The GRCA has agreements with the municipalities in the Grand River watershed to review applications submitted to municipalities under the Planning Act.
The purpose is to determine if the proposal is consistent with municipal and provincial environmental policies.
The types of proposals reviewed by the GRCA include:
When a Planning Act application is submitted to a municipality, the municipal staff will decide if it needs to be reviewed by the GRCA.
For large and complex applications (e.g. a plan of subdivision), the municipality may organize a meeting with the applicant and all of the agencies involved, called a preconsultation meeting. At the meeting, the applicant and agencies will discuss what studies and reports may be needed to support the application.
For simpler applications (e.g. a severance), the municipality will forward the application to the GRCA so a resource planner can discuss the project with the applicant. During this process, the planner will describe the information and studies required for the review.
The preconsultation process helps the applicant develop final plans that will meet the policies of the GRCA and other agencies, potentially saving time and money.
GRCA staff will review the application and discuss it with the applicant. GRCA staff may suggest changes to the plan so it will comply with environmental policies and regulations. At the end of the review, the GRCA will send recommendations to the municipality for its consideration in its decision on the application.
An applicant may also need a permit from the GRCA if any construction or development work will take place in a regulated area in or near a river, stream, steep slope, wetland, floodplain or the Lake Erie shoreline. For more information, go to our Permits page. Additional permits may be required from other agencies as well.
The GRCA has several policies and guidelines applicable to Planning Act applications. Go to our Polices and guidelines page for more information.