The Economic Development Office encourages growth and expansion by providing you with the assistance needed to make your development project run smoothly. In any development project, a meeting with members of the Economic Development Office and Planning and Development Services team is recommended. These initial discussions will provide you with the opportunity to: discuss your project, ask questions, and seek clarification on the approvals process. 

 When to Contact The Economic Development Office 
It is recommended that you contact the Economic Development Office as early as possible in your projects so that all efforts can be made to provide assistance in the process.
  1. Contact the Economic Development Team
  2. Schedule a preliminary meeting with the Planning and Economic Development team.
  3. Determine if your project qualifies for the award-winning PriorityPATH program.
 PriorityPATH
PriorityPATH is the town's custom program designed to facilitate development. It is a recognized program that has, to date facilitated over $250 million in investment. The program is designed to save you time and money while keeping your project on the right path. Contact us for more information.

 Planning Process Terms/Definitions

 
 Pre-consultation meeting
A pre-consultation (pre-con) meeting is an opportunity to meet with representatives from various Town departments such as Fire, Engineering, Planning, Building, and Economic Development who will each provide feedback on your initial site plans. Following the meeting, you will receive a copy of the minutes taken and a check list confirming what materials and information you need to include in your formal application.

Discussion with our pre-consultation team early-on could help to reduce costs and avoid delays in the latter stages of your project. In addition, early discussions will help staff to better understand the nature of your project so that it can be handled as efficiently as possible.

 Official Plan
The Town of Ajax Official Plan describes the Town’s policies for how land should be used and coordinates future plans for growth.
 Official Plan Amendment
An official plan amendment is a formal document that changes the Official Plan. Changes may be needed because of new circumstances in the community or because of requests made by property owners. If your plans for developing your property are not consistent with the Town’s Official Plan you will need to make an Amendment to the Plan.
 Zoning By-Law
A zoning by-law controls the use of land in your community. It states exactly:

• How land may be used;

• Where buildings and other structures can be located;

• The types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used;

• The lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights

and setbacks from the street;

 Zoning By-Law Amendment
If you want to use or develop your property in a way that is not allowed by the zoning by-law, you may apply for a zoning change, also known as a zoning by-law amendment or a rezoning. Council can only consider a change if the new use is allowed by the Official Plan.
Site Plan

A site plan package includes architectural plans, and detailed engineering drawings of proposed layout and improvements to a given lot. A site plan shows a building footprint, building elevations, access routes, parking, grading, drainage facilities, sanitary sewer lines, water lines, trails, lighting, and landscaping.

Site Plan Approval

Site Plan Approval is the statutory process for reviewing the building size, location, design, access, services, parking, loading, and landscaping of proposed developments. Some projects may qualify for PriortyPATH, the town's streamlined municipal process for site plan approvals. Contact us to see if you qualify!

 Minor Variance

A Minor Variance provides approval for changes that do not fully comply with the Town’s zoning By-law. A Minor Variance will not change the Zoning By-law, it merely grants a variance from certain existing provisions/standards of the By-law, where appropriate.

 Building Permit

The Building Approvals Section, responsible for enforcing the Ontario Building Code (OBC) in Ajax, issues permits for the construction, renovation, demolition and changes of use of buildings.

When to Apply

A Building Permit is required for all construction work. This includes new construction, alterations to existing buildings, temporary structures (such as portables and trailers) and designated structures as defined under the OBC (such as exterior storage tanks, retaining walls and solar collectors, etc.) Also includes an demolition of structure. If you are unsure, contact us.

 Sign Permit

The Sign Permit process ensures the safe installation of fascia and ground signs and is issued through Building Services.

When to Apply

A Sign Permit is required when installing a new sign or changing the manner in which the sign is anchored in the ground or on a building.

 Sediment and Erosion Control Permit

A Sediment and Erosion Control Permit process ensures that the proper environmental measures are in place to prevent sediments from damaging the receiving water ecosystem.

When to Apply

A Sediment and Erosion Control Permit needs to be obtained before: the removal of any topsoil, the placement of fill, or the grading of land within the Town.