Municipal Planning


  • Capital Works Plans
  • Official Community Plan Amendments
  • Municipal Maps - OCP & Zoning Bylaws
  • Zoning Bylaw Amendments
  • Subdivision Application Reviews
  • Development Permit Application Reviews


  • Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaw                 Original Compositions
  • Revitalization's of Adopted Official Community             Plans and Zoning Bylaws
  • Comprehensive Community Plan Reviews










With the high turnover rate of Administration and Councillors within municipalities and First Nations, it is important that new staff and Councillors are educated on the standard planning processes of the community.  Northbound Planning will come to your community and train new Administration and Council’s on planning and development procedures.  The following items are some of the training and seminar options provided by Northbound Planning:

  • Familiarization with drafted or newly adopted Official Community Plans, Comprehensive Community Plans, Capital Work Plans and Zoning Bylaws for Administration and Council.
  • Development permit application procedures.
  • Development Appeal Boards.
  • Subdivision applications.

With over five (5) years of working at the local municipal level, Northbound Planning can also provide expertise on hosting information sessions for local ratepayers to increase education and awareness of planning and development initiatives. 


Official Community Plans &   zoning bylaws

What is an Official Community Plan (OCP)?

According to section 31 of the Planning and Development Act, 2007, the purpose of an Official Community Plan is to provide a comprehensive policy framework to guide the physical, environmental, economic, social and cultural development of the municipality or any part of the municipality. 

What this means is, it is a policy document that guides Administration and Council to implement holistic growth.  Planning does not occur in isolation and various factors need to be taken into consideration when planning for a community’s future.  

What is a Zoning Bylaw? 

According to section 45 of the Planning and Development Act, 2007, the purpose of a Zoning Bylaw is to control the use of land for providing for the amenity of the area within the Council's jurisdiction and for the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality. 

What this allows a municipality to do is control how development occurs within their boundaries.  This can be as detailed as architectural controls on houses, to simple residential development around a lake, or the protection of agricultural lands from incompatible development.  

Any Registered Professional Planner should be able to create a document that exactly meets the needs of your community, and it should be tailored to achieve your municipality's vision for the future. 


Bylaw Consolidations

What is a Bylaw Consolidation?

As municipalities grow and change over time, the residential demands on municipal bylaws prompts the need for Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendments. Once a number of amendments are completed, it often becomes difficult for municipalities and ratepayers to keep track of the amendments and what is in effect.  The use of a bylaw consolidation is a useful tool to outline the existing regulations that are currently in effect of the municipality.  Consolidations are also able to be used for zoning maps as amendments change the visual landscape of the community. 

It is important to remember that this consolidation must be accurate.  As it is go-to reference for municipal planning and development, any errors from the original can create issues for future development.  





How does a municipality offset subdivision and development costs?

When municipalities are provided with subdivision applications from Community Planning, they are expected to have defensible numbers for any costs applied to the developer. Recent planning and development sessions hosted in the area included interesting statistics that state in a 40-year infrastructure cycle (which is the average lifespan for infrastructure) the costs are broken down as follows: Operating and Maintenance – 58%, Refurbishing – 29%, Construction – 8.7%, Transition – 3.3%, Design – 0.9% and Planning and Surveying – 0.1%.  

Community Planning typically encourages the Municipality require the Developer to pay for the construction and upgrade costs through the signing of a servicing agreement and contribute at minimum 13% (construction, transition, and planning and development) of the costs for that infrastructure.  

In regards to the Municipal Reserve (MR) Cash-in-Lieu, the Planning and Development Act, 2007 encourages municipalities to get the land appraised to a fair market value and then minus servicing costs to determined the MR Cash-in-Lieu amount that the developer has to pay.  

In order to achieve these requirements, the costs provided to the developer must be determined by a qualified professional.  There are a variety of ways to achieve these numbers, and contact Northbound Planning for more information. 









Another service provided by Northbound Planning is the development of cadastral mapping for local municipalities using GIS software that is accurately georeferenced to land locations.  This mapping allows for municipalities to update their zoning district map consolidations, and create base maps that can be manipulated by Administration and Council.  

Northbound Planning is also able to create civic address maps for municipalities.  Using the same GIS software, locationally specific maps are able to created showing the location of civic addresses through the community.  This is particularly useful for urban municipalities.