Planning and Development


Planning Services

Planning Services are provided by the Office of Community and Strategic Planning under the Clerk’s Department at the County of Oxford.  A Planner is assigned to the Township and is responsible for providing professional planning advice and recommendations on all types of planning applications, including:

  • Official Plan Amendments
  • Zone Change Amendments
  • Consents (Severance)
  • Draft Plans of Subdivision
  • Site Plan Control
  • Minor Variances

The Township’s Planner is Meghan House and she holds weekly office hours at the Municipal office as well at at the County of Oxford. Meghan can be reached at the Township office at 519-485-2490 ext 237 or at the County of Oxford at 519-539-9800 ext 3219.

For further information on planning services, please visit the County of Oxford, Office of Community and Strategic Planning website.

Review the Planning fees for Oxford County.

Design Guidelines

The design guidelines and associated recommendations in this document are the result of a study completed by MHBC Planning on behalf of the Township of Zorra and County of Oxford. The purpose for developing the guidelines was to establish comprehensive design direction and related implementation guidance for the Township of Zorra to assist in:

• the implementation of Provincial and Official Plan policies relating to such matters as the promotion of efficient land use and development patterns, the creation of strong, liveable and healthy communities and the protection of the environment and public health and safety; and

• achieving a high quality standard of urban design throughout the Township.

You can download the Design Guidelines here (warning - large file size).  If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this document, please contact the Township office at 519-485-2490.

Citizens' Guides to Land-Use Planning

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has developed a series of Citizen Guides to Land-Use Planning.  These guides are user-friendly and provide helpful information about Ontario's planning system.  You can view or download copies of the guides here.

Oxford County Community and Strategic Planning

Community Design Strategy Logo

The primary purpose of this exercise is to develop a community/urban design policy framework and overall implementation strategy for the County and eight Area Municipalities that can be considered as part of the current 5 year Official Plan review process.  

Please visit the Oxford County Website for more information.

Minor Changes

If your proposed change doesn't conform exactly to the zoning by-law, but follows its general intent, you can apply for a minor variance.  For example, you might want to locate something on your property but the shape of your lot won't let you meet the minimum setback. 

To obtain a minor variance, you will have to apply to your local committee of adjustment appointed by Council to deal with minor problems in meeting by-law standards.  A minor variance does not change a zoning by-law.  It simply excuses you from a specific requirement of the by-law and allows you to obtain a building permit. 

Please visit the Minor Variances page in the Planning & Development section of this website for further information and to access a copy of the Minor Variance Application Form.  

For further information, please contact the Township Planner.

Zoning By-law & Amendments Comments

If you have concerns or comments about a proposed zoning by-law or amendment that may affect you, you should: 

  • find out as much as possible about the proposed by-law and how it affects your property
  • go to the public meeting and give your opinions
  • discuss the proposal with municipal staff and Council members
  • write to your Council member or municipal clerk

If Councillors knows about your concerns early in the process, they can try to take them into account before passing the by-law.  Please see the listing of municipal staff and council members under the "Our Township" tab of this website.