Zone changes

A zone change is a process that alters permitted land uses and regulations. Council will only consider zone change applications in line with our official plan.

View current and past applications on EngageWaterloo. You can provide feedback on open applications, ask questions to the planning team and view documents submitted to council.

On this page

  1. Public notification
  2. Application process
  3. Request a pre-submission consultation

Public notification

The public has a right to comment on proposed zone changes. We publicize them by:

  • posting a large sign along the frontage of the lands
  • publishing notices in the Waterloo Chronicle
  • posting information on this webpage
  • hosting public meetings to discuss the proposed change
  • letters to properties within 120m of the proposed change

Application process for zoning bylaw and Official Plan amendments

The new Zoning Bylaw passed in September 2018 applies to all land and buildings within the city, with the exception of two specific areas (PDF) which are subject to appeals.

Enter an address into our interactive map to find out what a property is zoned.

Prior to submitting a complete Official Plan Amendment and/or Zoning By-law Amendment application, the City of Waterloo requires that applicants schedule a pre-submission consultation meeting, as required by Consultation By-law No. 08-073.  The purpose of the pre-submission consultation meeting is to:

  1. Review the development approvals process
  2. Provide preliminary comments in response to the conceptual plans
  3. Identify the formal submission materials required for a complete application

If there is a known zone change or Official Plan amendment required, this process must begin before the site approval or site application processes are started. A planner may direct an applicant to follow this process if the need is identified during the site approval or site application processes.

Request a pre-submission consultation

Submit by email to and include the following information:

  • cover letter
  • concept plans
  • location of the site
  • ownership of the site land
  • existing and proposed Official Plan designation
  • existing and proposed zoning category
  • summary of the proposed development
  • summary of the proposed application (including details of requested amendment)
  • known constraints on or near the subject lands (eg. Easements, environmental, etc.)
  • digital copies of all submission materials

Once received, a Planner will be assigned the file. They will notify the applicant of next steps, which includes the review and evaluation of submission materials and scheduling the pre-submission consultation meeting. Pre-submission consultation meetings are not booked until sufficient information is provided. There is a pre-submission consultation fee of $1,000. Staff will request additional information if it is required before circulating the information to relevant divisions and agencies.

After the pre-submission consultation with a planner, the applicant will know how to submit a formal and complete package to request the zone change and or Official Plan amendment. View the terms of reference documents to help you create the supporting documents. The assigned planner will tell you which ones are required.

The zone change application form (PDF) will be one requirement for the formal and complete package.