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Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review

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Community Open House

The Town along with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) held a Community Open House on September 11, 2019. 

The presentations from the Open House are available below:

A summary of Public Comments and Responses from the Open House is now available: 

The 1,000 acres of public lands are no longer being considered to be rezoned to Environmental Protection (EP) as part of the Zoning By-law Update: 


At its meeting held on July 16, 2019 the Council of the Town of East Gwillimbury requested that a Community Open House be held to provide further education and additional information with respect to updates to the Town’s Zoning By-law. In addition, Council invited representatives from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) to speak about the LSRCA’s mandate, role, responsibilities, mapping and appeal of the Town’s Zoning By-law. The Town  also invited the Province to discuss the ongoing Provincial Policy Statement Review, however no formal response was received

Zoning By-law Information

1. In 1997, Town Council approved the Town’s Zoning By-law, which included 2,600 acres of environmentally protected lands.

2. In 2000-2005, the Province introduced a variety of plans to regulate land use in Ontario including:

  • a. The Greenbelt - Covers 75 per cent of the Town’s lands, or approximately 47,000 acres. This restricted severances (creation of new lots) and imposed significant restrictions on any new development. 
  • b. Oak Ridges Moraine -Covers approximately 12,350 acres in East Gwillimbury. This area is located within the Greenbelt lands and imposes higher restrictions on lands located within this area. 

3. Following the 1954 hurricane, the Conservation Authorities across Ontario introduced extensive floodplain and regulatory mapping. This placed restrictions on construction/development within these areas. Within East Gwillimbury these lands include 26,400 acres. 

4. In 2010, the Town adopted a consolidated Official Plan, which underwent an extensive public process. The Official Plan included a variety of studies including a study on Natural Heritage (environmental) Systems, which identified approximately 25,000 acres as potential Natural Heritage (Environmental) lands.

5. In March 2015, the Town began a review of the 1997 Zoning By-law.  Six drafts in total were provided for the publics, stakeholders and Council’s review over the next three years. This included six public meetings/open houses. 

6. Town Council approved the Town’s updated Zoning By-law on May 1, 2018. The by-law maintained the private property environmental protection boundaries from the 1997 Zoning By-law. This ensured that any permissions allowed under the existing by-law were maintained and no restrictions were added to private property.

7. The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) appealed the Town’s By-law to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The basis of the LSRCA appeal is that a significant portion of private lands within the Town should be zoned EP to conform to the Town’s Official Plan.

8. Subsequent to the appeal, an initial LPAT hearing was held. Town staff met with the interested parties and retained expert external planning/legal assistance to ensure the 1997 private property EP zoning was maintained. 

9. On July 16, 2019, staff presented proposed administrative updates to the Zoning By-law. Based on advice from external planning and legal experts, and senior staff at the Town, the proposed updates will ensure conformity with the Town’s 2010 Official Plan. These will:

  • a. Maintain 1997 private property zoning 
  • b. Ensure the protection of public lands 
  • c. For full transparency for property owners, to ensure they are aware of any external agency regulations on their property, the by-law will include schedules related to the Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine, and other external agency regulated lands. 

10. Also at the July 16, 2019 meeting, Council requested a public Open House be held to discuss the Town’s Zoning By-law, the LSRCA’s regulations and mandate, and that the Province be invited to discuss the Provincial Policy Statement. This meeting will be held September 11, 2019 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Canada Hall in the Sports Complex.

11. Subsequent to the Open House, the Town proposes to bring forward the updated Zoning By-law to Council. External expert planning and legal advice, in conjunction with senior Town staff, propose the following:

  • a. The updated information in the by-law is administrative and as such will not be subject to appeal.
  • b. In staff’s opinion, the Zoning By-law will be in conformity with the Town’s Official Plan and the appeal no longer required, and as such the LSRCA will be requested to withdraw their appeal to the LPAT. 
  • c. Town staff will contact the LPAT to advise that a hearing is not required.

What is a Zoning By-law?

A zoning by-law controls the use of land in your community and states:

  • how land may be used and what the permitted uses are
  • where buildings and structures can be located 
  • the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used
  • the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, buildings heights and setbacks from the street and property lines.

For more information on zoning by-laws in general, please visit our Zoning By-laws page.


The Town undertook a process to gather feedback from the public and external stakeholders to update the Town’s Zoning By-Law and replace the previous By-law put in place in 1997.

To see the comprehensive timeline and background information of this project please see the Background Information section listed below.

Approval of New Comprehensive Zoning By-law

Town Council approved the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law on May 15, 2018.

The new by-law regulates land use and development within the Town and applies to all lands within the Town of East Gwillimbury. 

On September 7, 2018, the LPAT issued an administrative order bringing the Town's Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2018-043 in full force and effect for all lands that are not otherwise within the scope of the appeals received.

Environmental Protection Zone

Council unanimously voted that the Environmental Protection (EP) Zone would maintain the EP zone boundaries from the previous 1997 Zoning By-Law. This would mean that lands that were previously zoned Rural (RU) would maintain all permitted uses previously allowed in the 1997 By-law.

Appeals to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)

Portions of the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2018-043, as amended by By-law 2018-065, have been appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). There are four appeals to the By-law remaining, including three property specific appeals and an appeal related to lands proposed to be zoned "Environmental Protection" by Town staff in April 2018. A June 19, 2018 Committee of the Whole Council memo helps to outline the appeals filed.

As part of the appeal process through the LPAT, a Case Management Conference has been scheduled for December 11, 2018.  A Case Management Conference provides the LPAT an opportunity to identify parties and participants, narrow the issues, identify facts, and provide directions for disclosure of information.

You can learn more about Case Management Conference’s in the LPAT’s Appeal Guide. This helpful guide discusses all the FAQ’s related to Case Management Conference’s starting on page 10.

Town-wide Environmental Protection Zone Appeal

A Town-wide appeal was received from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) relating to the proposed Environmental Protection zone. The LSRCA’s appeal is requesting that the Environmental Protection zone mapping be applied to the lands proposed to be zoned Environmental Protection by Town staff in the April 2018 draft By-law. Please see the maps below:

How you can get involved

Request party or participant status. Written notice is required by November 13, 2018. Please see page 10 in the LPAT Appeal’s Guide to learn more about this process and the Notice of Case Management Conference for full details on how to submit notice.

If you would like to stay apprised of the appeal process, but not be an active party or participant you may attend the Case Management Conference on December 11. It is open to the public and anyone can attend and watch.

Where you can go for help

If you have further questions regarding the Zoning By-Law please contact the Town.

Background Information

Background Paper

In March 2015, Council received a Background Paper completed by Meridian Planning Consultants, which helped to identify options with respect to structure, format and appearance of the Zoning By-law, as well as identification of specific issues and topic areas.

Draft Zoning By-law - 1st Draft (Fall 2016)

The 1st Draft Zoning By-law was presented to Committee of the Whole Council on September 7, 2016. 

Draft Zoning By-law - 2nd Draft (May 2017)

The 2nd Draft Zoning By-law was presented to Committee of the Whole Council on June 6, 2017. 

Draft Zoning By-law - 3rd Draft (November 2017)

The 3rd draft was presented to Committee of the Whole Council on November 21, 2017. 

Draft Zoning By-law - 4th Draft (March 2018)

The 4th draft was presented to Committee of the Whole Council on April 4, 2018, with a staff report recommending Council approval. 

Draft Zoning By-law - 5th Draft (April 2018)

In response to Committee of the Whole Council direction on April 4, 2018, staff made some revisions to the Zoning By-law. A staff report recommending Council approval of the revised Zoning By-law was received by Council on May 1, 2018.

Draft Zoning By-law - 6th Draft (May 2018)

In response to Council direction on May 1, 2018, staff made some revisions to the Zoning By-law with respect to the proposed Environmental Protection Zone. This 6th draft was presented to Council for a decision on May 15, 2018.

Public Consultation

In order to assist the Town with its review of the Zoning By-law, Town staff will be engaged Council, the community and key stakeholders to obtain feedback and comments on zoning matters of interest. The Town hosted the following public consultation sessions: