Land Use Planning

Land use planning affects almost every aspect of life in Ontario. It helps decide where in our community's homes and businesses should be built; where parks and schools should be located; and where roads, sewers and other essential services should be provided. Good planning leads to orderly growth and the efficient provision of services. It touches all of us and helps us to have the kind of community we want.

The Town of Renfrew Department of Development and Works provides a broad range of policy planning and land development services.


The Development and Works Department is composed of the Director, Town Planner, and support staff, whose responsibilities include the development and administration of the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law, as well as the creation of long-range policies and guidelines for a sustainable and prosperous community.


A pre-consultation between the applicant and the municipality, prior to the submission of land use planning applications being formally submitted, is required in accordance with the policies of the Planning Act. This consultation will help ensure a complete application is submitted and provides opportunities for early feedback and information sharing on the proposed concept.

For the current land use planning application fees, please review the Fees & Changes By-Law.

Consolidated Fees & Changes By-Law

Official Plan Amendment

Any development proposal in the Town of Renfrew must conform to the Town’s Official Plan. If the proposal does not meet the requirements set out in the Official Plan, a property owner may have to apply for an Official Plan Amendment. Any changes to our Town’s Official Plan must also conform to the Provincial Policy Statement.

Official Plan Application Form

Official Plan Information Brochure

Zoning By-law Amendment

Any development proposal in the Town of Renfrew must conform to the Town’s Zoning By-law. If the proposal does not meet the requirements set out in the Zoning By-law, a property owner may have to apply for a Zoning By-law Amendment. Any changes to our Zoning By-law must also conform to the municipal official plan.

Zoning Application Form

Zoning By-Law Information Brochure

Minor Variance

A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning by-law. A minor variance may allow property owners to use their land in a way that does not comply exactly with the requirements of the Zoning By-law. It is often necessitated by circumstances peculiar to the property that prevent the owner from developing it in a way that conforms to the by-law's provisions.

Minor Variance Application Form

Minor Variance Information Brochure

Site Plan Control

Site Plan Control is a form of development control provided to municipalities by the Ontario Planning Act. In order to undertake any development that is subject to Site Plan Control, an application must be submitted to the town and may require the submission of engineering drawings and studies. Once the plans are approved, a site plan agreement is generally executed. This agreement contractually binds the owner to develop and maintain a site in accordance with the approved plans and the terms of the agreement.

Site Plan Application Form

Site Plan Information Brochure

Consent / Severance

A consent or severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. This regulation ensures controlled land development in compliance with the Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

Consent/Severance Application Form

Consernt and Serverance Information Brochure

Plans of Subdivision / Plans of Condominiums

The County of Renfrew processes and approves plans of subdivision and plans of condominium. The Town of Renfrew, however, must approve of each plan of subdivision to the County, pass any necessary Zoning By-law amendment, and enter into a subdivision agreement. A subdivision agreement is an agreement between a developer and the Town, concerning the subdivision in which your home may be located. The agreement is registered against the title of the lot and contains conditions of the approval.

A plan of Condominium is a method of dividing property so that an individual holds title to a portion of a building, or a "unit", as well as a share of the rest of the property that is common to all the individual unit owners. A Condominium can apply to residential, commercial or industrial properties.

The Applications for a Plans of Subdivision / Condominium are done through the County of Renfrew. To get an application form please see the County of Renfrew.

County of Renfrew - Planning Department

Part-Lot Control Approval

Part-Lot Control is a provision that regulates the sale or transfer of a part of a lot within a registered plan of subdivision. Municipalities use part lot control to prevent the possible uncontrolled division of lots within a plan of subdivision after the plan has been registered. A property owner may apply for Part-Lot Control Exemption in order to legally divide his or her lot, or lots, within a registered plan of subdivision. The proposed lot division must not require new roads or municipal services.

Part-Lot Control Application Form

Part-Lot Control Information Brochure

Encroachment Agreement

An encroachment agreement is a legal agreement between a property owner or tenant and the Town which allows the proponent to maintain an encroachment on, over or under a Town owned road allowance or other Town owned property. An encroachment agreement is required to temporarily occupy the Town’s right of way for various activities. These permits ensure safety measures are in place to protect the public, and, to ensure the safety of pedestrian and vehicular movement.

Encroachment Application Form

Downtown Seasonal Encroachment Guidelines

Acknowledgement and Waiver - Minor Encroachments

Pursuant to Section 26 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER P.13, the Town of Renfrew with the consulting services of the Department of Development and Property of the County of Renfrew have undertaken the update of the Town of Renfrew Official Plan with its adoption in January 2018.

An Official Plan is a statutory document which sets out the land use policy directions for long-term growth and development in a municipality. It is prepared with input from residents and others in the community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.  The Official Plan sets out Council's policies for the physical growth and development of the municipality and affects all lands within the Town of Renfrew.

Official Plan

Official Plan Schedule 'A'

Official Plan Appendix 'A' - Hazards and Natural Features

Official Plan Appendix 'B' - Infrastructure Map

Renfrew Downtown Parking Needs Study

The Town of Renfrew retained WSP in 2017 to undertake a parking needs study for the Renfrew Downtown area, with the objectives of understanding the existing parking utilization of Renfrew’s downtown, providing interim recommendations for parking accommodation during the reconstruction of Raglan Street South, and providing longer term recommendations for the provision of a downtown parking supply that can accommodate future demands.

This report provides an overview of the methodology for measuring downtown Renfrew’s parking utilization, and a summary of recommended improvements for continuing to accommodate an adequate parking supply in the downtown area.

Renfrew Downtown Parking Needs Study

Downtown Streetscape Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines

The Town of Renfrew has adopted a Downtown Streetscape Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines which coordinates a design vision to guide future works, to enhance the existing streetscape and downtown landscape; to reinvigorate the charm of Renfrew and is sensitive to the Town's heritage and character as well as contributes to economic growth.

Need more information? Contact Town Planner Eric Withers by telephone at (613)432-8166 or by email at

Downtown Streetscape Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines

Community Improvement Plan

A Community Improvement Plan is a tool to facilitate revitalization, redevelopment and beautification in defined areas of the Town. Financial incentives may be implemented through a Community Improvement Plan, including grants and/or loans for building facade improvements, commercial signage improvements, landscaping improvements, Brownfield (contaminated property) redevelopment and other matters as may be identified through this study.

Additionally, the Town can prioritize other municipally-led revitalization projects under a Community Improvement Plan, such as streetscape improvements.

Community Improvement Plan

Community Improvement Plan - Project Area

Community Improvement Plan - Application Form

Interested individuals are required to set up a pre-application consultation meeting with the Department of Development and Works in order to discuss your project eligibility, application requirements, scope of work, project timing and to obtain assistance for filling out the application form.

The Zoning By-law governs the use of all lands, buildings and structures in the Town of Renfrew. The Zoning By-law outlines how land and buildings may be used, where buildings and other structures may be located, and what constraints may be applicable to the development of a particular property (i.e. parking requirements, lot coverage, density, etc.).

The policies and mandates of the Official Plan are implemented through the Zoning By-law.

Zoning By-Law No. 46-2010

Zoning By-Law No. 46-2010 Schedule 'A'

Development charges are one-time fees levied by municipalities on new residential and non-residential development to help pay for a portion of the growth-related capital infrastructure requirements. Development charges are calculated and are payable at the building permit stage. The Development Charges By-law sets out the rates for various development types and the phasing-in of new charges each year in accordance with the by-law schedules.