Places of Worship

Notice regarding the Places of Worship Policy Review

The Places of Worship policies and zoning provisions were adopted by Council on June 9, 2010 are now in force citywide.

The City of Brampton initiated the review of the Places of Worship policies to meet the growing needs and requirements of the City’s many faith groups. Given that Brampton is Canada’s second fastest growing city, with a population representing more than 70 different cultures, it is important that the City respond to its citizens’ changing needs.

Recognizing the significant contributions faith groups make as members of the community, the City hired a consultant to examine issues that should be considered when preparing policies and regulations that meet the changing needs of both faith groups and the community-at-large. These issues included site reservation, number, location and site size, traffic and parking and other land uses associated with places of worship.

The consultant prepared a Discussion Paper for public review. This was done with input and feedback from an Advisory Committee made up of representatives from various faith groups, stakeholders, Council members and City staff.

Public consultation plays a vital role in all City of Brampton processes, and this study was subject to extensive public consultation since its initiation. In addition to a series of Advisory Committee meetings, public Open Houses were held in September 2006, June 2008 and May 2009, along with periodic status updates at Planning, Design and Development Committee and Council meetings. A statutory public meeting was held at the Pearson Convention Centre on April 8, 2010.

Following the Public Meeting, a Recommendation Report was presented to Planning, Design and Development Committee on June 7, 2010. Click here to view a copy of the staff report. The Places of Worship Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law were adopted by Council at the June 9, 2010 meeting. In addition, 25 sites that had temporary permissions were recommended for permanent approval, but only 10 of them required site-specific Zoning By-laws, which were also adopted by Council. Please click here to obtain the Notice of Adoption of Official Plan Amendment and Passing of the Zoning By-laws.

The Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law were appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board by two parties. Both appeals have been dealt with and the Official Plan policies and Zoning By-law provisions are now in force citywide.

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Below is a brief description of the policies approved by Council. For additional information, please contact the Planning, Design & Development Department at 905-874-2050.

Official Plan Policies

The recommendations brought forward to Council recognized the public feedback received during the public consultation, notably that places of worship are a key means of strengthening the spiritual and social fabric of the community. The Official Plan policies provide more clarity regarding the land use designations in which places of worship will be permitted and also provide criteria to properly assess site-specific rezoning proposals for a place of worship (if/where required) in any land use designation.

The Official Plan provides broad permissions for accommodating places of worship in all land use designations providing a balance between accommodating them in industrial and residential areas while still protecting employment objectives and established residential neighbourhoods. This aims to avoid conflicts with heaver industrial users or local residential areas.

The definitions for place of worship, accessory and auxiliary uses have been updated to reflect the broad community role and multiple functions performed by places of worship as houses for prayer, and centres providing community, social and educational services. The definitions reflect the diversity of faith groups within the city, while recognizing how each group worships and functions within the place of worship.

The Official Plan policies facilitate the acquisition of reserve sites for faith groups. Very few municipalities have implemented the same practice to set aside reserve sites for places of worship in new plans of subdivision. Places of worship sites are now required to be reserved for a period of 5 years from the date of assumption of the plan of subdivision.

The policies also commit the City to an ongoing process of dialogue with Brampton’s faith communities to include them in the land use planning process to identify future places of worship sites to meet their needs.

The policies provide for strong and extensive public involvement that will ensure that the City’s places of worship policies continue to be appropriate for, and responsive to, our rapidly growing community.

Zoning By-law

The Zoning By-law provides a range of opportunities by permitting places of worship as-of-right in most residential, commercial, business and light industrial zones, subject to specific performance standards and provisions. Places of worship are not intended to be located on local residential roads or within heavy industrial areas.

The by-law implements performance standards such as maximum gross floor area for places of worship within industrial areas, and setbacks and landscaping to ensure compatibility with adjacent land uses.

The revised parking calculation is based on one car for every four people to accommodate places of worship both with and without fixed seating, since not all worship areas are configured in the same way.

Copies of the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law can be obtained by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at 905-874-2101 or city.clerksoffice@brampton.ca

 

For more information on our review process of the Places of Worship policy, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or link to the process map.

If you have comments or questions, please contact:

Claudia LaRota, Planner III, Land Use Policy 

Email: claudia.larota@brampton.ca

Telephone: 905-874-2050

Fax: 905-874-2099