Central Elgin Planning Office

The Central Elgin Planning Office provides support to Council and the Committee of Adjustment on all matters related to land use planning, and in particular those matters under the auspices of the Ontario Planning Act.

Planning staff gather public input and conduct research to develop plans, regulations and projects that protect and enhance our urban and rural environments. They also provide support for community-based working groups established to review specific development proposals. Land use planning can generally be described as the process through which the growth and physical form of the Municipality are managed. The main tools through which the Municipality manages its physical growth are the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law. The Central Elgin Planning Office reviews and processes development approval applications from both a community planning and an urban design perspective. The Planning Office works with its clients to anticipate and identify current and future community needs, and to ensure that the quality of life in our community is improved over time. The Planning Office prepares policy and processes to ensure that the Municipality can guide growth and community development in the direction the community desires.

The Planning Office, through an agreement, also provides planning services to the City of St. Thomas. The two municipalities together comprise the Central Elgin Planning Area. The Central Elgin Planning Advisory Committee or CEPAC, which is comprised of one member of Council from each municipality, oversees the financial and administrative matters related to the inter-municipal agreement. The partnership is somewhat unique in Ontario and helps provide a regional perspective to the participating municipalities, who already share much both economically and socially.

  • Planning Department of the City of St. Thomas
  • Central Elgin Planning Office. Planning services are provided to the two municipalities that comprise the Central Elgin Planning Area (City of St. Thomas and Municipality of Central Elgin).
  • Staff are employees of the City of St. Thomas
  • Departmental expenditures are shared by the two Municipalities on the basis of population and equalized assessment

The Central Elgin Planning Advisory Committee (CEPAC), composed of one Council member from each Municipality, prepares an annual budget, which is approved by each member municipality. CEPAC meets on an as-required basis throughout the year.

The following duties are the responsibility of this department:

  • By agreement, the Central Elgin Planning Office is responsible for the day-to-day administration of planning services for each of the member municipalities.
  • Prepare reports to each Council on applications for special studies, Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendments pursuant to the requirements of the Planning Act.
  • Prepare Official Plan and Zoning by-Law Amendments as directed by each Council.
  • Provide planning information at Public meetings convened by Council, as required by the Planning Act.
  • Conduct Public Meetings as required for development and planning applications pursuant to the requirements set out in the Planning Act
  • Provide information to Council and/or Committee on issues and procedures relating to Site Plan Control in the Central Elgin Planning Region.
  • Responsible for the co-ordination, review and approval of Plans of Subdivision/Condominium applications within the City of St. Thomas
  • Responsible for the co-ordination, review and securing of Ministerial approval for Plans of Subdivision/Condominium within the Municipality of Central Elgin.
  • Responsible for the co-ordination and review of reports, By-laws and Special Studies required for the on-going administration of planning services within the Planning Area.
  • Responsible for the co-ordination of “Municipal Plan Review” with respect to planning applications and approvals under the Planning Act for Central Elgin and St. Thomas.
  • Report on Committee of Adjustment and Land Division Committee applications regarding severance and minor variance requests from the member Municipalities. Attend Committee of Adjustment and Land Division Committee meetings to provide planning review and advise for the Committee and the public.
  • Attend Planning Committee and Council meetings for each Municipality as required. Attend Ontario Municipal Board Hearings and provide professional planning evidence, as required.
  • Prepare By-Laws, reports studies required by senior levels of government so that the Municipality may qualify for financial assistance.
  • Answer enquiries from real estate agencies and ratepayers regarding zoning regulations in the member municipalities, and advise on recommended procedures which might be followed to resolve their concerns.
  • Answer queries from Provincial and Federal Governmental agencies with respect to Central Elgin land use policies and regulations Respond to request from legal firms regarding land use policies and zoning regulations as they affect each Municipality.

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