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.


Current and Recent Projects

Downtown Streetscape Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines

The Town of Renfrew has launched the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines project to develop a coordinated design vision to guide future works, one which enhances the existing streetscape and downtown landscape; reinvigorates the charm of Renfrew, is sensitive to the Town's heritage and character and contributes to economic growth.

We are looking to receive your input to help guide a vision for the Downtown that reflects the unique needs and character of Renfrew. Please review the Public Open House Boards and complete a Renfrew Streetscape Questionnaire.

Questionnaires can be returned to:

The Town Planner, Department of Development & Works, 613-432-8166,

Town of Renfrew Official Plan Update

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 will be undertaking the update of the Town of Renfrew Official Plan.

The Official Plan, which sets out Councils policies for the physical growth and development of the municipality, affects all lands within the Town of Renfrew.  The existing Official Plan is serving the Town well and the update is not intended to be a re-write of the document.  The update is to bring the plan into conformity with current Provincial legislation and policies and to address ‘key issues’ identified by the Town and the public.

Additional information can be obtained and any comments can be submitted by corresponding with Ivan Burton, Town Planner, Department of Development & Works, by telephone at 613-432-8166, by email at or by scheduling an appointment with him at Town Hall, 2nd Floor, 127 Raglan Street South, Renfrew, Ontario K7V 1P8, during regular office hours between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm., Monday to Friday.

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.

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.

Official Plan of the Town of Renfrew

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 you and others in your community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.

Zoning By-Law No. 46-2010

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.

Land Use Planning Applications


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.

Click here for the current land use planning application fees.

For more information, please contact the Town Planner at 613-432-8166 before you submit your application.

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 Statements.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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