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Planning and Development

Planning and Development

The Oxford County Community Planning Office provides a variety of planning services for the eight area municipalities that comprise the County. A planner is assigned to the Township of South-West Oxford to respond to development inquires and provide professional planning advice and recommendations on all types of planning applications.

The following applications are approved by the Council of the County of Oxford:

The following application is approved by the County of Oxford's Land Division Committee:

The following applications are approved by the Council of the Township of South-West Oxford:

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The Planning Office is also responsible for developing and maintaining the County Official Plan and Township Zoning By-law, growth forecasts and land inventories, mapping, development charges and special planning related projects and programs, such as Community Improvement Plans and Urban Design guidelines. For further information regarding County planning services please visit the County of Oxford Community & Strategic Planning Webpage.

Minor Variance

A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning by-law. A minor variance approval is a certificate of permission, because it allows the property owner to obtain a building permit even though their property does not comply precisely with the zoning by-law. Under Section 45(1) of the Planning Act there are four tests a minor variance must meet:

  1. Is the application minor?
  2. Is the application desirable for the appropriate development of the lands in question?
  3. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Zoning By-law?
  4. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Official Plan? It is important to note that to consider any application a minor variance it must meet all four tests.

An application for minor variance is required when applying for specific relief from one or more of their municipal Zoning By-Law provisions e.g. yard setbacks, building height, parking etc. on a property.

Apply for a Minor Variance

Site Plan Control

In the Province of Ontario, the Planning Act authorizes municipalities to employ Site Plan Control as a land use tool to ensure the appropriate location of a development on a site and to ensure the safety, attractiveness and compatibility with the surrounding land.

Site Plan approval is required for all commercial, industrial, institutional, private recreational or multi-family (medium density) residential types of development in the following situations:

  1. The construction, erection or placing of one or more buildings or structures on the land;or
  2. An interior or exterior alteration to a building or structure on a property that has the effect of increasing the usability of the property; or
  3. An addition or alteration to a building or structure on a property that has the effect ofincreasing the size of the building or structure in all zones; or
  4. The making or construction of, or addition to, a commercial or industrial parking lot resulting in five or more parking spaces; or
  5. An amendment to an existing site plan, elevation plan, landscape plan, and/or servicing plan or an amendment to an existing site plan agreement with the Township on property which has been designated as a site plan control area in the Site Plan Control By-law which has been adopted by the Township

If you are applying for a building permit and your property is subject to the Site Plan Control you may be required to enter into a Site Plan Control Agreement with the Township. Please read the Township's Site Plan Control By-law and Site Plan Control Guidelines for additional information.

For more information on the Site Plan process, please contact the Township Clerk or visit the MMAH Land Use Planning for more general information.


The Township of South-West Oxford Zoning By-Law (No. 25-98) controls the use of land by dividing the municipality into different land use zones with detailed maps, specifying the uses permitted in each zone, specifying where buildings and other structures can be located, stating the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used, as well as specifying lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street.

To find the zoning for a property - open the "SWOX Zoning Map" below. On this Index Map click on the number that is in the area of the subject property. This will open up a "Key Map" where you can then determine what the property is zoned as.

To determine the permitted uses and provisions for the zoning - Open the "Permitted Uses & Provisions" link below.

South - West Oxford Zoning Map
Permitted Uses & Provisions

Change a Property's Use

If you want to use or develop a property in a way that is not currently permitted by the Township's Zoning By-Law, a zone change, also known as a zoning by-law amendment or a rezoning, is typically required.

Apply for a Zone Change.

For more information on the zoning by-law amendment process please contact the Township Clerk or visit the MMAH Land Use Planning: Zoning-Bylaws for more general information.


A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. This is commonly known as a consent. Applications for consent or consent and minor variance are received and processed by the County of Oxford's Land Division Committee, who are comprised of seven lay members and who meet once a month in the Council Chambers of the Oxford County Administration Building. All meetings are open to the public and if you wish to attend a meeting, please reference the currentagenda for the start time of the meeting. The Township of South-West Oxford may submit comments on consent applications, however, the administration of these files is completed by members of Oxford County's Community and Strategic Planning Office. The Consent process is administered by the Secretary-Treasurer of the land division committee who coordinates the application and facilitates the processing of approvals through various agencies and individuals. To help you understand the consent process and the role of each stakeholder in the process, the Township has created a flow chart, available here.

For more information on Consents, please click here.

Municipal Contacts

Township of South-West Oxford

Located in South Western Ontario, in the South West section of Oxford County and serves as a regional centre for industry, commerce and recreation.

The Township oversees 87,588 acres with a population of 7,544 and we have Canada’s busiest highway in our front yard! With a rich agricultural heritage, please stop by and enjoy our diverse Township. 

The Township’s mission is be "a leader in the development and delivery of municipal services for the growth and well being of our community"

Contact Us

312915 Dereham Line
Mt. Elgin, On N0J 1N0
Hours: Monday – Friday 
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Phone: 519-877-2702 / 519-485-0477
Fax: 519-485-2932

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