Places of Worship

The Places of Worship policies and zoning provisions resulting from the Places of Worship Policy Review 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.

Following the Public Meeting held on April 8, 2010, 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.

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Below is a brief description of the policies approved by Council.

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.

Official Plan Policies

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.

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.

 

For more information regarding the Zoning requirements that apply to places of worship, please contact Zoning at 905.874.2090.