Planning and Development

Planning and Development

The Township of Zorra is taking steps to support our community's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) and measures taken by Southwestern Public Health. We are monitoring our operations daily to ensure we are taking the right actions to protect our residents, employees and visitors. Visit our COVID-19 page for regular updates.


Planning Services

Planning Services are provided by the Office of Community and Strategic Planning under the Clerk's Department at the County of Oxford.  A Planner is assigned to the Township and is responsible for providing professional planning advice and recommendations on all types of planning applications, including:

Type of Planning Application Application Fee Additional Fees & Information
Official Plan Amendment See OP fees on County of Oxford website.
Zone Change Amendment $1500.00 Special fees in place for zone change applications requiring Official Plan Amendments, as well as applications requesting Aggregate Industrial (ME) Quarry Industrial (MQ) and Disposal Industrial (MD) zones. See full fee details on County of Oxford website. Additional $150.00 Oxford County Public Works Review fee (2021).
Consent (Severance) See Consent fees on County of Oxford website.
Draft Plan of Subdivision See Subdivision fees on County of Oxford website.
Site Plan Control $400.00 $2,000.00 deposit required at time of application. Additional $500.00 Oxford County Public Works Review fee (2021). $250.00 for Site plan amendment applications.
Minor Variance $600.00 $650.00 if MDS required with Minor Variance application. Additional $100.00 Oxford County Public Works Review fee (2021).

The Township’s Planner holds weekly office hours at the Municipal office as well at at the County of Oxford. The Planner can be reached by phone at 519-539-9800 ext 3205.

For further information on planning services, please visit the County of Oxford, Office of Community and Strategic Planning website.

Review the Planning fees for Oxford County.

Design Guidelines

The design guidelines and associated recommendations in this document are the result of a study completed by MHBC Planning on behalf of the Township of Zorra and County of Oxford. The purpose for developing the guidelines was to establish comprehensive design direction and related implementation guidance for the Township of Zorra to assist in:

• the implementation of Provincial and Official Plan policies relating to such matters as the promotion of efficient land use and development patterns, the creation of strong, liveable and healthy communities and the protection of the environment and public health and safety; and

• achieving a high quality standard of urban design throughout the Township.

You can download a copy of the design guidelines here (large file size).

Citizens' Guides to Land-Use Planning

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has developed a series of Citizen Guides to Land-Use Planning.  These guides are user-friendly and provide helpful information about Ontario's planning system.  You can view or download copies of the guides here.

Design and Construction Standards

These Servicing Standards provide for the standardization of the design and construction of roads, storm sewers, and lot grading in the Township of Zorra. These standards shall be used in the design and construction of the above-mentioned services. Deviations from these
standards will be acceptable only under unusual circumstances and shall be approved in writing by the Township's Engineer. Notwithstanding any provision of the Design and Construction Standards for the Township of Zorra, these design and Construction Standards may not apply to capital works undertaken by the Township on existing municipal infrastructure designed or constructed to previous standards.

For developments prepared subject to these guidelines, the Developer shall retain a Professional Engineer, licensed in the Province of Ontario, for design and preparation of Contract Drawings, Specifications and Reports.

These standards shall apply to all design and construction projects after land use planning approvals have been finally granted and the proposed development shall comply with the applicable Official Plan policies, Zoning By-law regulations, subdivision and consent approvals and site plan as required for the site. These design and construction submissions may fulfill conditions of approval related to these planning approvals.

Click here to view the Design and Construction Standards document.

Minor Changes

If your proposed change doesn't conform exactly to the zoning by-law, but follows its general intent, you can apply for a minor variance.  For example, you might want to locate something on your property but the shape of your lot won't let you meet the minimum setback. 

To obtain a minor variance, you will have to apply to your local committee of adjustment appointed by Council to deal with minor problems in meeting by-law standards.  A minor variance does not change a zoning by-law.  It simply excuses you from a specific requirement of the by-law and allows you to obtain a building permit. 

Please visit the Minor Variances page in the Planning & Development section of this website for further information and to access a copy of the Minor Variance Application Form.  

For further information, please contact the Township Planner.

Zoning By-law & Amendments Comments

If you have concerns or comments about a proposed zoning by-law or amendment that may affect you, you should: 

  • find out as much as possible about the proposed by-law and how it affects your property
  • go to the public meeting and give your opinions
  • discuss the proposal with municipal staff and Council members
  • write to your Council member or municipal clerk

If Councillors knows about your concerns early in the process, they can try to take them into account before passing the by-law.  Please see the listing of municipal staff and council members under the "Our Township" tab of this website.