Development Processes & Related Applications

The Township of Essa's Planning Department reviews and processes applications received under the Planning Act.  Those applications progress through multiple submissions and reviews by Township staff and other local and regional agencies to make recommendations tot he Committee of the Whole and Township Council.

Pre-Consultation Request

At the pre-consultation stage, the applicant presents their development proposals and concept plans to staff for preliminary review and comments regarding the proposal.  Staff work to clarify the application process and fees, as well as identify and confirm the required plans and supporting studies that may be required to start the process of obtaining any development application.

To book your Pre-Consultation Meeting, please submit a complete Pre-Consultation Application and email it to  Alternatively you can contact the Planning Department for more information.

Official Plan Amendments

An Official Plan Amendment (OPA) is typically required to change the land use designation when a proposal to develop or alter a land does not conform to the Official Plan policies and/or land use designation applied to those lands.  The process to obtain an Official Plan Amendment starts with a request for a Pre-Consultation that will identify and confirm the fees, plans and supporting studies needed to accompany the proposal.

Zoning By-law Amendments

A Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA) is typically required to change the zoning of the land, or to change special provisions to the zoning designation of the subject property.  Re-zoning of land and/or significant site specific changes to land uses or zone regulations may possibly require an Official plan Amendment along with a Zoning By-law Amendment.

Draft Plan of Subdivision or Condominium

A Draft Plan is typically required when land owners or developers are proposing to divide a parcel of land into more than three separate parcels requesting to develop a subdivision or a condominium for a property in Essa Township. The process to obtain a Draft Plan of Subdivision or Plan of Condominium approval can take months to several years depending on the nature and complexity of the proposed development.

Site Plan Control 

A Site Plan is typically required when a landowner wishes to develop the property.  A site plan approval is a required process for most developments including major building renovations or additions, where the landowner is required to enter into a Site Plan Agreement with the Township of Essa to ensure that certain works are completed in a timely manner.


Please be advised that fees for development applications are required to be paid prior to the issuance of a approvals being obtained.  Please see our Schedule of Fees for more information.

Committee of Adjustment

The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body of citizens that are appointed by Council to make decisions on certain development and planning applications made under the Planning Act.  Section 45 of the Planning Act permits the Committee of Adjustment to make decisions on Minor Variances from the Zoning By-law, and to grant permission for altering or changing a lawful non-conforming use of land, buildings or structures.

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