Fire Rating: MODERATE

Planning and

Official Plan

The Township of Carling‘s Official Plan is a long-range blueprint that guides future land use and manages growth within the Township of Carling. The official plan sets out the Township’s goals and objectives and establishes policies on how the Township will deal with various land use and servicing questions that arise. 

Any ratepayer who wishes to use or develop their property in a way that conflicts with the policies of the Official Plan would need to apply for an Official Plan amendment. Please contact the Township Planner if you wish to apply for an Official Plan Amendment. 

Have questions? Reach our Planning Department from the contact form at the bottom of the page. 

Zoning By-law

The Township’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law implements the policies of the Official Plan by regulating and controlling specific land uses. The Zoning By-law divides the Township into a number of zones and sets out the permitted uses of land such as where buildings and structures can be located and requirements such as lot coverage and setbacks. Through Zoning, the Township can guide and shape the pattern of development that occurs. 

Any ratepayer who wishes to use his/her property or develop it in a way that is not permitted by the regulations of the Zoning By-law would need to apply to the Township for an amendment to the Zoning By-law.  Council will only consider a Zoning By-law amendment if the proposed use is allowed by the Township’s Official Plan. If the proposed use was not allowed in the Official Plan the land owner would need to apply for an Official Plan Amendment as well.  To apply, please fill out the Zoning By-law Amendment Application and contact the Township’s Planner.  

Have questions? Reach our Planning Department from the contact form at the bottom of the page. 

Please reach out to our Planning Department

We’ve added a quick reference guide for all planning and zoning issues.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our Planning Department at the bottom of the page. 

The Parry Sound Area Planning Board is the land division approval authority for the Township of Carling along with the Town of Parry Sound, the Municipality of McDougall, Municipality of Whitestone and the Township of McKellar. All applications for Consent to Sever, Plan of Subdivision and Plan of Condominium are made directly to the Parry Sound Area Planning Board and not to the individual municipality.

Two representatives of Council from each of the member municipalities sit on the Parry Sound Area Planning Board. The Board tentatively meets on the 4th Monday of each month. Meetings are typically held at 7:00 p.m. at the Town of Parry Sound Fire Hall located at 4 Church Street, Parry Sound.

It is recommended that landowners consult with the Parry Sound Area Planning Board prior to submitting an application. This will help to ensure local planning regulations, including zoning and official plan provisions are fully understood.

More information regarding the Parry Sound Area Planning Board and the land division process can be obtained from the Board’s website at

What is a Committee of Adjustment?

The Township’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law regulates the way in which land can be used in the Township by identifying different properties with land use zones. The by-law contains rules respecting permitted uses, building setbacks and lot coverage. The Planning Act authorizes municipalities to establish a Committee of Adjustments to grant relief from the provisions of the Township’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law. The Committee of Adjustment is composed of Carling’s Council members who meet at a public meeting separate from the regular Council meetings. During these meetings they are Committee members opposed to Council members.

What is a Minor Variance?

A Minor Variance is what you are applying for when you are seeking a minor relief from a Zoning By-law provision. An application for a Minor Variance can be submitted if your proposed development does not conform exactly to the regulations of the Zoning By-law. Minor Variances provide flexibility so that the developments which do not precisely meet the requirements of the comprehensive Zoning By-law may proceed. To approve a minor variance the committee must define the following.

  1. That the variance being requested is minor in nature.
  2. That the variance is desirable for the appropriate development or use of land, building or structure.
  3. That the Minor Variance maintains the intent and purpose of the Township’s zoning by-law.
  4. That the Minor Variance maintains the intent and purpose of the Township’s Official Plan.  To apply for a Minor Variance please download the Committee of Adjustment Application form and contact the Township Planner.

Section 45(2) of the Planning Act also gives the Committee of Adjustment special powers relating to legal non-conforming uses. The Planning Act provides that “where any land, building or structure, on the day the by-law was passed, was lawfully used for a purpose prohibited by the by-law”, the Committee of Adjustment may permit the following:

  1. The enlargement or extension of the building or structure, if the use that was made of the building or structure on the day the by-law was passed continued until the date of the application to the committee. No permission may be given to enlarge or extend the building or structure beyond the limits of the land owned and used in connection therewith on the day the by-law was passed; or
  1. The use of such land, building or structure for a purpose that, in the opinion of the Committee, is similar to the purpose for which it was used on the day the by-law was passed or is more compatible with the uses permitted by the by-law than the purpose for which it was used on the day the by-law was passed if the use for a purpose prohibited by the by-law or another use for a purpose previously permitted by the Committee continued until the date of the application to the committee; or

Where the uses of land, buildings or structures permitted in the by-law are defined in general terms, the committee may permit the use of any land, building or structure for any purpose that, in the opinion of the committee, conforms with the uses permitted in the by-law. These types of Planning approvals are considered through an Application for Permission. To make an application for permission, please download the Committee of Adjustment Application form and consult with the Township’s Planner.

Council considers applications to close and convey shore road allowances in the Township of Carling. This involves a number of legal procedures and expenses, and is the policy of the Township of Carling Council that the Applicants for such road closings and conveyances should be responsible for these costs, not the general ratepayer, even in cases where, after some expenditures have been made, valid objections bar the sale.

Ratepayer Objections

In processing a shore road allowance closing by-law, ratepayers have the opportunity to object to the closing and appear before Council and make representation.


  1. Completion and filing of Application.
    (Download the Road and Shore Road Application) by the Applicant
  2. Consideration of Application by Council, and if approved
  3. Applicant to order Surveyor’s Reference Plan:
    1. Draft Reference Plan to be sent to the Municipality for consideration;
    2. Send notices; obtain approvals from abutting property owners;
    3. If approved, Plan to be registered in Registry Office in Parry Sound
  4. Engaging of Municipal Solicitor to:
    1. Do searches of ownership in Land Registry Office;
    2. Obtain clearance from Hydro One, Bell Canada;
    3. Prepare a By-law;
    4. Prepare notices for posting and public advertising.
  5. Council meeting to hear objections:
    1. If no objections, passage of by-law.
  6. Preparation of Deeds:
    1. Subsearch before registration;
    2. Payment of costs;
    3. Registration of deeds.
  7. Closing of File:
    From the commencement of the application until the registration of the deed could involve a period of nine to twelve months. One of the keys to this is the speed at which the Applicant delivers to the Township the requested information. Council recognizes that a division line requested by one party could interfere with the adjacent neighbour. Approval of the abutting owner as to where the lot lines extend to the water’s edge will be requested. 

What is Site Plan Control?

Site plan control is a form of development control provided to municipalities by Ontario’s Planning Act.  The Township’s Official Plan sets policies with respect to lands that have been designated by by-law to be site plan control areas. No one can undertake any development on lands subject to site plan control unless Council has reviewed and approved certain plans.

What are the Goals of Site Plan Control?

Site plan control by-laws are used to establish areas where site plan control will be applied over and above the regulations set out in the Township’s Zoning by-law. Site plan control can be used to:

  • Improve the image and aesthetic appearance of properties;
  • To reduce the impact of development on surrounding land uses;
  • To protect environmental areas (e.g. wetlands, hilltops, wildlife habits) through the appropriate location of building and structures

Who is Affected?

Site plans are required for the following:

  • For all development in the following zones:
    • Highway-Service Commercial C1 Zone
    • Tourist Commercial C2 Zone
    • Contractor Commercial CC Zone
    • Commercial Maine CM Zone
    • Institutional INST Zone
    • General Industrial M Zone
    • Industrial Part M1 Zone  
  • All lands adjacent to and fronting upon Provincial Highway No. 559
  • All other lands in all other zones that are deemed to be required to be subject to site plan control as determined by the Chief Building Official
  • All lands designated as a site plan control along Highway No.559 will be required to include elevation drawings to be able to indicate the relationship of any proposed building to the surrounding lands and highway.


Please consult with the Township’s Planner to determine whether you are subject to Site Plan Control prior to proceeding with any development of your property. 

If you are constructing or modifying a road entrance you will need to apply for a Road Entrance Permit. Please reference the Townships entrance by-law for more information.

Best Practices

Many properties in our municipality were originally created as waterfront lots.  In many of these areas private access networks have developed but these routes are not constructed to the minimum standards of the public road system and can be very challenging for Emergency Service Providers; specifically:

  • Width – Driveways/access routes should provide a minimum unobstructed width of 3.8 Metres;
  • Brush/Underbrush –A minimum unobstructed height of 4.2 metres
  • Ground Clearance – The longer wheelbase of the equipment may in some cases “bottom out” and damage the vehicle which would hamper the ability to respond;
  • Road Steepness – Private roads with steep slopes can place our equipment and volunteer responders into danger of roll-over;
  • Turnarounds – Driveway turnarounds shall have inside turning radii of not less than 9.2 metres and outside turning radii of not less than 13.8 metres;
  • 911 Addressing– Acceptable “911 signage” is available for purchase at the township office. Please try to understand that if your access road has multiple addresses and forks in the road then additional 911 signs may be required at every junction in order for responders that are not familiar with the private road to find their way to you.

The Carling Fire Department makes every effort to respond to emergencies in a timely fashion and will do so by truck, boat or ARGO as the need arises. When called we will make every effort to access your property as quickly as possible but if your access route is compromised by any of the above, our response will be limited if not prevented.

Contact the Public Works Department at

We do not have any special projects at this time.

Useful Planning Links

For additional information, please contact the Township's Planner.

Available from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday – Friday

Address 2 West Carling Bay Rd Nobel, ON P0G 1G0
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