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Development Applications

A building under construction

In the City of Waterloo, you require to submit an application for various developments.

  • Committee of adjustment - for a minor variance, consent or modification to a legal non-conforming use
  • Demolition control - for demolishing an existing or former residential building located in the area of demolition control
  • Engineering review - for developing a commercial, industrial, institutional or multiple residential structure
  • Landscape review - for developing a commercial, industrial, institutional or multiple residential structure.
  • Site plan review - for developing an industrial, commercial, institutional or residential structure with three or more units

We evaluate each development application on its merits and compliance with applicable laws. Your application will be approved, approved with conditions, deferred or denied.

Additional approvals

Depending on the location and nature of a proposed development, a variety of other agencies may place conditions on the approval of an application.

  • Canada Post
  • Grand River Conservation Authority
  • Municipal heritage committee
    • Heritage impact assessment terms of reference - development and site alteration applications for listed properties, and properties adjacent to a designated property may require a Heritage Impact Assessment as part of the approvals process. Please contact City staff prior to preparing the HIA to determine if any additional scoping of the study is required.
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment
  • Ontario Ministry of Transportation
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Utility providers

New - source water protection

Starting July 1, 2016, the policies in the Grand River Source Protection Plan apply in the City of Waterloo and may impact the following planning applications if the property is in a vulnerable area. 

  • Site plan
  • Committee of adjustment
    • Consent applications
    • Minor variance applications requiring site plan approval (note: minor variance applications that do not require site plan approval are exempt)
  • Zone change/official plan amendment
  • Draft plan of subdivision
  • Demolition control

Check the Region of Waterloo's website for more information about how the new policies may affect your project

Before submitting your planning application:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "I need a document for a building permit or development application"
  3. Enter the property location
  4. Answer questions as prompted
  5. Follow instructions on how to proceed
  6. Include the City of Waterloo source protection plan - screening form with your application form 


Here are the signage requirements for development applications.