Official Plan & Zoning By-law

Ancaster - Existing Residential “ER” Zone

Pilot project - Building new homes in Ancaster's mature neighbourhoods

Council directed staff to review the Existing Residential “ER” Zone in Ancaster to determine how to manage the building of new residential homes in mature areas. Review a map of the Existing ER Zones in Ancaster (PDF, 4 MB)

How to determine if a property is located in the Existing Residential “ER” Zone? Visit the City’s interactive Zoning mapping application, enter an Ancaster address and select the zoning layer. 

Ancaster is one of many communities facing change where larger homes are replacing smaller ones that were built decades before.  Mature neighbourhoods are different from new growth areas such as the Meadowlands, not only in the character of the neighbourhood, but also in how development is regulated.

In consultation with the Ancaster community, a pilot project for the “ER” Zone has been developed, consisting of a series of changes to the regulations of the “ER” Zone. Zoning By-law regulations establish an as-of-right building envelope that guides development or redevelopment on individual properties. 

The changes to the regulations are not intended to remove the flexibility of land owners when building new homes or additions, or to control design or building materials. The changes are intended to provide a more sensitive integration of new construction within mature neighbourhoods.

In addition to the changes to the regulations, the pilot project has expanded the site plan approval process to include all properties located in the “ER” Zone. Site plans address a number of matters including but not limited to building locations, grading, elevations, site access and site circulation, tree preservation and landscaping. For properties in the “ER” Zone, the site plan approval process is intended to address grading, elevational changes of a property as it relates to grading, and tree preservation. Only certain types of development in the “ER” Zone are subject to site plan approval.

Changes to the Existing Residential “ER” Zone

Changes to Zoning Regulations:

  • Modify the regulations for maximum lot coverage, front yard setback, side yard setback, rear yard setback, and maximum height of a principal dwelling
  • Introduce new regulations for garage location (projection) and second storey projections

Changes to Site Plan Control By-law No. 15-176:

  • Properties zoned Existing Residential “ER” Zone are subject to Site Plan Control to address:
    • Grading
    • Elevational changes of a property as it relates to grading
    • Tree preservation
  • However, an application for Site Plan Approval is only required for certain types of development in the Existing Residential “ER” Zone.  

For full details on the types of development that are subject to Site Plan Control, refer to By-law No. 21-069 (PDF, 13 KB). Visit Site Plan Approvals for more information on the site plan approval process.


  • Site Plan Control By-law: Site Plan Control By-law No. 15-176, was amended by By-law No. 18-104 (PDF, 4.9 MB) and By-law No. 21-069 (PDF, 13 KB), for lands located in the Existing Residential “ER” Zone in Ancaster. 
  • LPAT dismissed the appeal of By-law No. 18-015 by order of the Tribunal (PDF, 634 KB). As of July 11, 2019, By-law No. 18-105 (PDF, 2 MB) is in effect in its entirety.
  • Appealed to LPAT: By-law No. 18-105 to amend the Town of Ancaster Zoning By-law No. 87-57 to implement new regulations for the Existing Residential “ER” Zone, was subsequently appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). 
  • Council Meeting April 25, 2018: City Council passed By-law No. 18-104 (PDF, 5 MB) and By-law No. 18-105 to amend the Town of Ancaster Zoning By-law No. 87-57 and to amend Site Plan Control By-law No. 15-176, to implement the changes to the regulations of the Existing Residential “ER” Zone and to expand Site Plan Control to include properties in the “ER” Zone.

Discussion Paper (PDF, 3 MB) intended as a primer on the changes to the Existing Residential “ER” Zone in Ancaster. The paper contains information about:

  • Data analysis on lot characteristics, recent development activity, and approved minor variances in the “ER” Zone since January 2012
  • Identifies options for modifying the “ER” Zone regulations and describes the option ultimately selected
  • Presents illustrations of the changes to the “ER” Zone regulations

Public Information Sessions
Held September 26, 2016
Discussed the Zoning By-law options available to protect the character of the mature residential areas in Ancaster and manage the change as new development occurs.
Display panels (PDF, 5 MB) | Presentation (PDF, 807 KB)

Contact us

Alana Fulford, Planner
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext. 4771
Email: [email protected]