Planning Services is responsible for helping the community establish and implement its long-range community development plan and vision. Community planning promotes the goals of economic prosperity, community vitality, environmental responsibility and the enriched cultural identity in a way that reflects the community while respecting Provincial policy. Planning services play an important role in shaping the future of Smiths Falls based on its diverse needs and opportunities, from town-wide initiatives to your neighbourhood park.
Land use planning is a process which ensures that land and resources are effectively managed and that growth occurs in a manner in which the community desires. It is based on a system that is open, accessible, time efficient, coordinated and accountable.
The Planning Services webpage has been developed with a focus on providing you with information on the most common planning processes and services governed by the Planning Act, as well as other programs and initiatives the Town offers.
It is best to speak to a Planner before starting any development, particularly a development which changes the use of a property. Planning staff are the initial contact for the coordinated review and processing of development proposals, site plans, severances and consents, zoning and official plan amendment applications, zoning letters and inquiries.
Staff can be reached during regular office hours, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to make an appointment for planning related inquiries.
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith Street North Smiths Falls, Ontario K7A 2B8
Phone: 613-283-4124 Fax: 613-283-4764
Karl Grenke, Senior Planner
Ext. 1116, email@example.com
Richard Grant, Planner 1
Ext. 1123, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Remmig, Planning Clerk
Ext. 1136, email@example.com
Smiths Falls Official Plan 2034 came into effect on September 6, 2016. The Official Plan expresses the Town’s overall goals and objectives and is the key planning policy document that guides development within the Town. The document contains policies which identify key strategic areas including the Downtown Core, Uptown Mixed Use Area and waterfront. The Official Plan also addresses important community interest such as transportation, parks, natural heritage and cultural heritage in addition to promoting development that is sustainable, efficient and harmonious with existing development and the environment. All Planning applications must be compliant to the policies of the Official Plan.
Use the “Interactive Map” tool at the bottom of this page to find your property’s Official Plan designation.
The Zoning By-law 10375-2022 is the primary tool used to implement the policies of the Official Plan. The Zoning By-law classifies properties into different zones each of which contain specific land use allowances and building location requirements. The By-law also contains general construction provisions that apply to all lands within the Town. Any new development must meet the provisions of the Zoning By-law.
Use the “Interactive Map” tool at the bottom of this page to find your property’s Zoning Category.
Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments
A property owner may apply to change the Official Plan or Zoning By-law to recognize a change in land use or allow development that does not comply with the Official Plan designation or the land’s zone. Decisions on these applications are made by Town Council subject to the process established by the Planning Act.
When a proposal does not conform exactly to the Zoning By-law, but follows the general intent and is generally minor in nature, you can apply for a minor variance. The minor variance will permit relief from provision(s) of the Zoning By-law without the need for a Zoning By-law amendment.
Site Plan Control
More complex development such as commercial, industrial, multiple unit residential and development within an environmentally sensitive area may be subject to Site Plan Control. Site Plan Control is a planning tool that implements the design and compatibility provisions of the Official Plan to allow for development that is safe, attractive and suitable for the surrounding neighbourhood and environment. The process allows staff to take a closer look at design details such as landscaping, access, servicing, screening and materials at a greater level of detail than what is typically addressed through zoning. Site Plan approvals are implemented in an agreement between the Town and developer.
Consents and Plan of Subdivision
A consent application may be used to obtain permission for a minor subdivision of land or lot line adjustment. Decisions on these applications are made by the Planning Advisory Committee subject to the process established by the Planning Act.
A plan of subdivision is an alternative means of subdividing land. A subdivision plan is most commonly used when creating several lots in a specified area. Decisions on these applications are made by Town Council subject to the process established by the Planning Act.
Development Permit System
A development permit system combines the processes of zoning, minor variances and site plan control into one application processed under the Planning Act. The system integrates all aspects of development including permitted uses, site standards and site-specific enhancements. This process is only in effect for the Gallipeau Centre lands.
Planning Services is responsible for other approvals and processes under the Planning Act and established Municipal By-laws such as:
- Encroachment agreements
- Cash-in-lieu of parking agreements
- Outdoor patio agreements
- Plans of condominium
Prior to submitting a planning application please schedule a pre-consultation with Planning Services to discuss application requirements and the appropriate approval stream. A pre-consultation will assist in shortening the application processing time and determine any particulars that may affect the application.
Under the Building Code Act many planning applications are considered applicable law, meaning a building permit cannot be issued until planning concerns are addressed. Planning staff work with Building Services staff to review building permit applications and determine if a proposal is compliant with the Town’s planning documents.
Community Development Initiatives
The Town has established specific programs to promote community development and implement key strategic priorities established by Council.
Municipal Heritage Committee
The Town’s Municipal Heritage Committee was established by Council and is guided by the Ontario Heritage Act. The Committee provides guidance and technical feedback on matters relating to municipal heritage.
The Smiths Falls Municipal Heritage Committee is committed to the identification and preservation of buildings, structures, features and lands that are of cultural and/or historical value or interest and to initiating and promoting a conservation ethic and climate of responsible stewardship of the community’s cultural heritage assets.
The Municipal Heritage Committee is proud to organize and host our annual fall Heritage Symposium that brings together experts and people from all over Eastern Ontario to discuss heritage issues relevant in the present day.
Please visit the Interactive Map to learn more about the Town of Smiths Falls’ services, trails, bike paths, cultural amenities, waste collection schedule and much more!
Zoning and Official Plan Schedules are also available through the Town’s Interactive Map: