Council approves Short-Term ICBL Exemptions Process to Permit Shovel Ready Development to Continue

May 17, 2022
Planning & Development
aerial view of Collingwood

During their regular meeting last night, Council approved a short-term Interim Control By-Law (ICBL) exemption program, allowing growth and development to continue in a manner that supports a complete, sustainable and healthy community by giving major pending planning applications, minor development or changes of use that are ready for approval or that do not require planning approvals, the opportunity to move ahead.

Further, recognizing the hardships endured by small businesses during the pandemic, Council also expedited approval of several requests for exemption to the ICBL that require no or a small amount of water capacity, in an effort to bolster their economic growth.

For those with projects that are imminently ‘shovel ready’, while the ICBL is in effect, proponents are invited to submit applications through one of the two upcoming intakes of the short-term ICBL exemption program listed below or concurrently with minor planning applications.

During the period while the ICBL is in place, Council has expressed the desire to continue to support goals including employment, housing supply and predictability for the development industry within a complete community context. 

For the ICBL Exemption Application, information on the short-term ICBL exemption program, Servicing Capacity Allocation Framework, and more visit:

Exemption requests for eligible minor development types will be considered by Council during two intake periods while the ICBL remains in effect. 

First Intake of ICBL Exemption Applications
    Submit your application                    May 17 – May 27, 2022
    Special Strategic Initiatives Committee consideration    June 13, 2022
    Council Consideration                        June 20, 2022

Second Intake of ICBL Exemption Applications (subject to available servicing capacity)
    Submit your application                No later than August 15, 2022
    Strategic Initiatives Committee consideration    September 6, 2022
    Council Consideration                    September 19, 2022

Separate exemption request applications are NOT required for eligible major development types and the exemptions will be considered concurrently with the relevant planning application.

For clarification regarding whether your project is minor or major, please contact the Planning Services Division representative:

At the Council meeting held Monday, April 26, 2021, Collingwood Town Council approved a pause in development to address municipal servicing capacity limitations for future development, using an ICBL that could last up to a year while a Land Use Planning Policy Study (LUPPS) is completed.  One of the key outcomes of the LUPPS was a recommended zoning by-law amendment that ensures adequate municipal servicing capacity is available prior to any building permit being issued.

The Town received 3 Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) appeals to the zoning by-law amendment earlier this year causing the automatic continuation of the ICBL under the Planning Act and a continued pause on development.
The water supply is safe and available for current residents, industry, commercial uses, and temporary visitors.

There is enough water for several years of growth, but not enough to continue at the same pace of development until the water treatment plant is expanded in 2025. As soon as becoming aware of this difficult situation, Council took a proactive and transparent approach to seek further capacity and responsibly manage that which remains. 
The ICBL limits the issuance of building permits, however some construction that does not use more water and where no change of use is proposed, such as most residential renovations, can continue.  

An initial ICBL exemption program was in effect in June of 2021, with 36 exemptions granted, which allowed construction of 316 Single Dwelling Equivalent Units, using some of the remaining water capacity in Collingwood.  Subsequently an additional 18 exemptions were granted for industrial/commercial/institutional changes of use or accessory residential dwelling units.  Five exemptions for small businesses and one for a major development proposal were approved on May 16, 2022.

Next Steps 
•    For those developments and individuals who have been granted exemptions from the ICBL, your application can continue through the planning process and building permits may be issued.   

•    For those developments and individuals who have not been granted exemptions from the ICBL, your planning application will continue to be processed and reviewed, however no decision from Council will be available until the completion of ICBL. 
•    Please contact the Planning Division at should you have any questions.

For more information, and to track the progress on increasing water capacity and planning activity associated with removing the need for the pause in development, please visit: Questions and comments are also encouraged using the Engage Collingwood page.  

For further information:

Christa Carter
Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Town of Collingwood
705-445-1030 Ext. 3274

Summer Valentine
Director, Planning, Building & Economic Development 
Town of Collingwood
705-445-1290 Ext. 3284