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What is Zoning?

Zoning is a process that establishes zone categories for every property within the municipality. The zone identifies permitted uses and regulations related to such things as minimum lot area, density, building height and area, maximum lot coverage, parking requirements, permitted accessory uses, etc.

Zoning By-Law

The Town of Innisfil Comprehensive Zoning By-law 080-13  was recently approved by Council on July 10, 2013.  It provides the legal means of implementing the Official Plan through detailed regulations regarding the use of land and the form of buildings and structures.  The Zoning By-law assigns each property in the Town with a zone category that defines permitted uses and the type and form of development permitted. It contains zone maps which show the zoning of every property in the Town and text explaining the permitted uses and regulations for each zone.  It also contains general provisions, definitions and an interpretation/administration section. Zones and any amendment to them must be generally consistent with the Official Plan. All buildings and land uses must comply with the Zoning By-law.  By-law 080-13 replaces Zoning By-Law 054-04.

Comprehensive Zoning By-Law 080-13 

To make a Zoning Inquiry, please contact Customer Service at 705-436-3710.

Download a Zoning By-Law Amendment Application form (2013 submission) ; NEW Zoning By-law Amendment Application Form (2014 submission).

For information about minor variances and consent approval for severance of land and the granting of easements, please see Committee of Adjustment.

Property Uses

What uses are allowed in each zone?

Permitted uses are listed for each zone in the Town’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law 080-13. You can download a copy of this by-law above or view it in the Customer Service area at the Town Hall, located at 2101 Innisfil Beach Road. A zoning inquiry can also be made by contacting Customer Service.

How can I find out how my property is zoned?

All properties are shown on the zone maps or schedules which are included in the Town’s Zoning By-law 080-13. You can download a copy of this by-law above or view it in the Customer Service area at the Town Hall, located at 2101 Innisfil Beach Road. A zoning inquiry can also be made by contacting Customer Service.

What projects require zoning consideration?

Many different projects could require zoning consideration. Anything which requires location in or on the ground could be subject to the provisions of the Town’s Zoning By-law. This could include residential uses, commercial and industrial uses, accessory structures including decks, sheds and garages. It is best to check to with Customer Service before beginning a project to determine if zoning requirements are met.  Building permits will only be issued where the project conforms with the Zoning By-law.

Lots & Lines

How close to the lot line can I build?

Each zone has specific setbacks that must be adhered to. A setback is simply the distance a building or structure must be located from a lot line. You can check the Zoning By-law to determine how the property is zoned, and the requirements for that zone, or contact Customer Service.

What is lot coverage?

Lot coverage is the combined area covered by all buildings on the lot and calculated as a percentage of the lot area. Decks are included within lot coverage. Each zone has its own maximum allowable percentage, which is outlined in the Zoning By-law.

How high can a building be?

Although there are different height restrictions for different zones, generally, the maximum height of a single family dwelling is 9 metres. The height is measured from the average point at grade to the midpoint of the roof. The specific height restrictions for each zone are outlined in the Zoning By-law.

On a corner lot, where is the frontage?

Regardless of which way your home is oriented on a lot, the front lot line is determined as being the shorter of the two lot lines which abut the two streets. For clarification, you should check the Zoning By-law definitions section.

On a lakefront property, where is the front lot line?

The front lot line would normally be the line that divides the lot from the street.

More Zoning Issues

What else should I consider?

What does it mean to have lands that are regulated by the Conservation Authority?

Some properties may fall under lands which are regulated by the Conservation Authority. In these areas the Conservation Authority regulates land uses and activities based on potential hazards, flooding, natural features, watercourses and shoreline areas.   The Town of Innisfil falls within the jurisdiction of two conservation authorities, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA).  All you have to do to find out if your property comes under the Fill, Construction, and Alteration to Waterways Regulation is call the LSRCA at 905-895-1281 or the NVCA at 705-424-1479.  Regulation mapping is also available on their websites.

Can I operate a business from my home?

Home based businesses are permitted in certain zones. A home based business, or home occupation, is an occupation for gain or support conducted entirely within a dwelling unit, is secondary to the residential use, and operated only by those residing on the premises plus not more than one assistant who is not a resident of the dwelling. Additional requirements for home occupation uses can be found in the Zoning By-law.

How many dwelling units can be located on a lot?

A dwelling unit is basically one room or a group of rooms in a dwelling, used by only one household as a single independent and separate housekeeping establishment in which food preparation, sleeping and sanitary facilities are provided for the sole use of the occupants, and which has a private entrance from outside the building or from a common hallway or stairway inside the building. A second dwelling unit (e.g. a basement apartment, in-law suite, etc.) is generally allowed in a single-detached, semi-detached or street townhouse as long as it can meet the zoning requirements, it is legally constructed, and it is registered with the Town. See the Second Units tab on the Planning Services page for more information. 

What is an agricultural use? 

An agricultural use is defined as the use of land, buildings or structures for the growing of field crops, berry crops, vegetables, flowers, mushrooms, tree crops, the grazing, breeding, raising, boarding or training of animals and livestock, market gardening, kennels, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, and other silvaculture, aquaculture, apiculture and hydroponics, and the sale of agricultural products from the farm on which they are produced.

What is a minor variance?

The provisions of the Zoning By-law are precise, and any development proposal must comply with the terms and provisions of the by-law. A minor variance is a change or permission from the specific requirements of the Town’s zoning by-law.  Please see Committee of Adjustment for more information on minor variance.