The City of Cambridge Development Planning Section is responsible for processing and reviewing a range of development applications and requests.  For more information on these applications and requests, refer to the drop down list below. 


A Preconsultation Application is required prior to submitting a Planning Applications for any of the following: 

  • Official Plan Amendment and/or Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Plan of Subdivision
  • Plan of Condominium
  • Site Plan Control 

Follow the link below to the City's On-Line Application Portal:

Visit the online application system now

Zoning By-law Amendments and Official Plan Amendments

A Zoning By-law Amendment Application is typically required to make significant changes to zoning regulations or permitted uses, changes to the zoning category, or removal of suffixes and prefixes, within the City's Zoning By-law that apply to a specific property.  Cambridge City Council has approval authority for this type of amendment. 

An Official Plan Amendment Application is typically required to changes policies or designations within the City's Official Plan that apply to a specific property. Cambridge City Council has authority to adopt these amendments, with Regional Council having authority to grant final approval. 

Where both an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment are required, a joint application can be filed.  Refer to the planning application fee list below for separate and joint application fees. 

A development application pre-consultation is mandatory prior to the submission of an Official Plan Amendment and/or Zoning By-Law Amendment Application.  The pre-consultation will result in a formal record of preliminary comments from City Staff and Agencies and a detailed list of submission requirements for a complete application. 

To submit a request for a Development Application Pre-consultation or submit an Official Plan Amendment and/or Zoning By-law Amendment Application, follow the link below to the City's On-Line Application Portal:

Visit the online application system now

Refer to the City's Guide for Applicants/Agents - Statutory Public Meetings and Council Meetings

Site Plan Approval

Site Plan Approval is a technical review and approval process used by municipalities to ensure new development on a property is functional, efficient, universally designed, and compatible with adjacent lands.  It also ensures site features such as vehicular and pedestrian access, parking, landscaping and open spaces, servicing, grading, utilities, garbage facilities, utilities, and lighting are located, built and maintained in accordance with current regulations, standards and requirements. Where Site Plan Approval is required, it typically must be obtained prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.

There are 6 types of Site Plan Applications: 

  • Major / Complex
  • Standard
  • Minor
  • Amendment
  • Redline Revision
  • Telecommunication Tower

For more information on Site Plan Approval Applications and the approval process, please visit the Site Plan Approval webpage

Committee of Adjustment Applications

The Committee of Adjustment is an independent decision-making tribunal, made up of 5 persons of the community appointed by Cambridge City Council.  Applications for the following are submitted to

  • Minor Variances to the Regulations of Zoning By-laws
  • Changes or Extensions to Legal Non-Conforming Land Uses, Buildings and Structures
  • Interpretations to Generalized Zoning By-laws
  • Consent, which includes: 
    • Severances
    • Lot Additions
    • Easements/rights of way between private property owners
    • Leases for more than 21 years

For more information on Committee of Adjustment Applications, submission requirements, and the decision process, please visit the Committee of Adjustment webpage

Subdivisions and Condominiums

The Region of Waterloo is the approval authority for subdivision and condominium applications within the City of Cambridge. The City is currently acting as a commenting agency only.  Applicants are required to submit their subdivision/condominium applications directly to the Region of Waterloo.

Before submitting your plans for subdivision or condominiums, you must submit a Pre-consultation Application.  

Please note that the subdivision review process takes a minimum of six months to complete. Condominium applications that do not require a public meeting take a minimum of three months to complete.


For more information on these land division processes, refer to the following resources: 


Lifting of Holding (H) Provisions
Council has delegated authority to the Chief Planner to approve requests to lift a holding (H).  A holding (H) may be applied to a property through an implementing zoning by-law. The purpose of the holding is to impose conditions to be satisfied prior to development proceeding.  To confirm what materials are to be submitted in support of this type of request, please email
Part Lot Control Exemptions

Section 50(5) of the Planning Act provides that part of a lot or block on a registered plan of subdivision cannot be transferred from one landowner to another which has the effect of preventing subsequent division of land, except through the approval of a plan of subdivision, consent application or part lot control exemption.

Section 50(7) allows municipalities to enact by-laws to exempt lands in a registered plan of subdivision from part lot control, to allow further division of lands and creation of new lots.  The by-law remains in effect for 2 years. 

Council has delegated authority to the Chief Planner to approve requests for exemptions from part lot control.  To confirm what materials are to be submitted in support of this type of request, please email

Variances/Amendments to the Fence By-law or Sign By-law

Council has delegated authority to the Chief Planner to approve requests for variances to the City's Fence By-law 92-05 or the City's Sign By-law.   If you have questions regarding these by-laws or wish to confirm what materials are to be submitted in support of these requests, please email

Requests for Legal Non-Conforming Verification 

Before applying for a building permit for any proposed work to a non-complying building it is strongly recommended that you apply for legal non-conforming status through a Legal Non-conforming Use Verification Application.   Upon completion of this application form, and gathering the supporting documents, submit the form and documents to  Administrative Staff will contact you to arrange payment and complete the application in-take process.  Planning Staff will review our application, contact you with any questions, and send a Final Compliance Letter to conclude the process.   

For more information, please visit the Compliance Letters webpage.  

Requests for Letters of Compliance 

A Compliance Letter is a document from planning and building divisions describing compliance (or non-compliance) with certain regulations, policies, codes or agreements.  The following types of compliance requests can be submitted through the City's On-Line Application Portal

  • Zoning Compliance, including Committee of Adjustment decisions 
  • Official Plan Designation Compliance
  • Site Plan Agreement Compliance
  • Subdivision Agreement Compliance
  • Heritage Act Designation Compliance
  • Building Records & Code Compliance

For more information, please visit the Compliance Letters webpage.  

Other Planning Requests 

The Planning Division also processes other requests (which do not fall under one of the application categories listed above), such as:

  • Removing Road Reserves 
  • Changes to Conditions of Subdivision Draft Approval 

Please email for more information. 

Other Documents and Resources



TERMS OF REFERENCE for the preparation of a/an: 


All current development applications in process or under appeal are listed here. 


Refer to the list of current Planning Application and Service Request Fees.  These fees remain in effect until December 31, 2024. 

City Application Fees can be paid in one of the following ways:

  • Online payments should be made for fees under $10,000. Please visit the Online Application Portal and select Make a Payment to pay with your invoice number using VISA or MASTERCARD. Please note there is a 1.75% service fee.
  • In Person payments can be made in the form of a cheque (payable to the City of Cambridge, with the file # listed beside Notes), cash or debit at the Service Cambridge Desk located on the ground floor of City Hall at 50 Dickson Street.  If you are paying an invoice, please bring a copy of your invoice.
  • Mail or courier payments in the form of a cheque (payable to the City of Cambridge, with the file # listed beside Notes) or cash to:

Cambridge City Hall                                                                                                              
Attn: Development Planning
50 Dickson Street
P.O. Box 669
Cambridge, ON N1R 5W8


If you are unsure whether a development application or request is required for your project, or what type is needed, please call (519) 623-1340 ex.4602 or submit your inquiry to and the planning services team will assist you.