Where do I start?
When planning to start, grow or change your business,
to avoid potential problems is to consult with the planning staff at
local municipality before making any commitments. They will give you a
brief explanation of the development limits and requirments for the
you are dealing with.
Occasionally, business owners or managers will have to
municipality for changes [such as rezoning] or exceptions [a variance]
to local by-laws to accommodate the plans they have for their business
or property. Rezonings and variences are two of the most common
made to municipalities.
The Planning Advisory Committee [PAC] is the group of
members that help to manage land use and have specific approval
These volunteers meet on a regular basis to evaluate applications.
Municipal staff [usually an Engineer or Planner]
for the day-to-day administration of these by-laws, including
for rezoning and variances.
Municipal Council appoints PAC members and, in
decisions or recommendations made by the staff or PAC.
The Zoning By-law in your community outlines the
and development standards for the different areas in your
If you are proposing a different use for your property that does not
within the range described in the by-law, you will be required to
a rezoning before starting. There is usually an application fee, paid
or not the rezoning is granted. The process for rezoning is public and
takes six to eight weeks and a minimum of three months if a municipal
amendment is required to support the rezoning.
Variances are required when your proposed use fits
structure, but does not fit one [or more] of the development standards.
For example, your building plans call for a sign erected 6 metres from
the ground when 4.5 is the by-law maximum. Following a meeting with
staff, the application is forwarded to PAC along with a recommendation
from staff. PAC then approves [sometimes with conditions] or denies the
application. This process is public, and will take several weeks.
David Taylor, Development Officer
Information on this page was provided by Enterprise Saint John.