Planning and Development Services

What is Planning?

Planning is used by municipalities to encourage the orderly development of land, in accordance with the Municipal Government Act (MGA).  Planners use two tools to guide development: policy and regulations.

Development policies are outlined in a Municipal Planning Strategy or Secondary Plan.  Policies are intended to give broad-scope, big-picture direction for future development – they are the “where we are going” statements.  Policies can include intentions and goals for a community.  Future development layouts are planned using designations; broad categorizations of land uses such as “residential”, “commercial” or “industrial”.

Development regulations are outlined in a Land Use By-law.  Regulations provide detailed instructions on permitted types of development, as well as sizes and standards for lots, setbacks, parking, signage, and building heights.  Regulations can be general for an entire Plan Area, or they can apply to only certain types of development using zones; categorizations of land uses that provide detailed rules on what can or cannot be developed where they are applied. A Land Use By-law is a subordinate document to the Municipal Planning Strategy/Secondary Plan.

Planning Services in Antigonish County are through the Eastern District Planning Commission, which is located at:

Eastern District Planning Commission
606 Reeves St., Unit 3
Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia  B9A 2R7
Ph:(902) 625-5361
Fax: (902) 625-1559
Toll Free: 888-625-5361

If you are looking up planning information about a property, you should check with Planning Staff to find out not only the zoning applicable to the property (what can be done now), but also the designation of the land (what is visioned for the future).

Building Permits and Inspections