FAQ for Development Approvals

As the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton continues to evolve, these FAQ will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide residents and developers with current information.

City of Hamilton COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

(Last Updated May 6, 2020)

Planning staff are still accepting planning applications and processing planning applications, with the exception of Committee of Adjustment applications (e.g. Minor Variances and Consents) which are being accepted but will not be processed until such time as a determination has been made on future meetings of the Committee.

Applications that have been delegated to staff for review and approval (i.e. Formal Consultation, Site Plan, Part Lot Control, Holding Removal, Condominium (Standard), Heritage Permits, Sign Variance) are being processed and decisions are being issued on these applications.

Applications that require public participation prior to a decision (Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments, Plans of Subdivision or Condominium (Standard, Vacant Land) are being received and processed. These applications will be brought forward to Planning Committee upon the resumption of the standing committees.

Planning inquiries can be sent by email to [email protected] or by phone at 905-546-2424 extension 1355 where we ask that you leave a detailed message  including the address of the property you are inquiring about. The inquiry will be assigned to the appropriate planning staff to reply.

As City Hall is closed to the public at this time, all applications and resubmissions will need to be submitted in one of two ways:

  • For paper resubmissions, documents can be sent to City Hall by courier or Canada Post. Please ensure that your parcel clearly indicates your file reviewers name. Any hand-delivered submissions can utilize our secure drop box at the rear doors of City Hall. Please note this is a multi-purpose drop box so please address your parcel to your file reviewer. Note it is recommended that the drop box be used for small parcels and that larger parcels be sent via courier or Canada Post. 
  • For digital resubmissions, a copy of the resubmitted documents can be uploaded to the CitySHARE platform. Please contact via email your file reviewer to obtain a personalized link to upload your documents for your file.

For Planning Applications, the preferred form of submission is through the City’s CitySHARE Platform.

At the present time, all Planning Committee meetings have been cancelled, and no statutory meetings under the Planning Act are being scheduled.

Staff are reviewing whether it is possible to re-introduce Planning Committee meetings as virtual meetings, while still meeting legislated requirements for public participation and will advise further if and when virtual Planning Committee meetings will be scheduled.

At the present time, all Committee of Adjustment meetings have been cancelled. Staff are reviewing whether it is possible to re-introduce Committee of Adjustment meetings as virtual meetings, while still meeting legislated requirements for public participation and will advise further if and when virtual Committee of Adjustment meetings will be scheduled.

Inquiries can be sent directly to the Planner assigned to the file who will provide further instructions. Alternatively, an email can be sent to [email protected] with the inquiry, including file number, which will be forwarded to the Planner assigned to the file. At this time, the normal timelines and fees continue to apply with respect to any extensions to Site Plan approvals.

Please forward all requests to [email protected]. Ensure to  include the file number and address.

All matters concerning development related construction activity may be directed to 905-546-2424, extension 7860 or alternatively, an email may be sent to [email protected].

For inquiries related to site alteration or lot grading, an email may be sent to [email protected].

All matters regarding Development Engineering Approvals such as subdivision, site plans and agreements, water and sewer permits etc., can be sent to Helen McArthur at [email protected] (for subdivisions) or Zivko Panovski at [email protected] (for Site Plans and Permits) and copy to [email protected].

Payments for permits may be made by either cheque or credit card. Cheques can be sent by courier or Canada Post. Please ensure that your parcel clearly indicates your file reviewer’s name. Any hand-delivered payments can utilize the secure drop box at the rear doors of City Hall. Please note this is a multi-purpose drop box so please address your parcel to your file reviewer. If paying by credit card, contact the reviewer directly for instructions on how to proceed.

As City Hall is closed to the public at this time, all applications and resubmissions will need to be submitted in one of two ways:

  • For paper resubmissions, documents can be sent to City Hall by courier or Canada Post. Please ensure that your parcel clearly indicates your file reviewers name. Any hand-delivered submissions can utilize our secure drop box at the rear doors of City Hall. Please note this is a multi-purpose drop box so please address your parcel to your file reviewer. Note it is recommended that the drop box be used for small parcels and that larger parcels be sent via courier or Canada Post. 
  • For digital resubmissions, a copy of the resubmitted documents can be uploaded to the CitySHARE platform. After uploading your files please send an email to the file reviewer and copy [email protected], (for Subdivisions) and [email protected] (for Site Plans and Permits), with the weblink and project details so that the appropriate files can be downloaded.

Yes, staff is continuing to process all approvals that are within the delegated authority of the City of Hamilton; however, registration of plans is processed by the Provincial Land Registry Office, which is subject to reduced hours of operation (currently Monday to Friday 9 am to 12 pm EST).

Staff are also continuing to post / distribute draft plan notices per standard timelines.

Please contact George Zajac at [email protected].

The processing of proposals requiring Site Alteration Permits is suspended unless the proposal is directly related to the expansion or operation of existing agricultural activities.

This relates to things like servicing of new development that has been deemed essential by the Province (e.g. residential projects).

Growth Management will be releasing contractors to complete servicing for any projects that meets the Provincial Order for essential businesses, regardless of the status of the project. We will be determining and updating our essential service based on the following requirements:

  • All servicing associated with any building permit that has been deemed essential (include sidewalks); and
  • Any servicing that must be completed in advance of a City capital project that is deemed essential.

Note that all existing City requirements must still be met before any project can commence.

Please contact Paul Toffoletti or David Tsai via email at [email protected], [email protected].

Please contact Joe Sanseverino at [email protected].

The Building Division main line at 905-546-2720

Yes

As City Hall is currently closed to the public, all applications and resubmissions will need to be submitted in one of three ways: Canada Post, courier or through our online building permit application system at https://eplans.hamilton.ca/

There is also a secure mail box at the rear doors of City Hall available for submissions. Please note this is a multi-purpose standard mail box for small parcels only; large parcels are to be sent via Canada Post or courier. 

All hardcopy submissions shall be securely packaged and include on the package label the name of the plan reviewer and Building Division, 3rd Floor.

While the City of Hamilton continues to issue building permits, the ability to begin construction will be subject to the Provincial Order.  Building permits issued by the City will indicate the following:

Notwithstanding that this building permit has been issued under the Building Code Act, it does not constitute approval to construct in contravention of any Ontario law including any Provincial order. You are still obliged to ensure that your business, and any construction conducted under this permit, complies with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, as amended, and all associated regulations and orders which can be reviewed at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90e09.

The ability to continue construction is subject to the Provincial Order. It is the obligation of the permit holder to ensure their business, and any construction conducted under the permit, complies with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, as amended, and all associated regulations and orders which can be reviewed at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90e09. The Province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to assist Ontario businesses that are seeking clarity with respect to the requirements of the Provincial Order.

The Province has issued several Orders under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act, including Ontario Regulation 82/20—CLOSURE OF PLACES OF NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES—which outlines which construction sites are permitted to continue or commence construction. City of Hamilton building inspectors will be enforcing this order. If residents suspect the operation of a non-essential construction site, they can report it by contacting 905-546-2489.

The Provincial List of Essential Business Workplaces does not apply to homeowners who wish to do work on their own property, e.g. addition, renovation, accessory building, deck, fence, etc.; it applies to businesses only. Building permits will be issued and inspections completed (by video as needed) for residential projects by homeowners on their own property. Only the owner residing on the property, and anyone within that same household, may participate in the construction.  Construction may not be done by a business, a contractor, a trade or anyone else entering the property who is not a member of that household. Note: This applies only to owner-occupied dwellings only. 

Yes, and the request will be completed, and information released once the Provincial Order is lifted.

The Province has, effectively, “frozen” the timelines for making decisions under the Planning Act. Regulation O. Reg. 149/20 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r20149 states that, virtually all time periods under the Planning Act are suspended from March 17 until the close of the emergency and any appeals that happened to have been filed during that time are deemed “unfiled”. All required notices of decision are extended to 10-15 days after the end of the emergency, whenever that may be.