On Oct. 19, 2020, Milton Council adopted an Interim Control By-law(ICBL) under Section 38 of the Planning Act. The IBCL applies to the Mountainview, Mountain View Survey, Fallingbrook, Forrest Grove, Bronte Meadows, Valley View, Dorset Park and Timberlea neighbouhoods as identified on the map that is attached to By-law 082-2020.

The Interim Control By-law temporarily prohibits the following development in the Town's mature neighbourhoods for one year (until Oct. 19 2021), while the Town completes Phases 2 and 3 of the Mature Neighbourhoods Study:

  • Rebuilding a residential dwelling with 25 per cent or more floor area
  • Expanding the floor area of existing residential dwellings by 25 percent or more
  • Increasing the height of residential dwellings
  • Building new residential dwellings on vacant lots

Mature Neighbourhoods Interim Control By-law FAQs 

What is an Interim Control By-law?

An interim control by-law is a tool available to Ontario municipalities in accordance with the Planning Act. It allows for an opportunity to place a temporary pause on development of certain lands while a municipality studies or reviews land-use policies. The restriction can only be imposed for a one-year period, with a maximum extension of a second year.

Why was the Interim Control By-law enacted?

Milton residents expressed concern about the impacts of large home rebuilds and additions to existing homes in Milton's mature residential neighbourhoods. While these developments comply with current Zoning By-law regulations, there was concern that these developments were considered to be out of character with the built form of the established neighbourhood.

As such, Council directed staff to initiate a Mature Neighbourhoods Character Study to:

  • Assess the qualities and characteristics influencing the character of the these neighbourhoods
  • Examine the regulatory framework of the Town's Zoning By-law and Official Plan
  • Propose recommendations for amendments that will assist in maintaining the existing character

While this study is being conducted, Council enacted the Interim Control By-law on Oct. 19, 2020, to restrict the level of change in Milton's mature neighbourhoods until new directions have been established through completion of Phases 2 and 3 of the Study.

How does the Interim Control By-law affect me?

The ICBL prohibits the development of any new single-detached, semi-detached, duplex, triplex or townhouse dwellings or additions to existing single-detached, semi-detached or duplex dwellings, resulting in greater than a 25 per cent increase in gross floor area and/or increases the height of the structure beyond that which existed on the same lot. 

This means that the Town will not be accepting or processing building permits for the following types of applications, within mature neighbourhood areas:

  • Rebuilding a residential dwelling with 25 per cent or more floor area
  • Expanding the floor area of existing residential dwellings by 25 per cent or more
  • Increasing the height of residential dwellings
  • Building new residential dwellings on vacant lots
Does the Interim Control By-law apply to all properties in the Town?
The ICBL applies to all properties within the area defined by Schedule A to By-law 082-2020. This area includes the Mountainview, Mountain View Survey, Fallingbrook, Forrest Grove, Bronte Meadows, Valley View, Dorset Park and Timberlea neighbouhoods.
How long is the By-law in effect?
The ICBL can only be imposed for a one-year period, with a maximum extension of a second year, under the Planning Act. Therefore, the by-law is in effect from Oct. 19, 2020, through Oct. 19, 2021, with the possibility of an extension of one year. 
Are there any exemptions to the By-law?

The ICBL exempts applications for building permits, Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, minor variances and site plan applications that were considered complete by the Town on or prior to the passing of the By-law on Oct. 19, 2020.

What if I already applied for a building permit?

The Interim Control By-law exempts applications for building permits that were considered complete by the Town on or prior to Oct. 19, 2020.

Can I obtain a building permit for an existing vacant lot? 
No, the Interim Control By-law prevents the construction of a dwelling on a lot where a dwelling has not existed on the day the By-law is passed.
Can I apply for a minor variance?

The Planning Act permits minor variances with respect to lands subject to an Interim Control By-law. Minor variances must meet the test under s. 45 of the Planning Act, which includes the following questions:

  1. Is the proposed variance minor?
  2. Does the proposed variance maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan?
  3. Does the proposed variance maintain the general intent and purpose of the by-law being varied? Please note that where a variance of both the ICBL and the Town’s Zoning By-law is being requested, the proposed variance must meet this test for both by-laws.
  4. Is the proposed variance desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure in question?

All four tests must be met for a minor variance to be approved by the Committee of Adjustment. Where no variance of the Town’s parent Zoning By-law is required, then an exemption to the ICBL could be applied for. 

How can I apply for an exemption to the By-law?

Property owners who choose to apply for exemption from the ICBL are required to submit a written exemption request to the Town’s Development Services Department, with the:

  • Address, lot dimensions and legal survey of the subject property
  • Photos of all four sides of the existing dwelling (front, sides and rear), as well as photos of the streetscape that depict the relationship between the existing dwelling and adjacent dwellings
  • Gross floor area of the existing dwelling
  • Gross floor area and conceptual site plan of the proposed dwelling or addition, four elevations of the proposed dwelling or addition (front, sides and rear)
  • Explanation of how the proposed dwelling or addition is compatible with the existing character of the neighbourhood 
  • Applicant’s contact information

The exemption request will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Physical character compatibility of the proposed dwelling or addition with the physical character of the existing neighbourhood, inclusive of height, massing, roof lines and built form
  • Streetscape character compatibility of the proposed dwelling or addition with the streetscape character of the existing neighbourhood, inclusive of setbacks, building projections, siting on property and relationship to adjacent dwellings
  • Percentage increase of the gross floor area

Upon receipt of an exemption request, the Town will notify all abutting property owners and provide 14 days to make a written submission to the Town for staff consideration. Staff will review exemption requests and written submissions and subsequently forward a recommendation report for Council’s consideration.   

Should Council grant an exemption, the Town will notify all abutting property owners. A Council-approved exemption is subject to a 60-day appeal period. The Town would only issue building permits once the appeal period has lapsed.

Is there an application fee to request an exemption to the By-law?

Yes, a site plan application for minor development fee is to be submitted at the time of application. This fee covers the work undertaken by Development Services staff to review the development proposal and any public notice requirements.

Refer to the current Town of Milton Development Application Fee Schedule for detailed information as all fees are subject to change annually.

How is gross floor area defined, for the purposes of the Interim Control By-law?

Gross floor area means the aggregate of all floor areas of a building or structure above or below established grade. Floor areas are measured between the exterior faces of the exterior walls of the building at each floor level, excluding any porches, verandas, cellars, mechanical rooms or penthouses, or areas dedicated to parking within the building. For the purposes of this definition, the walls of an interior court shall be deemed to be exterior walls.

I am expanding the floor area of an existing dwelling under the required 25 per cent maximum and no additional height is added. Can I apply for building permit? Or do I need to apply for an exemption?

An application to expand the floor area of a residential dwellings by less than 25 per cent of the existing gross floor area, and which does not involve an increase in height from what currently exists on the lot, does not require an exemption. A building permit application can be submitted, provided the proposed development does not require a minor variance.

Does the Interim Control By-law apply to renovations?

Renovations to a dwelling that will not result in an increase to gross floor area by 25 per cent or more, and do not increase the height of the existing dwelling, are not subject to the Interim Control By-law. Similarly, any internal renovations, such as renovations to an unfinished basement or attic, are allowed and not subject to the ICBL.

Does the Interim Control By-law apply to second-storey additions that do not propose an increase to the building footprint?

The Interim Control By-law restricts any increase in height from what existed on a lot on the day the By-law is passed. 

Does the Interim Control By-law apply to proposed dwellings or additions that increase existing gross floor area by 25 per cent or more, but are smaller than adjacent dwellings?

Yes, the Interim Control By-law was enacted as a temporary measure to restrict the level of change in the Town's mature neighbourhoods until new zoning regulations have been established through completion of the Mature Neighbourhoods Study.

The Interim Control By-law will be repealed once final amendments to the Town's Comprehensive Zoning By-law have been approved by Council.

Where can I access the Interim Control By-law?

Interim Control By-law can be accessed here.

Helpful links