Official Plan

The Township of West Lincoln Official Plan is a document containing goals, objectives, and policies to manage and direct future growth and development of the municipality. The policies outlined in the Official Plan relate to the goals and guide land use to ensure that future growth is managed in a way that preserves, protects and enhances the irreplaceable attributes of the Township. The local Official Plan must also implement the broader policies of the Regional Policy Plan and Provincial Policy.

It should be noted that the majority of the lands in West Lincoln are designated as Agriculture in the Township’s Official Plan.  The Official Plan also provides specific designations for residential, commercial and industrial lands within Smithville, as well as the many Hamlet Areas of the Township of West Lincoln.  The policies promote Smithville as the appropriate location to focus non-agricultural development (new residential, commercial and industrial growth).  Hamlets can accommodate infill growth and development opportunities that serve agriculture.

Official Plan Amendment 15 (OPA #15) received Regional approval in June of 2014, while Official Plan Amendment 21 (OPA 21) was rewritten as a requirement of the Region. OPA 21 was replaced with two Official Plan Amendments, OPA 37 & 38, as part of the swap/exchange process and was approved by Regional Council in June 2014, and came into full force and effect on June 30, 2015.

Consolidated Official Plan – October 2018


2012 Strategic Plan

In the summer of 2011, the Township of West Lincoln’s Mayor and Township Council initiated an exercise for the development of a new 10‐year community strategic plan. Based on the direction of Council, the Township’s Chief Administrative Officer, along with key administrative staff, developed a request for proposal and engaged the services of Mohawk College Enterprise Corporation (MCE) and its consultancy team, MCC Group and Alegna Project Strategists, to undertake an extensive community consultation process that would result in the development of a new 10‐year strategic plan for the Township.

The official kick‐off commenced in January 2012 with a community consultation process that was carried out in the months of February, March and April. This process included preliminary key stakeholder engagement and a series of presentations and interviews (Phases 1‐3). Submission of this draft report to the Planning Committee brings closure to Phases 4 and 5 of this project.

West Lincoln Strategic Plan

Secondary Plan for the Northwest Quadrant

Through the Township’s Official Plan Amendment 37, which was approved in 2015, additional lands were brought into the Urban Boundary of Smithville.  Approximately 34 hectares (84 acres) of additional residential land was added to the north-west boundary of Smithville.  In 2015, the Township retained MHBC Planning to create a Secondary Plan for these lands to identify how the lands should be developed.  Public Meetings were held in early 2016 and in early 2017 to consider public input.  On June 26, 2017, the Council of the Township of west Lincoln approved the Secondary Plan for the Northwest Quadrant.  The Secondary Plan has identified areas for low, medium and high density development; local commercial development; parks and trails; storm water facilities and road networks. You can find the policies for the Secondary Plan in Section 6.11.5 of the Township’s Official Plan.

Emergency Planning

Are You Prepared?

Emergencies can strike anywhere, at any time.  It’s important to be prepared—by having a plan, assembling a survival kit, and by staying informed.  Everyone must take responsibility for their own safety.  During an emergency, the things we take for granted every day, such as power, heat and access to food and clean water, can be disrupted for an extended period of time.  You need to be able to take care of yourself for three days should an emergency strike.

Click here to visit the Emergency Management Ontario website where you can learn about emergency management, how to plan for an emergency and how to prepare a survival kit.

Township of West Lincoln Emergency Plan

Emergencies are defined as situations, or the threat of impending situations, abnormally affecting the lives and property of our society which by their nature and magnitude require a controlled and coordinated response by a number of agencies, both governmental and private, under the direction of the appropriate elected officials, as distinct from routine operations carried out by an agency or agencies, e.g. firefighting, police, and normal public works and health service activities.

In our increasingly complex and technological society, peacetime emergencies of a man-made nature are on the increase to add to the natural disasters which we have always faced.

Whenever a disaster occurs, which affects the lives and property of citizens, the initial and prime responsibility for providing immediate assistance rests with the local municipal government.  An Emergency Plan is designed to ensure the co-ordination of Municipal and Regional services in an emergency to bring the situation under control as quickly as possible.

It is realized that it may not be possible to follow procedures exactly as laid down and that it might prove necessary to modify arrangements to suit particular circumstances.  However, the procedures should be followed as closely as possible.

All municipal officials of the Township of West Lincoln, whether elected or appointed, must be fully conversant with the contents of the Emergency Plan and be prepared at all times to carry out the duties and responsibilities allotted to them.

The Emergency Plan is reviewed annually and, where necessary, revised by the Emergency Operating Group.

Each time the Emergency Plan is revised, it must be forwarded to Council for approval.  However, revisions to the annexes and minor administrative changes can be made without resubmitting the plan to Council each time.

It is the responsibility of each person, agency, service or department named within this emergency plan to notify the Emergency Co-ordinator forthwith of any revisions to the annexes, or administrative change.

Click here to view the Township’s Emergency Plan



The Planning & Development Division of the Planning & Development and Building & By-law Department is responsible for policy planning and development review in the Township.

The Township’s Official Plan, Zoning By-law, the development application review process and the Committee of Adjustment are also under the umbrella of the Planning & Development Division. The goal of the department is to help the community grow and develop while enhancing the social, economic and environmental aspects of the community.

Our planning services include:

  • Policy planning;
  • Administering and reviewing development applications such as:
    • Subdivisions and Condominiums;
    • Land Severances
    • Site Plans
  • Assessing and recommending appropriate land use changes in accordance with our Official Plan and Zoning By-law;
  • Considering requests for Minor Variances;
  • Regulating land use (zoning compliance);  Please Note:  Zoning Compliance documents require a ten day processing period from the date of receipt of a request.
  • Special projects (Community Improvement Plan, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, etc.)

Information Brochures

Official Consent brochure

Official Minor Variance Brochure

Official Rezoning Brochure

Official Site Plan Brochure


Planning Fees

Please be advised of the increase to the Planning fees which become effective October 1st, 2017.

2017-101 Planning Fees

Please see Report PD-110-17 below for further information:

PD-110-17 Change to Planning Fees

Planning Applications

1. Official Plan & Zoning By-law Amendment Application (09.16)

2. Subdivision & Condominium Application 09.16

3. Site Plan Control Approval 09.16

4. Exemption From Part-Lot Control – Application 09.16



Notice of Public Meeting and Open Houses – New Zoning By Law


Get involved with your input. The Township of West Lincoln will hold Public Open Houses and a Public Meeting in accordance with the Planning Act, to provide an opportunity for public input in relation to a proposed new Comprehensive Zoning By-law. Details of these sessions are below: 

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE #1 – Caistor  

DATE:  Tuesday, September 22,   2015

TIME:   4:00 PM TO 8:00 P.M.

Caistor Community Centre, Abingdon, 9184 Regional Road 20

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE #2 – Wellandport

DATE:  Thursday, September 24,   2015

TIME:   4:00 PM TO 8:00 P.M.

Wellandport Community Hall, 5042 Regional Road 63 (Canborough Road)


PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE #3 – Smithville

DATE:  Tuesday, September 29,   2015

TIME:   4:00 PM TO 8:00 P.M.

Council Chambers, Township Office, 318 Canborough Street, Smithville

Purpose and effect of proposed by-law The Planning Act requires a municipality to update its zoning by-law within three  years of revising the Official Plan. The Township has recently completed an Official Plan update, and the zoning by-law must conform with the revised Official Plan. The purpose and effect of the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law is to repeal and replace the current zoning by-law 79-14 which was passed in 1979, and all other zoning by- laws now in effect within the Township. The new Comprehensive Zoning By-law will:

• Address provincial requirements

• Implement the Regional and Local Official Plans

• Replace the current zoning by-law with an updated, user-friendly and streamlined zoning by-law

• Update defined terms, general provisions, parking standards and provide new zone categories

• Reduce exceptions / special provisions

• Include new mapping

Land affected

The new Comprehensive Zoning By-law will apply to all land within the Township of West Lincoln. For this reason, a map is not provided with this notice illustrating the land affected by the by-law. How to provide comment Any person may attend the Public Open Houses and the Public Meeting to provide written or verbal representation regarding the proposed by-law. No registration is required to attend these sessions. Written submissions will be accepted by the Township Clerk, Carolyn Langley up to TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015.

At the Public Open Houses, information will be available on display for public review with Municipal staff and the project consultants present for discussion and questions. There will be no formal presentation or meeting of Township Council at the Open Houses. At the Public Meeting, a presentation will be given by the project consultants followed by an opportunity for questions and comments by the Planning/Building/ Environmental Committee and the public.

Important information about making a submission If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/ Environmental Committee before the bylaw is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Council of the Township of West Lincoln to the Ontario Municipal Board.

If a person or public body does not make oral submission at a public meeting,  or make written submissions to the Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/ Environmental Committee before the bylaw is passed, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Ontario Municipal Board unless, in the opinion of the Board, there are reasonable grounds to do so.

Other applications For a complete list of active Planning Applications within the Township, please consult the Township of West Lincoln Website.

For more information Additional information and material about the proposed by-law is available for viewing during regular office hours at: Planning Department 318 Canborough Street, Smithville Call: 905-957-3346 E-mail: Website: Copies of the proposed draft Comprehensive Zoning By-law will be available on or before MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2015.

If you would like to be notified of Township Council’s decision with resect to the proposed by-law, you must make a written request to:

Carolyn Langley Township of West Lincoln, 318 Canborough Street, Smithville, ON L0R 2A0 

West Lincoln Draft Comprehensive Zoning By-law 09.15

List of Active Planning Files 09.15

Draft Zoning Maps 09.22