Subdivision and Plans of Condominium, please contact: