Welcome to the Township of Drummond/North Elmsley’s Planning Department

The Planning Department is there to help guide the way the Township grows and is responsible for ensuring the orderly development of both the rural areas and our hamlets.  Land use planning is a process which ensures that land and resources are effectively managed and that growth occurs in a manner in which the community desires.  The planning process is governed by the Province’s Planning Act and it is the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law which are the daily tools we use to promote attractive and sustainable development while limiting negative impacts on people, neighbors and the environment.  This site has been developed with a focus on providing you with information on the most common planning matters and does not reflect a summary of all matters governed under the Planning Act.

What is an Official Plan?   

Drummond/North Elmsley’s Official Plan is the key planning policy document that guides development in the Township and is a statement about where and how development should take place now and into the future. The Plan defines generalized land use designations including “Rural”, “Hamlet”, “Wetland”, “Agriculture” and others, as well as policies governing all uses of land. The Official Plan reflects the community’s values regarding development and is adopted by Council and approved by the Province (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing). All planning applications must meet the policies of the Official Plan.  On July 25th 2012 the Township’s new Official Plan came into effect once the Ministry’s approval was finalized.

Official Plan Text 
Official Plan Mapping Schedule A - Land Use Designations in the Township
Official Plan Mapping Schedule B - Constraints Plan

What is a Zoning By-Law?

The Township’s Zoning By-law is the main tool that implements the policies of the Official Plan and it contains the current rules and regulations that guide a specific property’s use.  All new development and land uses must comply with the provisions of the Zoning By-Law.  This By-Law contains specific land use provisions “zones” and outlines what uses are permitted within each zone, including all lot requirements (minimum setbacks, maximum lot coverage, etc) as well as general building provisions that apply to all lands in the Township

DNE Zoning By-law
Zoning By-law Map

When do I need to talk to a Planner?

Before starting any development, especially one that changes the use of a property, it is important to talk to the Township’s Planner to ensure that the use is permitted in the Zoning By-Law and meets the policies of the Official Plan.  It is also a good idea to contact the Planning Department if you have recently purchased or plan to purchase a business or home, or are looking to start a business in your home, to ensure that you have the relevant property information.  The Planning Department works with the Building Department to ensure that all applications comply with the applicable regulations and that a high quality of life is maintained for all residents.

Who do I Contact?- William Wood

Office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in person and residents are encouraged to make an appointment for planning related questions.  Please call (613) 267-6500, ext. 230 or by email at

Information on Planning Applications

Zoning By-Law Amendments

Generally required to recognize a change in land use or allow development that does not meet the current zoning but complies with the intent of the Official Plan.

Zoning By-Law Application

Checklist - Zoning Amendment

Official Plan Amendments

Required when a proposal does not meet the policies or designations of the Township’s Official Plan.

OPA  Application

Minor Variances

Available to provide relief to property owners from Zoning By-Law requirements they may otherwise be unable to comply with.  Proposal must otherwise meet the intent of the Zoning By-Law and Official Plan, be desirable and appropriate for the neighbourhood and be minor.  Applications are considered by the Township’s Committee of Adjustment.

Minor Variance Application
Checklist - Minor Variance application

Site Plan Control

Is a site specific process that is generally required for more complex development (commercial, industrial, multiple unit residential, etc) and for any development in or near environmentally sensitive areas or along the Rideau corridor. The site plan control agreement is registered on title and is intended to guide development on a  site to ensure its compatibility with surrounding land uses.

Site Plan Application
Checklist - Site Plan Control
Township’s Site Plan By-Law

Consents and Subdivisions

All division of land must be approved, either through the consent process (normally three or fewer new lots) or through plan of subdivision (four or more new lots).  The Lanark County Land Division Committee is the approval authority for consents and subdivisions in the Township, although applicants are required to pre-consult with the Township to ensure that planning concerns are addressed.

Consent Application Form
Subdivision Application Form

Planning Fees

Most planning applications are processed on a cost recovery basis where the final cost to the applicant equals the Township’s costs in processing the file.  Planning Fees for 2015 are as follows:

Planning Fees                                    Fees

Official Plan Copy $30.00
Zoning Bylaw Copy $30.00
Mailing List $35.00
Consent Proposal Review Fee $250.00

Plan of Subdivision

Full Cost Recovery

Official Plan Amendment

Full Cost Recovery

Zoning By-Law Amendment

Full Cost Recovery

Site Plan Agreement

Full Cost Recovery

Minor Variance Deposit


Full Cost Recovery

Zoning Compliance $50.00

Other Planning Agreements

Full Cost Recovery

Inspection by other departments $50.00
Planning Site Inspections not included elsewhere $50.00

Road Closure Application

Deposit $4,000.00
Full Cost Recovery

Lifting a Holding Zone

Full Cost Recovery

Deeming By-law

Full Cost Recovery


Planning some work on your waterfront property?

Tariff of Fees By-Law

Suggested Links

Mississippi Valley Conservation Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Ontario Municipal Board 
Lanark Registry Office Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit