Planning & Building Services Department - Planning Division Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where is the Planning & Building Services Department located?

For general information, please call 311. For detailed inquiries, contact:

Planning & Building Services Department
Planning Division
2nd Floor, 350 City Hall Square West
Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9A 6S1
Phone: (519) 255-6543
Fax: (519) 255-6544

What services does the Planning & Building Services Department - Planning Division provide?

The Planning Division consists of three sections:

Staff in the Planning Policy section are responsible for research and analysis of changes in land use, population, housing, employment, general economic conditions and characteristics. In addition, staff in this section are responsible for preparing, implementing and monitoring the Official Plan and other policy documents; reviewing and commenting on policy documents from other jurisdictions and levels of government; preparing reports and recommendations to the Planning, Heritage and Economic Development Standing Committee (PHEDSC) and Council, the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee (WECEC), Housing Advisory Committee (HAC), as well as providing administrative assistance to the Environmental Planning Advisory Committee (EPAC), and the Windsor Essex County Air Quality Committee.

Staff in the Urban Design and Community Development section are responsible for developing and implementing urban design strategies throughout the municipality, such as initiating and updating urban design policies, guidelines and standards, and identifying best practices for civic and private sector development. A second area of this section's work is assisting Business Improvement Associations and other community organizations partnering in civic design and development initiatives, as well as maintaining the City Centre revitalization program begun in 1995. The third main activity it pursues is the preparation of Community Improvement Plans authorized by City Council. The responsibilities of the Urban Design and Community Development section are all undertaken to advance the municipality as a leading community partner in promoting Windsor, sustaining the City's role in developing "quality of life" as an economic development advantage.

What is the population and physical size of the city of Windsor?

The city of Windsor has a population of 229,660 (2021 Data) and an area of 146.91 square kilometres or 14,691 hectares. Additional information about the demographics of Windsor can be found by visiting the City of Windsor Demographics web page.

What is the City of Windsor's Official Plan?

The City of Windsor Official Plan is a principal policy document adopted by Council under the provisions of the Ontario Planning Act. It reflects matters of municipal and provincial interests and applies to the entire city. Using the Plan as a guide, Council adopts more detailed planning policies, such as secondary plans and community improvement plans for specific areas and neighbourhoods, and directs the development of new subdivisions. The use and development of individual parcels of land is also influenced by the Official Plan, which determines more specific regulatory measures related to land subdivision, zoning and site plan control. For more information visit the Official Plan Webpage.

What is an Official Plan Amendment?

Sometimes it is necessary to amend the Official Plan to provide more desirable policies or a land use designation for certain lands, which was not anticipated when the Plan was prepared. The owner of a property, or the person authorized by the owner to act on his or her behalf, can make an application to amend the Official Plan. Official Plan Amendments may be complicated, and the changes proposed may affect the City's future policies and directions. In some cases, the Plan requires that specific studies and assessments be made before Council considers the changes. Before making an application, all applicants should consult planners in Planning Policy to determine what information will be required. Applications can be found on the Applications and Forms Webpage.

What is Community Development?

Community Development encourages involvement from residents, business owners, and other key stakeholders to assist Community Development Planners from the Planning Department Urban Design and Community Development (UDCD) Section with improving the quality of existing developments and attracting new development and opportunities when building strong communities for residents of the city of Windsor.

What is a Community Improvement Plan?

The philosophy behind Community Development is entrenched in Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) for a designated area within the city. UDCD hold public meetings and workshops to discuss neighbourhood strengths and challenges within a designated project area. The CIP will include recommendations based on the goals and objectives formed during the public consultation process. For more information, visit the Community Improvement Webpage.

For general information, please call 311. For detailed inquiries, contact:
Planning & Building Services Department - Planning Division
Suite 404, 400 City Hall Square East
Windsor, Ontario
N9A 7K6
Phone: (519) 255-6543
Fax: (519) 255-6544
Email: f