Planning Application

Temporary Planning Application Intake Process

Please note the municipality has instituted a temporary solution for the intake of planning applications:

•    Applicants are encouraged to digitally submit new planning applications for Rezoning, Land Use By-law Amendments, Municipal Plan Amendments, Development Agreements, or Downtown Halifax Substantive Site Plan Approvals. Digital applications may be submitted via e-mail in PDF format (each email limited to a maximum 30 MB file size) to the attention of Planning Applications Program Manager

•    *Please note* applications for site-plan approval, other than Downtown Halifax Substantive applications, are an as-of-right application, meaning they do not require a decision of Council, and are decided on by planning staff using Council approved regulations contained in the Land Use By-law. You can now make your application using the Site Plan Approval online submission form.

•    Revised drawings and/or any amended application information for current files can also be submitted digitally, directly to the planner assigned to your file.  Planners have the resources needed to review and circulate these materials electronically to all involved stakeholders. 

•    For the time being, applications will be accepted without the required fees. The submission of fees will be resolved as part of the application review process.

The municipality is committed to taking important steps in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for helping with the community effort to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Throughout this very difficult time, the safety of our customers and staff remain our top priority. We truly appreciate your patience as we design and implement this new process. 

Why submit a Planning Application?

A Planning Application is required when a rezoning or development agreement is requested. These applications must be consistent with municipal planning policies and can be considered by a Community Council.  Planning applications must be accompanied by a completed planning application form. The plans or documents required to support the application are listed on the form. 

Regional Centre Pre-Applications

Most development under the Regional Centre Land Use By-law can now proceed through the development permit process unless a variation is requested.   The new pre-application process for as-of-right developments provides applicants with a land use by-law review and design advice to applicants.  The review is provided by Municipal staff and is intended to identify issues and opportunities early in the design process and help improve proposed building and site design choices enabled under Municipal land use and development regulations. The process is recommended for larger and complex sites, and developments in the heritage context.  Please use the Regional Centre Pre-Application form.

Downtown Halifax Site Plan Approval

A Downtown Halifax Substantive Site Plan Approval is submitted when development is being proposed within the Downtown Halifax Land Use By-law (LUB) area, and this development is not exempt from a Substantive Site Plan Approval Application as per the terms of the Downtown Halifax LUB in Section 5(11). Under the site plan approval process, development proposals within Downtown Halifax Plan area must meet the land use and building envelope requirements of the Land Use By-law (LUB), as well as the requirements of the By-law’s Design Manual. The process requires approvals by both the Development Officer and the Design Review Committee.

Applications for Non-Substantive Site Plan Approval should be made through the Site Plan Approval Application form.

Why submit a Municipal Planning Strategy Amendment?

An Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) Amendment is submitted when the desired use or development on a piece of land is not permitted within the existing Council-approved policies that apply to the area. Amendments to an MPS are significant undertakings and Council is under no obligation to consider such requests. Amendments should be only considered within the broader planning context or when there is reason to believe there has been a change to the circumstances since the policy was adopted or last reviewed. Applications for MPS amendment should be accompanied by a complete MPS Application form.