Mayor Iain Lovatt

What’s a Complete Application anyway?


There has been a lot of commenting on a Facebook post regarding the Notice of Complete Application for the old Giles Car Dealership site at 9th and Main St. The application is probably less than you think. It’s only an application that has just been submitted. It has not been before the public in a Public Meeting, nor council at any time. I think it’s important to inform residents about the process for an application to be deemed complete and what that ultimately means.

Any land owner can apply to do almost anything on their property. There are some obvious “guard rails” that they must live within. The guard rails are the Towns Official Plan and Zoning bylaws. Every property in Whitchurch-Stouffville has a designation in the OP and Zoning By-law.

If an applicants vision does not fit within the OP or the Zoning bylaws, an application for an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment are required.

Requirements for complete application(s) are determined on the basis of the uniqueness of each development proposal.  Prior to submitting any Planning application, applicants are required to complete a pre-consultation application with the Town. Through the pre-consultation application process, preliminary proposals are reviewed by Town department staff as well as external agencies, comments are provided and requirements to submit complete applications are established. As each project is unique, requirements vary from project to project and are therefore selected from the list below, accordingly. Here is the list of studies or reports that could be required for submitting a complete application and for the application to be deemed complete by staff prior to review and processing of the application.


Preliminary   Building Design OBC Matrix

Site Plan

Floor Plan(s)

Elevation Drawings

Building   Sections

Landscape Plan & Details

Landscape Cost Estimates


Engineering Cost Estimates

Site Servicing Plan

Grading Plan

Erosion and  Sediment Control Plan

Lighting/Illumination/Photometric Plan

Lighting Cost Estimates

Geotechnical Report

Stormwater Management Report

Slope Stability Study

Functional Servicing Report

Hydraulic Analysis for Floodplain Delineation

Hydrogeological Assessment

Operation Maintenance Report

Construction Management Plan

Noise Impact Study

Vibration Study

Air Quality Impact Study

Wind Study

Soil Quality Study

Railway Corridor Safety Study

Traffic Impact Analysis

Public works

Waste Management Plan

Site Servicing Plan

MOECC Form 1

Tree Preservation, Protection and Removal Plan

Tree Canopy Loss/Enhancement Within the Town


Draft of OPA / ZBA

Planning Justification Report

Sustainable Development Report

Land Use Compatibility Study

Urban Design Brief

Retail Impact Study

Parking   Standard Analysis/Justification

Matrix of Responses to the comments provided in earlier submission


Environmental Site Assessment

Record of Site Condition

Tree Analysis/Inventory

Natural Heritage Evaluation (Required on lands within 90 m within an ENV zone)

Hydrological Evaluation (Required on lands within 90 m within a FH zone)

Oak Ridges Moraine Conformity Statement / Report

Minimum Distance of Separation (OMAFRA)

Nutrient Management Plan (OMAFRA)

Watershed & Sub-watershed Study

Water Analysis Report

Dust/Odour Control Study

Agricultural Impact Evaluation

Environmental Impact Study

(Required on lands within areas of Greenlands   System)

Contamination   Management Plan

(Required for lands within a Highly Vulnerable   Aquifer as deemed necessary by the Town)

Water Balance   Assessment

(Required for proposal considered major development under Source   Protection Plan)

Section 59   Notice

(Required for   ICI, farm structure, residential fuel oil storage proposal in Wellhead   Protection Areas


Cultural   Heritage Impact Assessment

Shadow Study

Architectural   Control Guidelines

Compliance   Certificate from Control Architect

Rental Housing   Conversion Study

Analysis of   and Impact Mitigation to Views and Vistas from the ORM Ridgeline

Archaeological   Resource Assessment

Deeming the Application complete or incomplete is the first step required by the Planning Act, before initiating the processing of application. If an application is deemed complete, the planning process then begins. Below is an infographic which explains the standard planning process for an OPA/ZBA.

So for the Giles site example that has received a lot of attention, you can see there is a long process for an applicant to go through before a public meeting or Council decision is ultimately rendered.

Residents are of course entitled to an opinion on any development proposal, the built form and plans that have been submitted to the Town. Equally so, the land owner, who has a vision for their property is entitled as well. But ultimately, at the Public Planning Meeting stage, the public should come to the meeting or submit written comments and get their opinions on the record, in support or against. After that meeting, a council report will be written by staff with a recommendation for consideration.

So yes, the notification boards can certainly cause concern when there is a major deviation from the Towns OP but that in no way means anything is un fait accompli.