Site Plan Control

back side of municipal building

Site Plan Control is a development review process that evaluates the layout of site features like buildings, parking areas, landscaping but not the interior spaces of the proposed structures. It reviews the impact of development on municipal services as well as creates high standard levels for development. It occurs prior to the building permit process. 

Site Plan Control Process

A site plan control application must be submitted to the Municipality. The completed application is to include a detailed site plan and the application fee. The application is reviewed by the Development Support Review Committee, which is made up of municipal staff, to ensure that the development meets all municipal criteria. As a condition of Site Plan Approval, the land is required to be developed in accordance with the approved plans, which many include access to the site, building location, parking, loading bays, protection of adjoining properties, to name a few. A security deposit or letter of credit is required to ensure all work is carried out in accordance to approved plans. These requirements are outlined in the site plan agreement registered on title.

Request for Pre-Consultation Meeting

Site Plan Control Application 

Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Tips  

1. What is Site Plan Control?

Site Plan Control is a development review process which examines the design and technical aspects of a proposed development to ensure that it is safe, functional and compatible with the surrounding area. It seeks to mitigate the impact of development on neighbouring uses and municipal infrastructure as well as encourage a high standard of design.


Site Plan Control is a form of development control authorized under Section 41 of the Ontario Planning Act R.S.O. 1990, and implemented through the Municipality of Leamington Official Plan and Site Plan Control By-law 632-05.


Site Plan approval is intended to ensure development:

  • Conforms to the policies and objectives of the Official Plan;
  • Complies with Zoning By-law regulations and other appropriate by-laws/regulations;
  • Ensures sufficient municipal services and on-site facilities;
  • Eliminates or reduces negative impacts on adjacent land uses
2. When does Site Plan Control apply?
Under Section 41 of the Planning Act, the Municipality of Leamington has the ability to create areas throughout the municipality where Site Plan Control is required. At this time, all commercial, industrial, greenhouse and multi-unit residential development is under Site Plan Control.
3. How long does it take before I can get my building permits?
In order for a Site Plan Control application to obtain building permits, the must have an executed Site Plan Agreement. To obtain this, the applicant must go through the Site Plan Control process. The process can at a minimum of 3 months to anywhere upwards of a year to complete. Application timelines can fluctuate based on proposal complexity, quality of submission and number of files being reviewed by the Municipality at one time. 
4. How much does an application for Site Plan Control cost?
The cost to apply for Site Plan Control varies depending on the application. A new Site Plan Agreement application is $1450 (this includes the fee of $200 to circulate to ERCA). The cost to amend an existing Site Plan Agreement is $950 (this includes the fee of $200 to circulate to ERCA).
5. Can my proposal be done through a Site Plan Exemption?

Certain proposed development may be exempted from Site Plan Control at the discretion of the Director of Planning and Community Services. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Planning Services to discuss the possibility of a Site Plan Exemption.

6. What are “Securities” and what form of payment do you accept?

As a condition of Site Plan Approval, the Municipality may request securities to ensure that site works comply with the approved plans.


Securities in the form of a Letter of Credit, Certified Cheque, Bank Draft or Cash, must be received prior to the Municipal execution of the Site Plan Agreement. The amount of securities is based on a cost estimate for site works which is certified by the project engineer. The Municipality collects 50% of the cost of the proposed on-site works and 100% of the cost of the proposed off-site works.


Please view an example template of an acceptable Letter of Credit online here:
Or, please contact Planning Services for a template of an acceptable Letter of Credit.

7. How do I get my Securities back?

Upon complete of all site works, including grading, construction, landscaping and hard surfacing, the applicant is to contact Engineering Services and arrange a site plan inspection. Securities will be returned to the owner after the inspection and approval of all works.


Under the terms of the Site Plan Agreement, as applicable, the owner has 12 months to complete the site works from the date of Site Plan Approval. After this time, the Municipality may draw upon the securities to complete the site works.

8. I’ve just received Site Plan approval – but I want to make a change. What do I do?
Subsequent to receiving Site Plan Approval, the applicant may wish to make changes to their project. In this instance, the applicant will meet with Planning Services to discuss the proposed revisions. If the revisions are significant, the applicant may be required to submit a new Site Plan Application.
9. I submitted a Site Plan application 8 months ago but I never followed up. Can I resume my application?

If there is no activity on a file for six months or longer from the date of the last activity by the Municipality or applicant, a letter will be sent to the applicant informing them that unless a resubmission addressing outstanding matters is received within a month, the file will be closed by Planning Services without further notice.


If after the file is closed and the applicant wishes to again pursue the application, a new file and application fee in accordance with the current Fees By-law will be required.

10. Is Council required to approve my Site Plan?
Planning Services has delegated authority to approve Site Plan Agreements. Site Plan Agreements may go to Council for final approval if the proposal requires the Municipality to enter into additional agreements, the proposal requires the Municipality to proceed outside of the normal Site Plan process under special circumstances, or the applicant wishes the Site Plan to be approved by Council to request special relief from Municipal requirements.
11. Who will review my application?

Site Plan applications will be circulated to all relevant internal and external departments and agencies. Internally, Site Plans are generally reviewed by members of the Development Support Committee.


The Development Support Committee is an interdisciplinary committee that is made up of representatives of various municipal departments. This includes the Planning, Engineering, Building Services, Economic Development, Legal Services and Fire Services. The Development Support Committee reviews all development applications required under Site Plan Control. The Committee will discuss and review submitted site plans and indicate any concerns or provide comment for the applicant.


Externally, the application is reviewed by various outside agencies such as the Essex Region Conservation Authority, Ministry of Transportation, County of Essex, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada Post, Essex Power, Hydro One, etc.

12. Am I required to follow-up and recirculate to external agencies?
It is the sole responsibility of applicants to follow-up directly with external agencies to address any questions or concerns. Applicant’s are responsible for re-circulating all revised documents to external agencies. Revisions to documents as required by external agencies must be sent to the Municipality for review and approval.
13. What are the steps for Site Plan approval?
Site Plan approval is a seven step process. You can review the steps here:
14. What is the difference between a “New” Site Plan Agreement application, an “Amendment” application and the “Exemption” process?
“New” Site Plan Agreement:

A new Site Plan Agreement is required for both greenfield development (undeveloped land) as well as some older existing developed properties that were not required to undergo Site Plan Control during initial development but are required to as a result of an expansion or increased intensity of use on the property. A new Site Plan Agreement can often require more detailed drawings, required studies and/or other Planning Act applications.


“Amendment” to Existing Site Plan Agreement:

An amendment to an existing Site Plan Agreement is required for those developments that have existing Site Plan Agreements registered on property title and are proposing an expansion or increased intensity of use on the property. The length of review and number of submission documents required for a Site Plan Amendment can vary based on the level of complexity of the proposal and the date of the original site plan.


“Exemption” from Site Plan Control

Certain proposed development may be exempted from Site Plan Control at the discretion of the Director of Planning and Community Services. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

15. What is “Pre-consultation”?

Pre-consultation is mandatory for all applications. Pre-consultation meetings are designed to identify site plan submission requirements, applicable design priorities and outline the site plan process. Pre-consultation involves a preliminary review by the Development Support Committee. This feedback will help you prepare an application that is accurate and complete, minimizing delays during the application process.


Topics for discussion during a pre-consultation meeting may include land use policies and guidelines, zoning information, public consultation, engineering requirements, building requirements, application fees, and other issues. In some instances, where the proposed project is of a significant size or in a key location within the Municipality, the pre-consultation meeting may be held at the Development Support Committee.

16. Why can’t my pre-consultation/preliminary submissions on file be used for my formal application?
Any documents that an applicant would like to use as part of their formal submission that have been submitted during preliminary/pre-consultation discussion must be resubmitted as part of their formal submission package.


Preliminary discussion and pre-consultation can contain a number of different versions of the same document. To ensure that the Municipality is circulating and reviewing the correct document, all documents to be considered under the formal application must be submitted as part of the formal submission package.


Municipality of Leamington
111 Erie Street North,
Leamington, Ontario, N8H 2Z9

© 2020 The Municipality of Leamington 111 Erie Street North, Leamington, Ontario N8H 2Z9

Phone: 519-326-5761
Fax: 519-326-2481
Email: General Information

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