General Planning Information

General Planning Information

The Planning Department is responsible for all Development Review and Land Use Policy within the Township of Southgate.

What is “PLANNING”?

Planning means the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities (Canadian Institute of Planners,

The municipal planning process is governed by a hierarchy of legislation, regulations, planning policies, guidelines, standards and in some cases common law. This hierarchy includes the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement (2005), County of Grey Official Plan and the Southgate Official Plan among other legislative requirements.

Thinking of Developing your Property?

If you are thinking of severing a lot, changing a use (such as adding a commercial use), or changing a building on your property which does not conform to the zoning by-law, you will need to speak with the Planning Department.

Development Review includes pre-consultation of potential planning applications. Those considering a planning application are encouraged to consult early with staff and you should be aware that pre-consultation prior to submitting an application is required. Pre-consultation can save you time and money in the long run. Staff are able to assist you with your application to ensure you are well aware of the process, required information and timing before you pay any required fees.

Examples of applications processed:

  • Zoning By-law Amendments
  • Temporary Use Zoning Amendment (ex. Garden Suite)
  • Minor Variances
  • Southgate Official Plan amendments
  • Consents (severance of land, lot line adjustment etc.)
  • Site Plan Approval
  • Draft Plans of Subdivision

Who to Contact:

  • For general Planning Information, severances, development proposals and planning applications  - Contact the Municipal Planner
  • For zoning and zoning compliance, building permits, septic - Contact the Chief Building Inspector (CBO)

See the Contact Us page for contact information

**PLEASE NOTE** When dropping into the office with planning applications they will need to be commissioned. Please visit our Commissioner of Oaths page for more information. 

Looking for Specific Planning Documents and Policies?

 You should also be aware of the following Planning Related documents and legislation: (external links)

 Other Useful Land Use and Planning Information

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Land Use Planning Info (

Ministry of municipal Affairs Citizen’s Guides:

Environment and Land Tribunals 
(ex. Ontario Municipal Board, Conservation Review Board, Assessment  etc.)

Special Projects

The Planning Department is currently working on two special projects:

Community Improvement Plan (CIP)
Community Improvement Planning is related both to planning and to economic development, most often used as a tool for Community Revitalization.
Community Improvement Planning allows municipalities to:

  • focus public attention on local priorities and municipal initiatives
  • target areas in transition or in need of repair, rehabilitation & redevelopment
  • facilitate and encourage community change in a co-ordinated manner
  • stimulate private sector investment through municipal incentive-based programs
Often, the Downtown Core is the focus of a CIP, but Brownfields redevelopment, parks and public spaces, accessibility planning, heritage, and other exceptions related to the Municipal Act Section 106 (Bonusing) are powerful tools now provided for under Part IV of the Planning Act through community improvement planning.
These tools allow a municipality with a CIP to provide bonuses to land owners which meet the required criteria or engage in certain processes. Bonuses include programs such as tax cancellation, grants, loans, and so on. How a municipality intends to use these tools must be found in the CIP document and adopted by Council.
Community Improvement Planning requires a significant amount of community engagement – to scope, design and develop the plan. 
At this time, a Community Improvement Plan focusing on the Downtown area of Dundalk has commenced. Staff are currently organizing a citizens task force, made up of business owners and residents to assist with the design of the project.
This project has a timeline of 6 months to complete, including amending the Official Plan to allow for such a project.
All information on this website is provided as a public resource of general information. Every effort is made to ensure that the documents on this website are accurate and contain the latest amendments; however, the Township of Southgate does not guarantee or accept any responsibility for accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of information provided here.