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Development Application Review

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Learn how to submit a development application, including how to prepare an application, meet Regional development conditions and complete an development agreement request package.

Development Engineering Review Service: Take our survey!

It’s been one year since Halton Region launched its online Development Engineering Review Service, and we want to hear from you!

Take our short survey (external link) by Monday, June 3, 2024 to tell us about your experience with using the Region’s online service. Your input is valuable to us!

Take the survey now

Visit the online Development Engineering Review Service to:

  • create an account;
  • enter submission information and load documents; or
  • track the status of your application.

Development Engineering Review Service

 

Halton Region's role in development review

Halton Region reviews development proposals that need changes to Regional Official Plan policies or require a Regional Official Plan Amendment. In some cases, the Region will also review development applications that affect Local Official Plans and/or Zoning By-laws and those which require Site Plan Approval.

If you are a non-residential developer or business looking to capitalize on a potential opportunity in Halton Region, you can connect with our Employment Land Concierge. The concierge is here to help you navigate the industrial and commercial development approvals process.

If you need to submit a development application to a Local Municipality, the Niagara Escarpment Commission or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, please see the Development Contacts tab below.

How does the Region review development applications?

When Regional staff review and comment on development applications, we are interested in:

  • maintaining Provincial Land Use policy interests identified in Provincial Policy Statement, Greenbelt Plan, A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (external link) and Niagara Escarpment Plan (external PDF);
  • ensuring development aligns with the Regional Official Plan (ROP) and supplemental ROP Guidelines;
  • coordination and allocation of municipal infrastructure, including roads, water supply and wastewater services;
  • preservation and protection of clean water, air and the Region’s Natural Heritage System, including forested areas;
  • site contamination; and,
  • collaboration with relevant Provincial ministries, Local Municipalities and Conservation authorities (Conservation Halton, Grand River Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation Authority).

Development process: Preparing your submission

The drop-down sections below provide more information to help guide you through the stages of a development proposal. These stages will vary based on the type, location and size of your application.

Planning applications

Pre-consultation meeting

Pre-consultation meetings are an important first step in the development application process. They provide land owners the opportunity to discuss their development proposal with Local, Regional and Conservation Authority staff directly. Applications may be for a(n):

  • Official Plan Amendment
  • Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Draft Plan of Subdivision
  • Draft Plan of Condominium
  • Site Plan Approval

Applications must follow the pre-consultation process implemented by each Local Municipality.

To arrange a pre-consultation meeting, contact the relevant Local Municipality directly (please see the Development Contacts tab).

Regional Official Plan Amendments

Regional Official Plan Amendments must be approved by Halton Region. To learn more about the Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) process, including the ROPA application form (PDF file), you can visit the Regional Official Plan Amendments and Amendment Process page.

Preparing your development application:

When preparing your development applications, please review the following resources:

Once you have reviewed the documents and prepared the studies noted in your pre-consultation form, you can submit your application to the relevant Local Municipality to be reviewed for conditional approval.

If you require any of these files in an alternate format, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311, TTY: 905 827-9833.

Regional development approval

If your application for Site Plan Approval, Draft Plan of Subdivision or Draft Plan of Condominium has received conditional approval from a Local Municipality, you will then need to meet certain conditions to receive clearance from Halton Region to proceed with development. Once all Regional conditions have been addressed, Regional staff will advise the relevant Local Municipality.

The information below can help guide you through how to clear some common Regional development conditions:

Services Permits

For any development work involving connections to water, wastewater services or Regional roads, you will need to apply for a Services Permit from Halton Region. Please consult our Permits page for more information.

Land Owner Dedication Form

Through the mandatory pre-consultation process, land owners may need to dedicate land to Halton Region under development applications. As part of this process, they must complete the Land Owner Dedication Form (PDF file). This form should include all referenced attachments, reference plans and fees. Note: Fees are reviewed and updated annually.

Phase One Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and Phase Two ESA

The review of an Environmental Site Screening Questionnaire that contamination or potential for contamination exists. In this case, the Region will need a qualified person to indicate whether the environmental condition of the site is suitable for its proposed land use through a Phase One ESA. The Phase One ESA results will determine whether a Phase Two ESA needs to be completed. A Phase One ESA and Phase Two ESA must be completed prior to any approval, servicing or grading of the site; they also need to be prepared to O.Reg 153/04 standards, to the satisfaction of Halton Region. The author of these environmental reports must extend third-party reliance to the Region.

We are here to help. If you have any questions about how to clear Regional conditions, please call 311 and ask to speak to the Community Planning department.


Before you submit (Development Engineering Review)

Review your Planning Act development application comments and approval to determine if an engineering submission is a requirement.

Please note, in some limited circumstances, there may be the requirement for an engineering submission even when a Planning Act application is not required. In these cases, please contact Regional staff at developmentengineering@halton.ca in advance of creating an engineering file to discuss your submission and the appropriate pre-submission requirements.

Before you start a new project, please review the Region’ s standards and requirements as well as the Region’s Development Engineering Review Manual, known as the DERM (available under Submission Requirements, Templates, Reference Documents and Forms), which contains detailed information on standards, requirements, policies, manuals and by-laws. Please also ensure you are working with a reputable engineering consultant on your submission.

All engineering drawings must be prepared according to the Region’s standards. All of the proposed and existing infrastructure must be shown on the applicable drawings. Failure to adhere to Regional standards will result in additional processing time for your submissions.

When creating an engineering file, you may identify other contacts that will need to access the submission, monitor its progress or upload related documents. Some examples may be the consulting engineer, developer, land owner or a lawyer. Please ensure you have appropriate contact information for these parties so that you can add them to your Engineering file.

You should be aware of the Halton Region’s Development Engineering Review Process (PDF file), fees related to engineering submissions and how to pay them as they are part of the requirements for a complete submission. Please ensure your fees are paid prior to creating an engineering file through our online intake system.

The first installment of the Engineering and Inspection Fee must be paid prior to the first Engineering Submission. More information is available in the Region’s Development Application Requirements and Fee Schedule (PDF file).

If you require any of these files in an alternate format, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311, TTY: 905 827-9833.

Different forms, drawings, checklists and other documents are required depending on the type of engineering submission. Access templates and learn about the specific drawings and documents you have to provide under Submission Requirements, Templates, Reference Documents and Forms.

It is strongly recommended that you contact Regional staff before you submit your package if you have any questions or to discuss your submission to ensure efficient processing. Please feel free to contact Regional staff at developmentengineering@halton.ca.

Depending on the type of project you’re working on and where your property is located, you may need a Regional servicing or subdivision agreement or other permits as part of your overall development approvals and processing.

Common examples of additional approvals, include:

  • Conservation authority approval for property located on land that’s regulated by a conservation authority, such as Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Conservation Halton or Grand River Conservation Authority.
  • Coordination with local municipal approvals or permits. Please visit Town of Oakville, Town of Halton Hills, City of Burlington and Town of Milton for additional information.
  • Ontario Ministry of Transportation approval for property that falls within MTO controlled areas (external link).
  • Regional subdivision or servicing agreement and/or regional permit.
  • MECP approvals.

Please do not submit subsequent submissions until you have received comments on the current submission and have addressed those comments. Submission of new drawings and documents before receiving direction from the Regional Staff member assigned to you and without addressing all of the identified items in your submission will result in delays to the processing of your submission and may result in subsequent submissions being rejected.

All and every effort should be made to adhere to Regional standards, guidelines and requirements. The Region will only consider deviations from standards when all reasonable and practical efforts have been made and explored to meet standards and requirements.

  • Deviation from Regional Standards Application (please see Submission Requirements, Templates, Reference Documents and Forms) should be submitted as early in the process as possible to ensure appropriate time for staff to consider the deviation.
  • Deviations requested that cannot demonstrate that every effort has been made to achieve the Region standards will not be considered.
  • Deviations proposed at the end stages of the review process will add additional time to the review and granting of approvals.

MECP approvals require the submission of a Design Checklist at first submission. They also require the submission of a complete MECP Approvals Package when advised by the Regional staff member assigned to your file that your drawings have advanced to a level appropriate for the review of MECP materials. Please review the design checklist and details around approval package requirements in advance. To view these forms, please refer to Submission Requirements, Templates, Reference Documents and Forms.

There are limited circumstances in which a direct submission to the MECP is required, in these cases, the Regional staff member assigned to your file will work with you to ensure the required information and forms are completed for Regional submission. 

For submissions requiring agreements with Halton Region please note that the Development Agreement Request Form (DARF) will not be accepted until you have been advised by the Regional staff member assigned to your file that your drawings have advanced to a level appropriate for the review of agreement materials. To view the DARF, please refer to Submission Requirements, Templates, Reference Documents and Forms.

Please review the Complete Engineering Submission Checklist and the Development Engineering Review Manual (DERM) below. These two documents contain all of the relevant information related to engineering submissions and the review and approval process at Halton Region. All of the common forms and templates that are referenced in the Complete Engineering Submission Checklist are also available below. Alternatively, you can email developmentengineering@halton.ca for copies of any of these documents.

If you require any of these files in an alternate format, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311, TTY: 905 827-9833.


Development process: Online submission (Development Engineering Review Service)

Online submission process (Development Engineering Review)

When you’re ready, follow these steps to create an engineering file and submit your documents through our online Development Engineering Review Service. Please also review our process flowchart (PDF file) showing the steps in the Engineering Review Process at Halton Region.

For additional guidance, please scroll to the Development Engineering Review Service: Help and Support section for videos on specific intake steps and other support resources.

Development Engineering Review Service


Through email money transfer or Electronic Funds Transfer, submit your engineering review fee. You will be required to upload proof of payment/receipt with your other engineering documents before the submission will be considered complete and processed. Please refer to the Paying Your Application Fee section of this page for detailed instructions on fee payments. It is important you include identifiers with your fee such as “engineering review,” your “planning file number” and “site location”.

Start the process by selecting “Sign-up ” to create an account. You will receive an email confirming your email address and a link will be provided to create a secure password. The initial information process includes the function to add other contacts who may need to review the engineering file as it moves through the process. Contacts can upload documents relevant to the file you are adding them to. They will receive an email inviting them to the file and requesting they set up their own login information. Added contacts will only be able to view the file you add them to, they will not be able to view other files within your account unless they are specifically added.

Select “Start a new Engineering File”, log in if prompted, and follow the prompts on each page to complete the required information, and if needed, the optional information. Select the “next” at the bottom right of the screen to move through the process.

Once you have completed the basic information portion of your Engineering File you will move to the document upload portion of the submission. You must then upload drawings and supporting documents, including proof of payment/receipt of the Engineering and Inspection fee non-refundable deposit required with the first engineering submission.

Make sure you provide all of the required information as noted in the complete submission checklist. It’s important to complete this step because submissions with missing documentation may result in delays.

To categorize your documents please ensure that the documents you are uploading have descriptive names and are categorized as indicated on the Complete Engineering Submission Checklist.

Note: You can upload 1 to 10 documents at a time, with a maximum of 50 documents per block. To add more documents, select Add and another block will be added for additional uploads. The maximum size per document is 10 MB and allowed document types are:

  • .pdf
  • .xlsx
  • .docx
  • .shp
  • .shx
  • .dbf
  • .mdg
  • .dwg
  • .dxf

Once you select the submit command a transaction number and a development engineering file number will be generated. This will also be sent to your email. You will have the same development engineering file number for all submissions until the file is closed.

After you upload your drawings and documents, the Region will start the prescreen review process to ensure the minimum requirements are met. The time frame for this step is subject to change depending on request volumes.

If the submission requires more information, you will be notified by email with details about the prescreen corrections. You must complete all prescreen corrections in order to move ahead with the process and for your submission to enter the “In Review” status.

Your application will then be assigned to a Regional staff member for processing and will move through the review stages by the relevant review groups to make sure it meets the required Regional standards to move towards approvals.

When the review is completed by each review group, comments will be provided to you through the staff member assigned to your Engineering file. They will indicate revisions, corrections and/or additional documentation required for your next submission. Comments will also direct you as to when the Region will accept items such as your Development Agreement Request Package (DARF) or your MECP Approval Documents, if applicable.

Regional comments will provide you with details on what you need to do next. Please keep in mind, the quality of information and detail provided in each submission will greatly impact review and processing times. You may also request conversation and explanation of comments regarding your engineering file at any time by contacting your assigned staff member directly or by emailing developmentengineering@halton.ca.

Once an Engineering File has been submitted it will be shown in the “view status/upload additional documents” section of Halton Region’s Development Review Service site. There are four main statuses for submissions:

  • Submitted – An engineering file has been created and documents associated with that file have been submitted. The file will remain in this status until such time as the triage and pre-screen review has been completed to ensure all of the documents have been received.
  • In Review – An engineering file will move to this status when internal circulation and review is occurring.
  • Waiting on Customer – An engineering file will move to this status when Regional staff have provided correspondence that additional information is required to complete the submission, or when Regional staff have provided formal comments indicating requirements for the next stage. For example, comments have been issued and a subsequent submission is required, or approvals have been granted and there is the requirement for as constructed drawings.
  • Closed – An Engineering File will move to this status once all as-constructed/approved drawings have been received by the Region.

Your Engineering file will require approved drawings and MECP approvals as components of the overall approval. There may also be requirements for a Regional Subdivision or Servicing Agreement that coincides with your engineering submission. You will be notified by your assigned Regional staff member as each of these components is approved. When your agreement is ready for review, you will be contacted by the Region’s Legal Services Department. Execution of Agreements occurs at registration for subdivisions and once certain requirements under the Servicing Agreement are fulfilled for servicing agreements, and among other things requires the posting of all necessary securities.

After your agreement is executed and certain requirements under the Agreement are complete along with engineering approvals, you are ready to begin pre-construction/construction. At this point, you will move into the pre-construction and construction process. You will continue to have regular contact with your assigned staff member for your engineering file as well as other Regional staff members such as Regional Inspectors.

Your file will remain open until the submission of as-constructed drawings is complete at which point your file will be marked closed. At this time, you will receive notification it has been closed.


Help and support (Development Engineering Review Service)


Frequently asked questions (Development Engineering Review Service)

Find answers for some commonly asked questions on how to use Region’s online Development Engineering Review Service to manage your files and submissions.

Your email is your unique identifier when accessing Development Engineering Review Service and cannot be changed. You will need to create a new account if you have a new email address. Please note that your new account will not have access to your existing engineering files. Contact developmentengineering@halton.ca if you wish to transfer existing engineering files to the new account.

The primary contact can invite other contacts when submitting a new engineering file. If you want to invite other contacts after you have submitted your engineering file, send a request to developmentengineering@halton.ca and they will add the contact for you.

You can track the status online through "View Status of Engineering File/or upload documents". Your engineering file, and its corresponding case number, will be in the column associated with its current status.

Clicking on the case number will enable you to view the file details and status. The primary contact of the engineering file will also receive an email notification whenever the status is updated.

You will have an opportunity to review the list of uploaded documents in the “Review and submit” page of the form. The list of uploaded documents will be in the email confirmation as well. It is important to keep track of your emails for your records to monitor which files documents have been uploaded. At this time, a list of all uploaded documents is not available online.

Additional documents can be uploaded online through “View Status of Engineering File/or upload documents.” Other changes to the engineering file must be submitted by sending an email to developmentengineering@halton.ca.

You can. Additional documents can be uploaded to the same engineering file online through "View Status of Engineering File/or upload documents". Your engineering file, and its corresponding case number, will be in the column associated with its current status. Then, click on the case number. Select the “Next: Upload documents” at the bottom right of the screen. This will take you to the document upload page.

You can upload up to 50 documents per block. You can add up to a maximum of 10 blocks.

Use the forgot password link on the log in page.

Select the contact us link at the bottom of the form or send an email to developmentengineering@halton.ca with your contact information and the details of the issue. You will be contacted via email or phone.

Send an email to developmentengineering@halton.ca and staff will walk through the process with you. You will require written consent from the land owner of the change in primary contact.

The Regional staff person assigned to your file will inform you of when your engineering drawings are at an acceptable stage where it is appropriate to submit the Development Agreement Request Form (DARF package). This typically does not occur until second submission or later.

The Regional staff person assigned to your file will inform you of when your engineering drawings are at an acceptable stage where it is appropriate to submit the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) approval package. This typically does not occur until second submission or later.

Through email money transfer or Electronic Funds Transfer, submit your engineering review fee. You will be required to upload proof of payment/receipt with your other engineering documents before the submission will be considered complete and processed. Please refer to the “Paying Your Application Fee” section of this page for detailed instructions on fee payments. It is important you include identifiers with your fee such as “engineering review” and your “planning file number” and “site location”.


Learn more

Agreements and pre-servicing

Preparing your Development Agreements

Once you have conditional approval on your application from a Local Municipality and have cleared Regional conditions, you can prepare a Development Agreement. Development Agreements between the applicant and Halton Region include design and construction requirements, as well as costs to build new watermains, wastewater mains and other Regional infrastructure.

A number of standard components need to be provided prior to preparing a Development Agreement. The Development Agreement Request Form (PDF file) describes these requirements and helps ensure you have included all necessary documents.

The following is a list of sample templates to help you prepare your agreement:

  • Schedule 5: This provides a sample format for a typical letter of credit and a list of acceptable financial institutions that can provide letters of credit
  • Certificate of Insurance: This provides a sample format for a typical Developer’s Certificate of Insurance

These templates are available upon request. Please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311 to request a copy of the template.

Timing

Once you have submitted your Agreement Request Package to Halton Region, you will generally receive the agreement in about 15 business days. To clarify requirements, please check the Development Agreement Request Form above.

Costs payable

At the Subdivision Agreement Stage, the developer is required to provide a certified cheque to cover:

  • the engineering and inspection fees (this is based on a sliding scale, directly tied to the cost of construction);
  • water meter installation fees;
  • water and wastewater tapping fees (if applicable);
  • legal administration fees;
  • general administration fees;
  • the water, wastewater and roads components of the Region's development charge; and
  • the applicable Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

Note: In some cases, there may be other charges.

Once a building permit is issued, the developer is required to pay the remainder of the Region-wide components (General Services) of the Region's development charge.

Note: A Development Charge Agreement may be required to collect Regional development charges before these two stages. Please check for the most current development charges information.

Service and engineering fees

Engineering and inspection fees are calculated as a percentage of the estimated cost of Regional water and wastewater services. Fees are based on a sliding scale.

Total estimated cost of proposed water services, wastewater services and road works Engineering and inspections fee deposits*
up to $100,000 $5,000 or 10% (whichever is greater) +HST
between $100,000.01 and $250,000 7% +HST
between $250,000.01 and $500,000 6% +HST
$500,000.01 or more 5% +HST (To a maximum of $100, 000 + HST)

*The first $5,000 + $650 HST = $5,650 of the total engineering and inspection fee must be submitted at the time of the first engineering drawing submission, with the balance payable upon execution of the Development Agreement.

Note: Any portion of the engineering and inspection fee collected, including the $5,000 payment, is considered a one-time charge that is non-refundable.

What is pre-servicing

There are two definitions of pre-servicing:

  1. Pre-servicing, as it relates to the agreements, is defined as servicing prior to registration. This is authorized.
  2. Pre-servicing, as understood by developers, consultants and contractors, is defined as servicing that begins prior to the execution of the agreement by a letter of undertaking or some other means. This is not allowed in Halton.

Commencing work

The developer’s contractor can start the work when the Region has received the following items:

  1. An original insurance certificate:
    • naming the Region as an additional insured;
    • showing the date and file number of the agreement; and
    • in the name of the persons entering into the agreement.
  2. A certified cheque for the amount shown in the Development Agreement.
  3. A letter of credit (as per the Development Agreement):
    • in the form, and with a banking institution, acceptable to the Region;
    • showing the date and file number of the agreement; and
    • in the name of the persons entering into the agreement.
  4. An up-to-date certified copy of the parcel page, together with postponements to all mortgages on title.
  5. Return of three copies of the agreement:
    • signed by authorized signing authorities, showing names and titles;
    • sealed (corporate seal and company name must be identical) and, if there is no seal, the signatures must be witnessed;
    • the date and place of signing must be complete; and
    • each page must be initialed by signatories.
  6. Certificate of approval issued by MECP.
  7. Fees paid.
  8. Design drawings signed.
  9. A Regional inspection must have been arranged through your development coordinator (Please allow 10 days of advance notice).

Planning, engineering and inspection fees

View Development Application Requirements and Fee Schedule. (PDF file)

There are three ways to pay your Regional development application fee:

  1. Pay direct through Interac e-Transfer – for payments up to $10,000
  2. Wire transfer (EFT) – for payments up to $10,000
  3. Cheque/Certified Cheque – for payment over $10,000

View the information below and follow the specific steps for the option you choose.

Planning Application Fees and Engineering and Inspection Fees: Payment Options - Effective December 1, 2021

Note to Applicants: The information below outlines the various payment methods accepted by Halton Region for planning applications and Engineering & Inspection fees. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with Regional Staff to determine required fee prior to the submission of an application.

1. Interac Email Money Transfer

All Interac Email money transfers can be sent to PlanningFees@halton.ca.

The applicant must include the following payment details in the message section with every email money transfer forwarded to the Region:

  • Site Address
  • Applicant/ Owner
  • File Number (if known)

Missing information will cause delays in processing your payment and application.

No password is required. E-transfers must be sent from a bank that recognizes auto-deposit. The Region cannot receive funds if a password is required.

There is a $10,000 maximum allowed for email money transfers. Halton Region cannot accept multiple email transfers for a single application. For applications with a fee over $10,000, option 2 or 3 below must be used. Each client/customer may also be restricted to their client bank card entitlement limits with their financial institution.

2. Bank Wire Transfer

If requesting a wire transfer payment, the applicant must be set up with an EFT account with Halton Region’s Accounts Receivable Department. To complete the setup, the applicant must submit an EFT form to Regional Planning Services staff. The Region will fill out banking details and forward the completed form back to the applicant. If the applicant does not have an EFT form, Halton Region Accounts Receivable will forward the Region’s banking details to the applicant via email. Once the set up is complete, the applicant may begin to forward EFT payments to the Region.

The applicant must email accounts receivable at AccountsReceivable@halton.ca and provide the following payment remittance details to with every Bank Wire Transfer payment forwarded to the Region:

  • File Name
  • File Number
  • Applicant/ Owner
  • Site Address

Note: Do not send Interac email money transfers to the accounts receivable email.

Missing information will cause delays in processing your payment and application.

3. Cheque/Certified Cheque

**New** Payment via cheque/certified cheque is only available for applications over $10,000.00.

If requesting cheque/certified cheque payment, please contact Halton Region’s Planning Application Intake Clerk at PlanningFees@halton.ca for payment instructions. Cheques should only be submitted at the time an application is made with the local municipality.

There may be delays in processing cheque payments due to COVID-19 (as most of our staff are working from home).

The applicant must provide the following information with all cheque payments in the memo section of the cheque:

  • File number (if known)
  • Site Address
  • Applicant/ Owner name

Missing information will cause delays in processing your payment and application.


Other useful information

Employment Land Concierge

The concierge is here to help non-residential developers and businesses navigate the industrial and commercial development approvals process.

Public Works – permits

Contact the Public Works records group to request as-built drawings or discuss application requirements and fees.

Local Municipalities

See the links below to submit a development application to a Local Municipality:

Niagara Escarpment Commission

See the link below to submit an application for a Niagara Escarpment Plan Development Permit:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

See the link below to submit an application for Parkway Belt West Plan Amendments

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