Zoning By-law Amendment

The Zoning By-law regulates the use of land such as residential, commercial, industrial or institutional, as well as the:

  • location, size and height of buildings or structures
  • built form
  • sets out parking and loading requirements
  • other site specific requirements

If a property owner wishes to make changes to a property that deviates from the permitted uses or the regulations of the Zoning By-law, the owner must apply for a Zoning By-law Amendment.

Amending a Zoning By-law

A Zoning By-law can be amended to change either the zoning of the land or add special provisions to the zoning designation for a special property. This amending by-law can be as little as changing the zoning designation from one to another, adding a use or changing a zoning by-law requirement.

Minor variance: If a property owner wishes to make a minor change to the Zoning By-law regulations that would differ only slightly from the provisions, the owner may apply to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance, rather than a Zoning By-law Amendment. You should discuss this alternative first with Planning staff.

Submit an application for a Zoning By-law Amendment 

The process to obtain a Zoning By-Law Amendment may take a minimum of four to six months to complete, after we receive your completed application including any supporting studies. The level of complexity and issues related to your proposal will affect this timeline.

Before submitting an application, a Formal Consultation is often required.

The purpose of this consultation is to:

  • Confirm whether a Zoning By-law Amendment is necessary
  • Provide initial feedback on the proposed amendment
  • Outline information, studies, and reports such as noise or vibration studies, traffic impact studies, environmental assessments or archaeological assessments that you need to support your application
  • Confirm whether you will need other approvals such as an Official Plan Amendment

Before you submit your application Planning staff may suggest that you consult with other City departments or agencies. You may also want to schedule a community information meeting.

Design Review Panel (DRP)

The Design Review Panel is generally limited to complex Zoning By-law Amendments and Site Plan applications in the following Design Priority Areas:

  • Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan Area
  • Areas of Major Change and Corridors of Gradual Change within Setting Sail Secondary Plan Area
  • Any other large scale project that has the potential to significantly impact the physical environment functionally and aesthetically.

Applications subject to the DRP will be identified at the Formal Consultation stage including any additional submission requirements.

This application form is to be used by persons or public bodies wishing to amend the land use designations (official plan or zoning) for a specific property in the City of Hamilton. In this form, the term "subject land" means the land that is subject of the proposed amendment. It is also to be used for any proposal to amend existing approved official plan policy or zone provisions.

You will need to complete the Zoning By-law amendment application form (PDF, 452 KB).

You will have to pay the application fee when you submit your application. Applications fees are non- refundable whether the application is approved or denied. 

Fees can be paid by cash, cheque, credit card or money order. Cheques must be made payable to the City of Hamilton.

Application type/fee

  • Amendment to establish a new Pit or Quarry - $132,180
  • Pit or quarry expansion (In addition to base fee, the owner or applicant shall bear any and all cost pertaining to peer reviews and for an aggregate advisor,if required) - $52,875
  • Routine application - $11,135
    • Add one specific use (that does not change the zoning district)
    • Reduce yard requirements or modify other district or zone requirement (only one requirement)
    • Rezone three single detached dwelling lots or less
    • Extend a "temporary use"
  • Complex application (comprised of Phase 1 and Phase 2 fees) - $22,260
    • Phase 1 – Services up to City Council Report - $15,005
    • Phase 2 – Services subsequent to Council Resolution approval - $7,255
  • Public notice recirculation due to cancellation of a public meeting by the applicant or agent - $470
  • Advertising fee (minimum charge, if applicable) - $1,085
  • Severance of Surplus Farm Dwelling - $5,565
  • Amended applications with circulation - $1,410
  • Recirculations - $1,410
  • Removal of a ‘H’ holding provision - $1,850

The total fees will be reduced by 25% if you are filing a joint application where applications are made for an:

  • Official Plan Amendment
  • Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Approval of a Draft Plan of Subdivision
  • Condominium description
  • Any combination thereof

Conservation Authority plan review fee

The Conservation Authorities within the City of Hamilton charge fees for their review of Planning Act applications.

Once you submit your application, City staff will advise you if your application requires Conservation Authority review, and if so, which Conservation Authority your project falls within:

The fee is to be made payable to the appropriate Conservation Authority and you will have to pay the fee to the City upon request. We will forward the fee along with the application to the Conservation Authority.

Combined applications will only be charged at the highest rate. The Conservation Authority reserves the right to request additional fees should the review require a substantially greater level of effort.

Submit the completed request form, supporting documents and fee(s) in person to:

City of Hamilton
71 Main Street West, 5th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4Y5
Attention: Development Planning

The complete submission should include:

  • Five (5) copies of a Survey Plan of the property (folded legal size*) and one electronic copy in PDF locked file format
  • A digital file map of the subject lands (PDF locked file format)
  • One electronic copy of the application form without signatures in PDF locked file format
  • Twenty-five (25) copies of the completed application form with signatures (including two (2) with original signatures)
  • Seven (7) copies of the completed application form with signatures for the Removal of the “H” Holding Symbol (including two (2) with original signatures)
  • One completed and signed "Formal Consultation Document" or "Waiver Letter"
  • Five (5) copies of all information, reports or documents and electronic PDF locked file versions (where applicable) identified in a Formal Consultation Meeting as necessary information required to deem an application complete.
  • Five (5) copies of all information/reports/documents, and electronic PDF locked file versions, indicated as needed when completing sections 17 and 18 of the application form.
  • The applicable fee(s).

Please provide separate files for all of the required documents or plans and use the following naming convention examples for the electronic files:

  • Application.pdf
  • Concept_Plan.pdf
  • Survey_Plan.pdf
  • Sun/Shadow_Analysis.pdf
  • Planning_Justification_Report.pdf
  • Traffic_Study.pdf
  • Noise_Study.pdf
  • Archeological_Assessment.pdf
  • Servicing_Feasability_Study.pdf
  • Environmental_Impact_Assessment.pdf
  • Geotechnical_Study.pdf

Once you have submitted the application

  • We will send you a notification of the completeness of the application within 30 days of receiving your application.
  • If you did not provide the required information or fees with your application, we will return it to you with a request for the outstanding items. The incomplete application does not move forward to step three until we receive all required information or fees.