There are two seasons in southern Ontario: construction season and preparing for construction season. Home renovations, student housing, and plenty of property construction projects will continue throughout the year, but before any groundwork should be laid, it is important to review Hamilton Zoning Bylaws.
Hamilton’s Zoning Bylaws are unique to the Hamilton area, and even within Hamilton, the restrictions vary from street to street, property to property. It is important to understand the laws that affect the property you have in mind beforehand, or it could end up costing you far more than you had bargained.
What are Hamilton Zoning Bylaws?
Zoning bylaws control the use of land within a community. Zoning bylaws control how property can be used, such as where certain buildings or structures can be located, and regulates lot sizes and dimensions. Parking requirements and building heights are also specified.
While the province of Ontario has set the legal groundwork for within the province’s borders, every municipality carries a set of their own regulations and restrictions of these zoning bylaws. It is important to understand the rules and regulations before the start of any project.
Here are three things you will need to consult Hamilton’s Zoning Bylaws for.
1. Opening a business or transfer an existing business to a new location
Before any groundwork is laid, you need to know if the work you are preparing to do is permitted in the area. The Zoning Verification Certificate will permit your proposed business and inform you of any other requirements needed. The documentation may be needed when purchasing a property, purchasing or leasing land/building, buying or leasing a business, for obtaining a government issued license, for mortgages, insurance claims, or for your own information.
To apply, you can choose to fill out an application and submit it in person, or you can apply online. The application requires the proposed address, specific details about how the property is to be used, and a site drawing in a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the property. Fees are to be paid at City Hall, with the option of cash, cheque, Visa, Mastercard, or interact. It will take up to 10 business days to obtain a Zoning Verification Certificate once you have applied for one. www.hamilton.ca/starting-small-business/one-stop-business/zoning-verification?WT.mc_id=zoningverification&WT.hamilton_redirect_friendly=1
2. Converting any Property into a Rental Property
If you are planning on splitting your property/home into a 2+ family dwelling, there are certain rules and guidelines that need to be followed. Every city has different requirements for rental units and rules for landlords to follow, so before you begin advertising it is important to understand what is required of landlords and the legal requirements for the units being offered.
Occupancy standards must comply with the city of Hamilton Zoning Regulations, building code, and fire code. For example: to qualify for a Section 19 Conversion, Hamilton’s Zoning Bylaws state that the minimum lot size to host a multiple family dwelling must be 2906 square feet and the units are required to be a minimum of 699 square feet, each. Laws regarding rentals change, so it is important to verify you are up to date with Hamilton’s Zoning Bylaws every time a new project is started. http://www.hamiltontownship.ca/sites/hamilton.civicwebcms.com/files/media/BL%202004-23%20PROPERTY%20STANDARDS.pdf
3. Obtain a Building Permit
Before any construction can be started, it is important to have a building permit secured. A Building Permit ensures the construction work meets any zoning requirements, fire and structural safety, and other building standards are met. Throughout the building process, an instructor will need to be scheduled and consulted so they can catch any mistakes made, before they can become a real and potentially costly issue.
Nearly every construction project requires a permit so it is important to plan your project in detail to prevent delays and mistakes that can end up wasting time and resources later. Any project that seeks to to erect, install, extend, alter or repair in/on a building will require a permit.
Building permits are there to ensure your project complies with the Ontario Building Code, Hamilton’s Zoning Bylaw, regulations of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Conservation Authorities and any other municipal or provincial regulations that are applicable.
The application for a building permit must be completed by the property owner or an agent who is there to represent them, such as a designer or contractor.
Neglecting to obtain the necessary paperwork or starting construction before all the paperwork has been filled can result in hefty fines and fees. Work can be stalled, delayed or even halted indefinitely, with any work and resources wasted.
Always consult the Hamilton Zoning Bylaw first.http://www.housinghelpcentre.ca/1BSZoningBylaw.pdf