Planning a Community

Pleasantview Area Land Use Study

Decorative banner for Pleasantview Area Land Use Study

Interim Control By-law 20-186 Repealed

On September 29, 2021 City Council passed By-law 21-169 (PDF, 13 KB), a by-law to repeal interim Control By-law 20-186, as amended. With the passing of this by-law the Interim Control By-law 20-186 is repealed and no longer in-effect.

As a result of the Ministry’s September 10, 2021 Order to include the Pleasantview Survey Lands within the Area of Development Control, under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, future Development Permits will be issued by the Niagara Escarpment Commission and must conform to the policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan, which supersedes the City’s Zoning by-laws. Municipal Zoning By-laws have no effect in the Area of Development Control. Accordingly, the City’s Interim Control By-law was repealed at the September 29, 2021 City Council meeting.

The Pleasantivew Area has been added to
The Niagara Escarpment Commission Area of Development Control

On September 10, 2021 Ontario Regulation 826 under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act has been amended to now include within the Area of Development Control the Pleasant View Survey lands located in the City of Hamilton. All new development in the Pleasantview Area will now require a Development Permit from the Niagara Escarpment Commission unless exempt. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Any new development in the Pleasantview Area will now require a Development Permit from the Niagara Escarpment Commission unless exempt. Residents need to contact the Niagara Escarpment Commission with questions related to Development Permits. View more information on NEC Development Permits

A Niagara Escarpment Development Permit is similar to a municipal building permit. The difference is that a Niagara Escarpment Development Permit considers the impact of a development proposal on the Escarpment landscape and natural environment. The objective is to design and situate development in an environmentally compatible way.

Anything defined as “development” and not considered an exception under Ontario Regulation 828. Examples of development that required a Development Permit include:

  • proposals for new single dwellings or additions/renovations to them;
  • infrastructure including roads and pipelines;
  • quarries;
  • sand and gravel pits;
  • lot creation;
  • agriculture including on-farm diversified uses and agriculture-related uses and the establishment of wineries;
  • irrigation or recreational ponds;
  • altering the grade of land including the importation of excess soil;
  • changes in the use of any land, building or structure; and,
  • special events including any associated temporary signs, parking areas, buildings or structures.

Please reach out to Niagara Escarpment Commission Staff to confirm if your development proposal requires a Development Permit.

Development that would typically require a municipal building permit in the City would still be required to obtain a building permit through the City, although this may only be issued after a Development Permit has been obtained from the NEC. Learn more about what types of development require a municipal building permit.

An example of this would be a proposal for a new single detached dwelling. The proponent would first be required to submit for and successfully obtain a Niagara Escarpment Development Permit from the Niagara Escarpment Commission. Following the issuance of a NEC Development Permit, the owner would be required to submit for and obtain a municipal building permit from the City of Hamilton in the normal manner.

Under the Niagara Escarpment and Development Act and Ontario Regulation 826, municipal zoning by-laws have no effect in areas under NEC Development Control. This means that municipal zoning ordinances are not considered applicable law when a development permit is issued. However, existing zoning can be used for reference and is often used by the City for commenting on NEC Development Permit Applications. The City’s zoning must conform to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan, which in turn, must conform to the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

As the Zoning By-law is not in effect in areas under Development Control, land use is derived from the policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the City’s Rural Hamilton Official Plan. In the case of Pleasantview; Section 2.2.21 of the Niagara Escarpment Plan contains specific guidance on uses that are permitted within the Pleasantivew Area.

The City is still proceeding with an update to the City’s Zoning By-law and Rural Hamilton Official Plan to bring the policy and regulatory framework in Pleasantview into conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans and policies. Although the Zoning will no longer have effect in the Pleasantview Area, it is still useful for reference and may be used when the City provides comments on NEC Development Permit applications. The Rural Hamilton Official Plan is also a helpful policy guidance document in the Pleasantview Area. Furthermore, many Niagara Escarpment Plan policies require that proposed development conforms to the policies of local official plans, accordingly it is important that the Rural Hamilton Official Plan is up-to-date and in conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans. It is also important that the lands be brought into the Rural Hamilton Official Plan so that the most up-to-date policy guidance applies to the lands.

Updating the Zoning By-law and Rural Hamilton Official Plan for the Pleasantview Area will also ensure policy and regulatory consistency among Provincial and local level documents.

Any applications that were submitted before the lands were placed into NEC Development Control will now require a Development Permit from the NEC. Please contact the NEC for more information on Development Permit requirements.

Draft Zoning By-law & Official Plan Amendment By-law

The Pleasantivew Area Draft Zoning By-law and Official Plan Amendment By-law are ready for review. These planning instruments serve to implement the recommendations of the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study.

Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment

The Draft Official Plan Amendment formally brings the lands into the Rural Hamilton Official Plan, while also amending the text of the existing Special Policy Area A - Pleasantview to ensure conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans, predominantly the Niagara Escarpment Plan. The Draft Official Plan Amendment also serves to provide some minor updates to the City’s Natural Heritage System in the Pleasantview Area, based on the latest available data. Lastly, the extent of the Special Policy Area A - Pleasantview has been amended to align with the extent of the Niagara Escarpment Plan’s Special Policy Area for Pleasantview (Section 2.2.21 of the NEP).

Zoning By-law Amendment

The Draft Zoning By-law Amendment removes the zoning for the lands from the Dundas Zoning By-law 3581-86 and places the lands into the City’s comprehensive Zoning by-law 05-200. The Draft Zoning By-law generally carries forward the existing zoning framework from the former Town of Dundas By-law, while also updating it to ensure conformity with the proposed Draft Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment (see Draft OPA), which is accomplished through a series of Special Exceptions. The Draft Zoning By-law Amendment also implements zones that recognizes the City’s Natural Heritage System in the Rural Hamilton Official Plan.

Provide your comments

Please review these materials and provide any comments to [email protected] by Monday, August 23, 2021.

In order to provide additional opportunities for public consultation and feedback on the necessary draft Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments for the Pleasantview lands, and to ensure alignment with the proposed extension of Development Control on the area under the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP), Council has directed that the statutory public meeting for the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments be scheduled no earlier than November 16, 2021.

The City of Hamilton has initiated the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study for the Study Area. 

The purpose of the study

  • To conduct a land use policy review of the local and provincial policy framework, including past LPAT (OMB) Decisions, in order to make recommendations for modifications to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan to incorporate the Pleasantview Area lands. The recommended modifications will also ensure the local framework is in conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans.                                             
  • To review the existing zoning regulations in place on the Pleasantview Area lands and recommend appropriate zones and regulations to be included in the City of Hamilton Zoning By-law No. 05-200.

Location: bounded to the east by Highway 6, to the north by Patterson Road, to the west by York Road and Valley Road and to the south by the Canadian National Rail Line and Old Guelph Road.

Map of the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study

The Pleasantview Area (Area) of Dundas is approximately ±413.5 hectares (1021.78 acres) in size and is situated below the brow of the Niagara Escarpment west of Highway No. 6 and North of Highway 403. The lands are bounded to the east by Highway 6, to the north by Patterson Road, to the west by York Road and Valley Road and to the south by the Canadian National Rail Line and Old Guelph Road. The lands contain a variety of land uses and are in public, private, institutional and corporate ownership. The Area has important natural heritage significance including several Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) that form an important link between Cootes Paradise and the Niagara Escarpment.

The Pleasantview Area of Dundas has had more than 45 years of layered Provincial and local-level planning policy and regulations directing development in the area. The Area remains subject to the provisions of the Official Plan of the former Town of Dundas as set out by the Ontario Municipal Board Decision dated June 28, 1995, and is still regulated by the former Town of Dundas Zoning By-law 3581-86, as amended by By-law 4066-93.

In 2013, through Niagara Escarpment Plan Amendment (NEPA) No. 179 the NEC included the Area within the Niagara Escarpment Plan and designated the various lands as Escarpment Rural, Natural and Protection. In addition, NEPA 179 included a Special Policy Area (Policy 2.2.21) which reflects the planning framework from the 1995 OMB Decision.

The lands continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Parkway Belt West Plan and the Former Town of Dundas Official Plan. The Rural Hamilton Official Plan contains a reference to the Study Area through a Special Policy Area (SPA A – Pleasantview), which largely serves to identify the lands as still being subject to the provisions of the Town of Dundas Official Plan and the aforementioned OMB Decision from 1995.

An Interim Control By-law (ICBL) is a special zoning tool provided by the Ontario Planning Act, which allows municipalities to supersede existing zoning rights for a short period of time. It can be used to temporarily restrict development in an area while a study or review related to land use planning policy is completed. It is often referred to as a temporary “freeze” on development.  Regulations for ICBLs can be found in Section 38 of the Planning Act. 

An interim control by-law is not necessarily a blanket freeze on all development.  Rather, Section 38 of the Planning Act permits municipalities to restrict or prohibit the use of land, buildings or structures within the area of the by-law, “except for such purposes as are set out in the by-law.” Therefore, the by-law’s text can identify what is permitted and what is not while it is in effect. 

Hamilton City Council, at its meeting of September 10, 2020 passed By-law 20-186 (PDF, 521 KB), an Interim Control By-law for the Pleasant View Lands in the former Town of Dundas. The Interim Control By-law was passed to give time to complete the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study and bring forward the necessary policy amendments to the municipal framework to clarify policy direction for the Area and to ensure conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans in effect in the Area.

On August 13, 2021 Council extended Interim Control By-law No. 20-186 for an additional year from the date of passing of By-law No. 20-186 (September 10, 2020). This extension was to allow additional time to complete the Pleasantivew Area Land Use Study and bring forward for Council's consideration amendments to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan and Zoning By-law 05-200 to implement the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study recommendations.

The Interim Control by-law temporarily halts most development in the Study Area until the by-law expires or is rescinded. However, some development is permitted to occur as follows:

  • expansions of existing buildings to a maximum of 20% of the gross floor area;
  • changes to facades or interiors of existing structures;
  • reconstruction or replacement should a fire, accident or natural disaster occur; and,
  • construction of new accessory buildings or structures.

In addition, building permits may be issued in accordance with minor variances, consents, site specific zoning and site plans approved after October 28, 2013 (the date of Ministerial approval of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Amendment No. 179).

On September 29, 2021 City Council passed By-law 21-169 (PDF, 13 KB), a by-law to repeal interim Control By-law 20-186, as amended. With the passing of this by-law the Interim Control By-law 20-186 is repealed and no longer in-effect. As a result of the inclusion of the lands in the Area of NEC Development Control, the ICBL was no longer required.

Ontario Regulation 826/90 under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act (NEPDA) describes lands within the Niagara Escarpment Planning Area that are designated as an area of development control. Lands located within the area of development control could require a Development Permit from the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) for certain types of development. Ontario Regulation 828/90, under the NEPDA, lists the classes of development that are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a Development Permit from the NEC.  Examples may include the maintenance, repair, replacement or decommission of a private sewage disposal system or roof mounted solar panels. By placing the Pleasantview Area Lands under NEC development control, development would be regulated primarily by the NEC through the issuance of Development Permits.

On September 11, 2019, City Council directed staff to work with the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) staff to petition the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to put the Pleasantview survey lands under development control (Regulation 826/90) as soon as possible. View the City Council meeting minutes.

On September 19, 2019, the Niagara Escarpment Commission approved an NEC Staff recommendation that “the Niagara Escarpment Commission support staff in pursuing the application of Development Control within the Pleasant View Survey Area".

On July 23, 2021, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry posted “Amendment to Ontario Regulation 826 to add the Pleasant View Survey lands within the Niagara Escarpment Plan area in the City of Hamilton to the area of development control” to the Environmental Registry of Ontario webpage (ERO number 019-3898). The purpose of this proposal is to amend Ontario Regulation 826 under the Niagara Escarpment and Development Act to add the Pleasantview Area lands to the Area of Development Control for the Niagara Escarpment Commission. 

On September 10, 2021 Ontario Regulation 826 under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act has been amended to now include within the Area of Development Control the Pleasant View Survey lands located in the City of Hamilton.

Public information session
Held June 23, 2021
Provide information on the project process and preliminary findings.

Public Information Session Presentation (PDF, 2.31 MB)
Videos: Afternoon Session Recording | Evening Session Recording
Consultation Report - What We Heard (PDF, 156 KB)

Timeline

Timeline for the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study identifying key phase of the study from March 2021 to September 2021

  • February / March 2021 - Background Research
  • March / April 2021 - Draft Study Report
  • May / June 2021 - Final Study Report
  • June / July 2021 - Public Engagement Webinar
  • September 2021 - Final Study Recommendations to Planning Committee

Contact us

For questions/comments about the study or to join the project email list, contact:
Spencer Skidmore, MCIP, RPP
Planner I, Community Planning & GIS
71 Main Street West, 5th Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 1274
Email: [email protected]