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Planning and Permits

The Township of Centre Wellington values the voices of all residents and by using our Official Plan and Zoning By-law we are able to achieve social, environmental and economic objectives. We seek to find a balance of interests within the community by coordinating the development of land and ensure the Ontario Building Code is properly enforced.

Building Permits

A Building Permit is a license that grants legal permission to start construction, renovation or the demolition of a building project. Building Permits ensure that the proposed construction meets with standards set out in the Ontario Building Code. No matter what the specific project may be, the enforcement of codes, by-laws and standards is carried out to protect public health and safety.

Ontario Building Code Stair Changes

Changes to stair requirements under the Ontario Building Code will be effective to all permit applications deemed complete after December 31, 2021.  The list of Ontario Building Code Stair Changes can be found here

A permit is required when you:

  • Construct a new residential dwelling
  • Construct an addition to an existing building, irrespective of size
  • Attach a garage, carport, shed or other roof structure of any size
  • Construct an accessory building, other than a shed, over 10 m2 (107 ft2)
  • Construct a shed that meets any of these criteria:
    • over 15 m2 (161 ft2) in size
    • more than one storey
    • attached to another structure
    • used for any purpose other than storage
    • contains plumbing 
  • Renovate
  • Finish the basement of a house
  • Create an accessory apartment in an existing dwelling
  • Demolish any building greater than 10 m2 (107 ft2)
  • Add, remove or alter a structural wall or column
  • Change the use of a building
  • Relocate a building
  • Replace an exterior wall or cladding
  • Install new plumbing or backflow prevention devices
  • Add or relocate plumbing fixtures
  • Install an underground sprinkler system connected to building plumbing
  • Add any new building that contains plumbing, irrespective of size
  • Construct decks of any shape, size or height
  • Build a concrete porch
  • Add or renovate a solarium and/or sunroom
  • Add a dormer
  • Install or change a swimming pool and its required fencing
  • Install any wood-burning appliance (fireplaces or woodstoves)
  • Convert a fireplace from gas to wood or solid fuel burning
  • Install solar panels or a solar hot water system
  • Recycle grey water to reduce water use
  • Re-insulate walls, ceilings or floors
  • Install a new furnace utilizing a new fuel source
  • Remove a load bearing wall, column, lintel or beam
  • Install a new window or door if you are increasing the width of the existing opening
  • Construct a retaining wall that is greater than three feet and three inches in height
  • Install a new private septic system, replacement tank or repairs to an existing system
  • Include site servicing (water or sewer lines) for all building types
  • Erect a tent or group of tents that are more than 60 m2 (646 ft2) in an aggregate ground area, or attached to a building, or constructed within 3 m (9' 10") of any structure
  • Erect a demountable stage *please see our stage permit guide for when a building permit is required*
  • Alterations or changes of use to industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential construction
  • Install an exterior sign


Please contact our office if your project is not listed here and we will be happy to walk you through the process.


A permit is not required when you:

  • Construct a detached structure, other than a shed, less than 108 ft2 measured from the outside face of walls (that do not contain plumbing)
  • Construct a shed that meets all of these criteria:
    • under 15 m2 (161 ft2) in size
    • one storey in building height
    • not attached to a building or any other structure
    • used only for storage purposed ancillary to a principal building on the lot
    • does not have plumbing
  • Gas fireplace installations
  • Fences not enclosing a swimming pool (but must still comply with zoning regulations)
  • Water softener installations
  • Damp-proofing basements
  • Painting, wall papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work
  • Door and window replacements (within the existing opening, where no structural members are changed)
  • Installing new shingles on existing roof
  • Replacing a plumbing fixture (i.e. toilet, bathtub or sink) with a new fixture in the same location
  • Replacing a furnace or adding air conditioning units or a heat pump
  • Kitchen or bathroom cupboards
  • Retaining walls less than 1 m in height
  • Sidewalks, planters and landscaping
  • Garden pergolas and gazebos that do not have a solid roof and are not attached to another building


Please contact our office if your project is not listed here and we will be happy to walk you through the process.

Building permits can be applied for by emailing your application and documents, including drawings, to: email (attachment limit is 10MB total). Submissions larger than 10MB can be uploaded through 2big4email, or contact us for assistance.


*NEW* You can now apply for a building permit online through our CityView Web Portal. Please visit the CityView Portal FAQ page for answers to common questions. 


Permit applications will not be considered complete until payment has been made. Payment details and confirmed permit fees will be communicated to you once your application has been received. Payment can be made in person at the Civic Centre, or over the phone by credit card. 


Please refer the permit forms and guides and permit requirements tabs below for information on:

  • application requirements
  • drawing requirements
  • designer requirements

Application Requirements:


The following electronic documents are required for permit submission. All electronic documents and drawings must be in PDF format.

  • Application form
  • One set of drawings (see permit guides and below for drawing requirements)
  • Site plan for entire property
  • Schedule 1 - design information form
  • Energy efficiency design summary (EEDS) form
  • Sewage system design (if applicable)
  • Schedule 2 - sewage system installer information form (if applicable)
  • Any other forms that pertain to your project


Drawing Requirements:


The following drawings and information may be required to accompany application for permits:

  • Site plan/Lot grading plan
  • Foundation plan
  • Floor plans/Framing plans
  • Roof plans
  • Building elevations
  • Sections and details
  • Truss layout drawings (if applicable)
  • Pre-engineered floor joist layout drawings (if applicable)


All drawings must be fully dimensioned and drawn to scale. They must include all sizes and types of construction materials to be used and their respective locations, finishes to all walls, ceilings and floors, and all existing and proposed fire separations. Please refer to our permit guides for more information.


Designer Requirements:


All submitted documents must be prepared by either the owner, or prepared and reviewed by a qualified designer, architect, professional engineer or a combination. Some drawings must be designed by a professional engineer when the design falls outside of the prescriptive requirements of the Building Code. 


The Building Code requires qualified, registered designers, who review and take responsibility for design activities, to include the following information on documents submitted for permit:

  • The name and building code identification number (BCIN) of the registered firm.
  • A statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the design activities.
  • The name and BCIN of the qualified person.
  • The signature of the qualified person.

All permit fees are calculated based on Schedule "A" By-Law No. 2022-42.



Please be advised that, in accordance with requirements of the Township of Centre Wellington Building By-Law #2005 – 044, permit fees will be due and payable upon submission of application.


Fees calculated on initial application may require adjustment prior to the issuance of the Building Permit.  You will be advised of any adjustment or additional fees owing on notification that the Building Permit is ready for issuance.

Development charges are one-time fees charged by the Township on new properties to help offset the cost of specified services as outlined in the Development Charges Act.


The following development charges are effective January 1, 2024. More information can be found here.




Single-Detached & Semi-Detached Dwelling

Apartments with 2 or more bedrooms

Apartments – Bachelor and 1 bedroom

Other multiples

Special Care/Special Dwelling

Township Wide Fees






Urban Area Service Fees














Township Wide Charges

Urban Area Service Charge

Total Charges



$11.33 per square foot of gross floor area


Development charges are controlled through the Township's Development Charges By-Law and are based on our Development Charges background study and update.


Construction may be subject to Wellington County development charges

Every permit issued by the Township of Centre Wellington has a list of required inspections. It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure inspection requests are booked a minimum of 24 hours before the required inspection time.

Please contact building staff to book an inspection by email or by calling 519-846-9691 ext.907. You will need to make a reference to the permit number and property address when requesting your inspection. Please note the Township does not review or inspect electrical work – contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-421-2228 for electrical permits.

If you are planning to dig, build or excavate it is important you locate all of your utility lines first. In fact, under Ontario Regulations it is the law.

To have municipal infrastructure located please contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to register your locate request. Call at least one week before you plan to dig to be sure you get the locate information by the time you need it. 

April 2024 Permit Activity ; last month’s building permit information. 

Planning and Zoning

For Zoning Resources, click here.

For a list of Current Planning Applications, click here.

In accordance with the Planning Act, and pursuant to the Township of Centre Wellington Pre-Consultation By-law 2023-47, applicants shall be required to undergo a mandatory two-phase pre-consultation process with the Township prior to submission of the following development applications:

a)      Official Plan Amendment

b)      Zoning By-law Amendment

c)      Draft Plan of Subdivision

d)      Draft Plan of Condominium

e)      Site Plan

f)       Other applications reference by the Planning Act as may be determined by the Township base don the application’s complexity or relationship to tother application types for which a mandatory pre-consultation applies.


Please contact the Township Planning and Development Services team by email or 519-846-9691 to discuss pre-consultation requirements.


Other Resources:

Pre-consultation Information and Procedures Document

Pre-consultation Request Application Form

Township of Centre Wellington Pre-consultation By-law 2023-47


Two-Phase Pre-consultation Fees:

Phase 1 - $3247 + $1200 Deposit

Phase 2 - $4400

The below design guidelines and development standards will inform potential applicants of the Township's expectations with regard to the functional and aesthetic aspects of new development. Please note these are working documents and may be updated from time to time as needed. 

Development Manual

Urban Design Guidelines

Urban Design Manual - Private Realm

The official plan of the Township of Centre Wellington, is a policy document that sets out the Township's vision on how land should be used.

Where does the Official Plan apply?

The Township of Centre Wellington's Official Plan only applies to the Elora and Fergus Urban Centres, including Salem and Belwood. All other areas of the Township are governed by the County of Wellington's Official Plan.

Official Plan Amendment        

What is it?

  • A change to the Township's official plan
  • Changes may be needed because of new circumstances in the community or because of requests made by property owners
  • The Planning Act requires a comprehensive review of an approved official plan to be completed every five years from the date the plan came into effect to ensure conformity with provincial plans and policies

How is an amendment made?

  • By submitting an application to council, a person or public body may request that an official plan be amended
  • Council may refuse to accept an application that fails to provide sufficient information or material as prescribed by Minister's regulation and/or set down in the municipal official plan.
  • It is highly recommended that if you plan to submit an application for an official plan amendment to consult with the Township prior to submitting the application.

​Official Plan:

Township Official Plan - Text Only - Office Consolidation February, 2024

​​​Official Plan Schedules:

​Schedule A-1 - Land Use​
Schedule A-2 - Belwood Land Use​
Schedule A-3
Schedule B - Servicing 
Schedule C - Groundwater
Schedule C-2 - Groundwater Belwood​

​Official Plan Amendments:



OPA 1 Loblaws Bylaw No 2007-051


OPA 2 Cty of Wellington Affordable Housing Bylaw No 2008-059


OPA 3 Anchor Reform Church Bylaw No 2009-042


OPA 4 Sheldon Creek Bylaw No 2009-069


OPA 5 Growth Plan Conformity Bylaw No 2010-042


OPA 6 Little Folks Bylaw No 2012-089


​OPA 7 North West Fergus Secondary Plan Bylaw No 2015-016

OPA 8 Two Zone Floodplain Bylaw No 2017-06

OPA 9 Grand River Agricultural Society Bylaw No 2017-08


OPA 10 Elora Central Business District Bylaw No 2020-27


OPA 11 970 Gartshore Street & 101 Gregson Court Bylaw No 2023-62


OPA 12 350 Wellington Road 7 Bylaw No 2023-72


OPA 13 6542 & 6560 Gerrie Road Bylaw No 2023-83



A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form one or more new lot(s) or new parcel(s) of land. This is commonly known as a "consent" under the Planning Act.

Specific polices and requirements for land severance have been identified in our Official Plan. In addition to the division of land, rights-of-way, easements and any change to your existing property boundaries, such as a lot line adjustment, also require land severance approval.

If several severances are intended in the same area, a plan of subdivision may be more appropriate.

Official approval is required to ensure that:

  • Land severances are considered within an established community planning framework
  • New lots and new land uses do not to conflict with the overall future planning goals and policies of the community
  • Consideration is given to the effects of the division of land on the site, on the neighbours and on the community as a whole

Once a severance has been approved, the new land parcels may be sold or resold without further approval. The only exception is if the County of Wellington has specified that this should not occur without further approval.

Who authorizes land severances?

The County of Wellington's Land Division Committee has the authority to grant severances/consents.


Severance Application Form

Lot Line Adjustment Application Form

MDS1 - Farm Data Sheet (if required) 

For more information or to apply please contact:

County of Wellington 
Deb Turchet, Administration & Development Planning and Development Department Phone: 519-837-2600 x2160
Fax: 519-823-1694

Site plan control is established under Section 41 of the Ontario Planning Act. The Township has designated the entire Township as a Site Plan Control Area with the following exceptions:

  • Residential Developments with more than 10 units
  • Commercial Developments
  • Industrial Developments
  • Agricultural buildings and structures (except farm help houses, trailers and garden suites)
  • All individual trailer site improvements within a trailer camp or equivalent
  • Buildings and structures for flood control or conservation purposes

Council has delegated its approval authority for Site Plan Applications to Township staff.

Why do I need to make a Site Plan Application?

Site plan applications are processed by the Planning and Development Department to ensure:
  • Compliance with the Township Official Plan, zoning by-laws, urban design guidelines, and other related development standards
  • Safe, functional and orderly development having high standards of design and efficiency of land uses and servicing
The Site Plan Application Process


Here is a description of the Site Plan Review Process:
  • Applicant is required to pre-consult with the Planning and Development Department to discuss their preliminary site plan 
  • Planning and Development provides feedback through the mandatory pre-consultation process.
  • Applicant submits complete Site Plan Application to Planning and Development
  • Planning and Development circulates the complete Site Plan Application to relevant Township departments and outside agencies with a request for comments and conditions
  • Staff and consultants review the application during a Development Review Committee meeting
  • Comments and conditions from the Township Planning and Development Department and outside agencies are received by the Planning Development
  • Comments are communicated to the Applicant
  • If necessary, revised plans are submitted by the Applicant to Planning and Development who re-circulate the plans to all relevant Township departments and outside agencies for review
  • Planning and Development issues Final Site Plan Approval and registers a Site Plan Agreement on title
  • Application can be made for a building permit
  • All site works are completed by Applicant and inspected by Township Staff

A Deposit Agreement is required for each planning application.  To find the appropriate deposit amount, please refer to the Planning Fee Schedule.  The deposit monies are held for payment to external agencies and consultants where necessary.

The following has been taken from the Township of Centre Wellington's Fees and Charges By-Law. Please note that these figures and details are supplied as a convenience to you and are subject to change. Before commencing with any projects please verify costs and conditions with the Planning Division.

The following is a list development applications and associated fees:

Planning Application Type


Part Lot Control Exemption By-law

$1,412.00 – Base Fee $99.00 per unit

Official Plan Amendment

$31,335 *

Combined Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments


Zoning By-Law Amendments

·       General Amendment

·       Minor Amendment (Note 1)


$16,436 *
$8,218 *

Site Plan Control

·       Multiple Residential/Industrial

·       Commercial/Institutional

·       Major Site Plan (Note 5)

·       Lot Grading & Drainage Plan

·       On Farm Diversified Use

$11,389 *
$11,389 *
$15,144 *
$1,490 *


Amendment to Site Plan & Site Plan Agreements

·       Minor – Less than 50% expansion to gross floor area

·       Major – Greater than 50% expansion to gross floor area

$1,490 *

$2,019 *

Request to Prepare Development Agreement (Note 3)

$5,223 *

Clearance of Draft Approval Conditions - Subdivision

Clearance of Draft Approval Conditions - Condo



Clearance of Severance Conditions


Pre-Consultation Fee 

·       Mandatory - Stage 1

·       Mandatory - Stage 2

$3,247 *

$4,400 *

Cash-in-lieu of Parkland (Severance Applications)

·       Residential Urban

·       Residential Rural


Zoning Enquiry Letter


Providing Names for Severance Applications


​Committee of Adjustment

·       All Applications

·       Sign or Fence Variance


* These fees are subject to a deposit. 
Please contact Chantalle Pellizzari by email or 519-846-9691 x241 for more information.

Applications, Licenses and Permits

Township By-Law 1999-59 is a By-Law for the licensing, regulating and governing of outdoor vendors in the Township of Centre Wellington.


Food Vehicle – Food Vehicle License Application


A Food Vehicle means a chip wagon, food truck, mobile barbeque facility, refreshment vehicle or refrigerated bicycle cart. No person shall operate or permit the operation of any food vehicle within the Township of Centre Wellington without license to do so. 




Chip Wagon/Food Truck

$250.00 each wagon/truck

Mobile Barbeque

$250.00 each barbeque

Refreshment Vehicle

$100.00 each vehicle

Refrigerated Bicycle Cart

$50.00 each cart

Transient Traders – Transient Trader License Application


A Transient Trader means any person who offers goods, wares or merchandise for sale in any manner in the Township. No person shall operate as a transient trader within the Township of Centre Wellington without a license to do so.




Transient Trader – Annual


Transient Trader – Daily


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