60 Pleasant Street, Bridgewater, NS, B4V 3X9
Tel: 902-543-4651 Fax: 902-543-6876

Approval Processes & Applications

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Various planning approval processes are used by the Town of Bridgewater to regulate development. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Development Officer prior to submitting an application to ensure the correct process has been selected. The Development Officer may be reached at 902-541-4389 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For general information on the various processes, please refer to the following table or scroll down.

 Application Fees
Application Type Administration Fee Advertising Deposit
Development Permit $25 n/a
Municipal Planning Strategy Amendment,
Land Use By-Law Amendment or both
(concurrent)
$300 $700
Development Agreement $200 $700
“Non-Substantial” Development Agreement
Amendment
$100 $250
“Substantial” Development Agreement
Amendment
$200 $700
Site Plan Approval $25 n/a
Variance $25 n/a
Subdivision (Tentative or Final Plan) $75 n/a

Development Permit
No developer shall undertake or cause or permit to be undertaken, any development in the Town of Bridgewater unless a Development Permit has been obtained in relation to such development from the Development Officer appointed by Council. The Development Permit is required for new construction, additions, renovations and changes of use (e.g. office to retail, etc.) to ensure compliance with the Town's Land Use By-Law. Applications must be signed by the owner of the lot, or the agent of the owner of the lot (with the written authorization of the owner), and be accompanied by a plot plan showing where structures will be located. Further information may be necessary to determine whether or not the proposed development conforms with the requirements of the Land Use By-law.

pdf Development Permit application (154 KB)

Site Plan Approval
Prior to the issuance of a Development Permit, certain proposed developments in Bridgewater will require Site Plan Approval. The Site Plan Approval process requires developers to meet special development criteria set out in the Land Use By-law, concerning issues such as location of structures, screening from adjacent uses, pedestrian infrastructure, stormwater management, and landscaping. Site Plan Approval is administered by Planning Department staff and does not include a Public Hearing, as is required for Development Agreement applications.

pdf Site Plan Approval process flow chart (9 KB)

pdf Site Plan Approval application (105 KB)

Development Agreements (DA) & DA Amendments
A Development Agreement is a legal agreement between a landowner and the Town, outlining the terms of the development on a specific propert/ies. The Land Use By-law identifies which developments are subject to a Development Agreement, and the Municipal Planning Strategy outlines specific development criteria which is to be considered by Council prior to making a decision on a proposed Development Agreement. With Development Agreements, key issues considered by staff and Council include:

  • Compatibility of the proposed development with adjacent land uses;
  • Water, sanitary and stormwater servicing considerations;
  • Vehicular and active transportation considerations;
  • Environmental considerations;
  • Potential costs to the Town;
  • Etc.

pdf Development Agreement process flow chart (10 KB)

pdf Development Agreement application (86 KB)

Municipal Planning Strategy and/or Land Use By-law Amendments
The Municipal Planning Strategy provides the framework for encouraging, controlling and coordinating growth and development. Policies on a wide range of issues may be added to the strategy as well as amended to reflect the changing characteristics of the community. Sometimes requests for Municipal Planning Strategy amendments are deferred to the comprehensive review process, which takes place
approximately every five years, so that they may be considered in the context of other changes which reflect the development of the community. A rezoning is a change to the Land Use By-law's zoning map, required to enable a development proposal which is not permitted in the current zone but which is anticipated in the Municipal Planning Strategy. Text amendments to the Land Use By-law may also be requested to add, alter or delete development specific regulations. All proposed amendments must be consistent with the Municipal Planning Strategy.

pdf Municipal Planning Strategy Amendment process flow chart (10 KB)

pdf Land Use By-law Amendment flow chart (10 KB)

pdf MPS (86 KB)  and/or pdf LUB Amendment application (86 KB)

Variance
The Development Officer may grant variances in circumstances where a proposed development may not be able to meet the requirements of the Town's Land Use By-law, namely, the minimum lot frontage, minimum lot area, and size or other requirements relating to yards. A variance may only be granted if it meets the intent of the Land Use By-law, or the applicable development agreement, and is determined to be a unique situation in context with other properties in the area.

pdf Variance process flow chart (9 KB)

pdf Variance application (85 KB)

Subdivision
Simply defined, a subdivision is the division of any area of land into two or more parcels, and can include a resubdivision and/or a consolidation of two or more parcels. Plans of subdivision submitted for approval may be for large subdivisions with new roads and services. Plans of subdivision may also be for minor additions to lots or consolidation of lots. All applications for subdivision shall adhere to the Town's Subdivision By-law requirements and procedures.

pdf Subdivision process flow chart (9 KB)

pdf Subdivision application (100 KB)