The City uses Site Plan Approval and these Guidelines to address and resolve design matters related to the proper development of any site.

Site Plan Approval works in conjunction with other approvals such as Zoning or Building Permit approval to provide for well designed and functional sites. The City's general objectives for design are found in the City's Official Plan Chapter 9, Visual Environment and Urban Design as well as throughout other parts of the Official Plan (Waterfront, Heritage Resources). A copy of the Official Plan or excerpts is available from the Planning Department. Site Plan Approval is a Site-specific type of development control authorized under Section 41 of the Planning Act. The Site Plan By-law of the City of Cornwall was approved by Council July 13, 1981 to establish Site Plan Control within the City.

Site Plan Control generally applies to all construction, development and redevelopment within the boundaries of the City of Cornwall, there are some exceptions. They are:
  • Residential buildings containing four or less family dwelling units and accessory buildings or structures thereto, in any residential zone.
  • Buildings containing 8 units or less developed on lots in Plans of Subdivision registered after July 22, 1974.
  • Less than a total of three (3) temporary portable classrooms accessory to a school.
  • Additions which contain less than 150 m² (1614 sq. ft) of floor space unless they are drive-through facilities, car wash bay additions, or similar uses which require queuing of vehicles.
  • Works which result form the requirements of the Fire Marshall's Act or an Order issued by the Fire Chief.

Under the provisions of this By-law, the Appointed Officer has the discretion to exempt development which would have negligible site impact, from all or part(s) of the City's Site Plan procedures on the basis of the definition of development as described in Section 1, and on the basis of the guidelines outlined in the City's Site Plan Manual.

 Submission Requirements

Please consult with the Site Plan Coordinator at the Planning Department before submitting an application. Before an application will be considered as complete, it will be necessary for the applicant to submit all the following required documentation to the Site Plan Control Coordinator.

The basic Site Plan submission requirements include:

  • Covering letter or brief résumé of project
  • Completed Site Plan Application Form
  • Owner's Authorization (if applicable)
  • Application Fee
  • Digital copies of the required plans in high-quality, vector PDF Format. Printed copies can be requested at the discretion of staff.
  • Required Plans (Refer to checklists contained in this package for information to be shown on plans):
    • Existing Development
    • Site Plan
    • Landscaping Plan
    • Site Servicing Plan
    • Elevations and Floor Plan
    • Grading and Drainage Plan including retention pond calculations.
  • A copy of an Ontario Land Survey (reference plan)
  • Two printed copies of the approved, final plans and a digital copy in high-quality, vector PDF Format

Important note: The total processing time may vary depending on the complexity of the proposal and issues that may be encountered. Where applicable, development cannot proceed without an approved Site Plan Drawing(s), an executed Site Plan Agreement and until all financial requirements have been met.

* Please consult with the Site Plan Coordinator at the Planning Department before submitting an application.

 Site Plan Application Package 

The Site Plan Application Package is thorough and easy to comprehend. Please take note of the Site Plan Example in the package, it has been added to help the proponent and designers to see what is to be expected at the first submission. The package includes:

Please be aware that the applications are placed on the website to help facilitate the application process. However, we strongly urge the applicant to discuss and direct any questions you may have pertaining to the application to staff.


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