Planning Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there City grants available to help repair historic homes?

    Owners of a designated heritage property may apply for up to $3,000 to assist with restoration of designated features.Categories: Planning

  • Can I change the zoning of my property?

    A land owner may apply to change the zoning of their property provided it complies with the Official Plan.Categories: Planning

  • Can I cut down trees on my property?

    Forested lands of one half acre or more within the urban area and of two and one half acres outside of the urban area may require a permit from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. They control the cutting of larger forested areas through a permit system. If you have questions with respect to the possible cutting of trees, you are encouraged to contact the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.Categories: Planning

  • Can I divide my property into 2 lots. What are the steps involved?

    The severing or dividing of property within the urban areas boundaries of the City is generally encouraged on full municipal services. Large urban lots can potentially be severed on full municipal services providing lots have frontage on a municipal road and are properly zoned. If there is an opportunity for multiple properties to be created, it is encouraged by a plan of subdivision process. If you wish to inquire about severing your property, please contact the Planning, Building and Development Department.Categories: Planning

  • How do I find out if my home is Historic?

    The City maintains a list of "heritage designated" and "listed" properties. Please contact the Planning, Building and Development Department if you believe your property may be a heritage property.Categories: Planning

  • How do I get a sign for my business?

    Please refer to Sign Bylaw 2021-24 which guides the location and size of signs by District in the City. Application for a sign permit can be made through Building Services.

    Categories: Building, Planning

  • How long does it take to process a zoning by-law amendment?

    Once a complete application is submitted, a rezoning can occur within 4-6 months depending on the complexity of any issues. The rezoning process requires a pre-consultation meeting with Planning staff, completed application and fee. Planning staff will circulate the completed application for review and prepare a report to Council for a decision.Categories: Planning

  • I wish to build an addition onto my home. What should I do?

    Before you prepare any plans, you should call the Senior Zoning Administrator in Planning or the Residential Plan Examiner in Building Division.Categories: Planning

  • There are wetlands on my property. What does this mean? Does it restrict me from developing my property?

    Wetlands are established by the Province as land to be protected because of their ecological value. Such lands are protected through their designation in the City's Official Plan and zone in the zoning by-law.Categories: Planning

  • What happens if there are objections to my zoning by-law amendment?

    Anyone can appeal an amendment to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB will schedule a hearing, receive planning evidence and make a decision on the appeal.Categories: Planning

  • What if I don't meet the requirements of the zoning of my property, should I be concerned?

    The zoning and use of property should be in conformity with each other. There are situations for small differences that one could apply for a variance to the by-law through the City's Committee of Adjustment.Categories: Planning

  • What is an Official Plan and how does that relate to zoning?

    An Official Plan is a document that is adopted by Council and approved by the Region to guide the future development within the City. It identifies various land use designations such as residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and open space areas. Zoning must conform with the Official Plan.Categories: Planning

  • When building a detached garage, how far do I have to be from the property line?

    This will depend on the zoning of your property, as well as whether your property is an interior or exterior lot.

    Please contact the Planning Department at 905-356-7521 ext. 4235 or [email protected]

    Categories: Building, Planning

  • When do I need a site plan?

    A site plan is required for new commercial, industrial, institutional and larger scale residential development. A site plan includes a building layout drawing, parking area, and proposed landscaping, etc.Categories: Planning

  • When do I need to pay development charges and how do I find out how much I need to pay?

    Development charges are required to be paid at the building permit stage for new development to the Region, City, and School Board (where applicable). The applicable rates by type of development can be found on the following links:

    City of Niagara Falls Development Charges

    Niagara Region Development Charges

    Education Development Charges

    Categories: Building, Planning

  • Where can I find out about affordable housing?

    Affordable Housing is administered by Niagara Regional Housing  Please visit their contact us webpage for contact information or call 905-682-9201.

    Categories: Building, Planning

  • Why didn't I get notice of the Public Meeting, but my neighbour did?

    Staff is required to follow the circulation notice for public meetings in accordance to the requirements of the Planning Act. The Planning Act requires the circulation of notice to all properties owners within 120 metres (approximately 400 feet) for rezoning and 60 metres (approximately 200 feet) for a variance. A sign is also posted on the property for those who do not receive an individual notice.Categories: Planning