The zoning of a property dictates what uses are permitted on that property. Currently there are 7 different Zoning By-laws which apply throughout the City of Hamilton, depending on your location. It is important to note that Zoning can differ from property to property.
Having a use that is permitted on one property does not necessarily mean it is permitted on another, even if the property is right next door. It is very important to check the zoning of a property prior to signing a lease or purchasing a property in order to ensure that your intended use is in fact permitted at that location.
- Where buildings and other structures can be located.
- Types of buildings such as residential, commercial, industrial and institutional uses that are permitted at a particular address.
- How the property may be used such as lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights, and distance from the street.
Purpose of a Zoning Verification and Property Report Application
If you have checked the zoning of the property and you are advised that your intended use is permitted, it is strongly suggested that you next obtain a Zoning Verification/Property Report Application.
A Zoning Verification/Property Report Application is an official document that will give you information such as:
- The recognized use of the property
- Confirm if the intended use is permitted at a certain location
- Inform you if the property is subject to Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
- Inform you if the property requires Conservation Authority approval
- Flag if there are potential issues (ie. lack of required parking for the intended use)
- Any work orders, outstanding building permits or zoning violations on the property
Note: The use that may exist at a location is not always what the City of Hamilton recognizes the use as. For example the recognized use may have been located on a property without the benefit of a required building permit.
A Zoning Verification/Property Report Application will also provide you with the required documentation to:
- Specific details about the proposed use for the property. The more specific you are in your application, the more detailed response you will receive.
- Example: if you want to open an office you should be specific as to what type of office it is such as a law firm, consulting or health because there are different requirements you need to meet. These requirements are listed in the response you get back.
- Example: There are different requirements for take-out counters, restaurants with drive-thru’s and eat-in restaurants. The type of restaurant and the capacity such as number of seats in your restaurant can impact the number of parking spaces you need.
- Proposed address.
- Site plan drawing showing a bird's eye view of the property.
How to apply
If you want to open an existing business at a specific address, there are two ways that you can apply:
1. In person at City Hall
You can complete the Zoning Verification application form (PDF, 27 KB) and submit it in person to:
One Stop for Business
City Hall, 71 Main Street West, 1st Floor
Accepted method of payment: Cash, debit and cheque. You can also pay by VISA or Mastercard by completing a credit card payment form (PDF, 58 KB) and submitting along with your application.
You can apply online for a zoning verification.
Accepted method of payment: VISA or Mastercard.
Plan to open a new business at a specific address?
If you are starting a new business that needs to be licensed with the City of Hamilton you should submit your Zoning Verification application form (PDF, 27 KB) in person at the same time as your business licence. Refer to Business Licences to determine where you need to submit your zoning verification and business licence applications.
There are two different service fees depending on how fast you need the zoning verified:
Regular service fee (10 days)
To get zoning verified in 10 business days for:
- Single & Two Family Dwellings, Townhouses - $121
- Non-Residential / Multi-Residential - $249
Express service fee (2 days)
To get zoning verified in two business days for:
- Single & Two Family Dwellings, Townhouses - $185
- Non-Residential / Multi-Residential - $376
You can pay by cash, cheque, VISA, MasterCard and Interac at City Hall.
Express service for an entire property containing a large-scale or multi-tenant development is not available, as the review for these types of properties takes longer than two business days.
If you have questions about a particular address that you wish to make an application for, contact us at 905-546-2720 or [email protected].
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