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Beyond application approval

Building and Renovating

Building and Renovating next steps

Once your development application has been approved you will now move onto the next steps in developing your property, which will include building and renovating.  You may also be interested in planning your project or do I need a building permit as starting points for developing your property.  You will also need to consider how new residential and non residential development charges or education development charges may affect your project in developing your property.

Development Inspections

New Subdivision and Site Plan Construction 

The City of Ottawa’s Development Inspections Unit supervises the construction of all new subdivisions and site plans, ensuring that all infrastructure (both above and below ground) are constructed to City and provincial standards.  Examples of such infrastructure include roads, sidewalks, sewers, watermains, street lighting, lot grading and landscaping and regulatory and street name signage.

Who is involved in the construction of a development project?

Developer – The Developer, who owns the land, enters into a Subdivision or Site Plan Agreement with the City to ensure that the construction of the project meets the requirements of the City and other public agencies. The City holds financial securities to ensure the Developer performs all the requirements of the agreement.  

Consulting Engineer – Hired by the Developer, the Consulting Engineer is directly responsible for the supervision and administration of subdivision and site plan construction.

Contractors – Contractors have various construction abilities and are hired by the Developer to construct all new infrastructure relating to the development application that is under construction.

Builder – Buys lots from the Developer and then builds the homes that the Homeowners purchase.

Homeowners – Buy homes within a new subdivision.

City of Ottawa – City staff inspect subdivision and site plan works undertaken by the Developer to ensure that it complies with the subdivision or site plan agreement. Financial securities held against the Developer are often reduced several times during the lifespan of the project, depending on the progress of the installed infrastructure.  The final release of securities occur when all deficiencies have been corrected and all conditions in the subdivision or site plan agreement have been met.

(Note: There may be exceptions to the above. The Builder and Developer may be one in the same in some subdivisions. In others, various Builders buy lots from one Developer.)

Assumption of City-Owned Infrastructure 

Assumption of City-Owned Infrastructure occurs when the municipality assumes responsibility for the maintenance of all infrastructure contained within the road allowance. This usually occurs within two to four years after the registration of a subdivision or when the City is satisfied that the Developer’s obligations have been fulfilled (typically one to two years after the final layer of pavement has been placed throughout a subdivision). Until Assumption, the Developer is responsible for all infrastructure and the upkeep of the street (except snow removal). 

Rear Yard Catch Basins 

In subdivisions, rear yard catch basins are typically installed on private property and the majority of these are City-owned and maintained by registered easements.  Alterations to these rear yard catchbasins are not permitted, as any changes could adversely affect the overall storm water management design.

Grading and Landscaping

In subdivisions, Builders are responsible to grade and sod each lot, according to the City-approved grade control plan.  Each lot is inspected prior to the placement of any sod to ensure compliance with this plan.


In addition to grading and landscaping, Builders are also responsible for planting trees within and around subdivisions.  Developers submit an overall landscape plan for subdivisions for approval, and when approved, Builders plant their trees according to this plan.  It is important to note that once the landscape plan has been approved by the City, no changes to this plan will be permitted.  

Development signs

Application for a Development Sign or Directional Development Sign 

Development sign

Development signs are identification and promotional signs located on the developer or builder's own property where the development is to occur either as one project or in phases.

Development signs can be either ground or wall-mounted and can include the following types of signs utilized by the development industry:

  • Primary ground signs promoting the development
  • Directional signs to model homes
  • Model home identification signs
  • Sales centre signs
  • Amenities signs

Development signs are subject to the sign permit process, which involves the submission of an application and, a sign detail form for larger projects, a sign plan that outlines the types and locations of signs a developer is planning to install. For smaller projects, one permit per sign is required, however, for sign plans, one permit covers all the signs identified in the sign plan.

Submission requirements for a development sign
  1. A completed application form and sign detail form.
  2. Payment of the application fee based on the table set out in the fee schedule.
  3. For ground signs, a scaled elevation drawing of each type of sign including the base support detail.
  4. For wall-mounted development signs, a scaled building elevation drawing(s) illustrating the proposed wall-mounted signs.
  5. For wall-mounted signs, a cross-section detailing wall construction, and fastening details.
  6. For wall-mounted signs, provide photos of the building.
  7. For ground-mounted signs 20 sq. m. (215 sq. ft.) or greater in area, photos of the location, including a photo of the land use directly opposite the sign that is not located on the property or phase currently under construction.
  8. For proposals with greater than three (3) development signs:
    1. A scaled sign plan drawing illustrating; internal roads, parking areas, buildings, property lines, entrances/exits, traffic signals and all ground signs utilizing symbols to reflect the different types of signs listed in the legend referenced in the table below
    2. The legend details each sign type, dimension, sign face area, total number of signs by type and the total proposed sign area for all signs to be located on the property.
  9. For location requirements and setback information, please refer to Part 12 of By-law 2016-326.

NOTE: The maximum permitted sign area is based on the size of the property as detailed in the following table:


Aspect Regulated


Area of


less than or equal to

550 M2


Area of


OVER 550 M2

TO 1000 M2


Area of development

OVER 1000 M2TO 5000 M2


Area of development

OVER 5000 M2 TO 10000 M2


Area of development


Maximum total sign face area

2 m²

6 m²

20 m²

50 m²

50 m² per hectare

Maximum Height of any sign

3 m

5 m

5 m

7 m

7 m

Maximum sign face area of any one sign

2 m²

6 m²

6 m²

20 m²

22 m²

Sign plans

A sign plan is required for proposals with greater than three (3) development signs. Its purpose is to identify the types and locations of the proposed signs on the development site. A sign plan typically includes the planned locations of all signs, including but not limited to:

  • Primary ground signs promoting the development
  • Directional signs to model homes
  • Model home identification signs
  • Sales centre signs
  • Amenities signs

Example of a sign plan

Signs approved as part of a sign plan can be moved unaltered, within the property. Each individual sign that is part of the sign plan will be subject to maximum height, area and location restrictions. The maximum square footage of the sign face will be based on the total area of the proposed development.

For additional information, please contact: Addressing and Signs at 613-580-2424, ext. 41162.

Directional development sign

Directional development signs are permitted under sign permits on vacant land, except in residential zones and DR O1, and L3 zones. These signs provide a public service to prospective buyers who aren't familiar with the locale and need wayfinding assistance. The signage contributes to safety on the roadways by clearly directing the public to their intended destinations.

Submission requirements for a directional development sign
  1. A completed application form [PDF 250 KB ]and sign detail form [ PDF 173 KB ].
  2. Payment of the application fee based on the table set out in the fee schedule.
  3. A scaled site plan including:
    1. Dimensioned property lines
    2. Existing development i.e. buildings, parking areas, vehicular entrances/exits, internal roads, existing ground signs, traffic signal locations (if applicable), easements and rights of way.
    3. Location of proposed ground signs
    4. Sign setback from property lines, roads, buildings and traffic signals (if applicable).
  4. A scaled elevation drawing of the proposed signs including the information and/or images to be places on the sign.
  5. For size requirements and setback information, please refer to By-law 2016-326.

For additional information, please contact: Addressing and Signs at 613-580-2424, ext. 41162.

Homebuilder Wayfinding (HBWF) Signs in the Road Allowance

Through the City's Signs on City Roads By-law No. 2003-52015, HBWF Signs are allowed alongside roadways to direct traffic to the boundary of new housing developments and then to the builder sales centres to assist with general way-finding.

Projects are eligible for HBWF Signs during the time of active sales and construction. The placement of these signs is subject to City approval to ensure public safety, consistent format and locations. It is the responsibility of the homebuilder to install the signs in the right-of-way once the location has received approval from the City.

Submission requirements for a HBWF sign:

An annual permit is required for Homebuilder Temporary Way-finding Signs. Apply for a HBWF Sign permit at the Right-of-Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Crescent, 6 th Floor East, 613-580-2424 ext. 16000.

Right of Way Management

The Right-of-Way (ROW) By-law, Permits and Inspection Unit is responsible for regulating activities in the public right-of-way.  The ROW includes the traveled portion of the public streets and alleys, as well as the border area, which includes, but is not limited to, any sidewalks, planting strips, traffic circles, or medians.

Programs administered by ROW include:

Café Seating Permit

The Cafe Seating program allows businesses to place limited outdoor seating on the road allowance. A Café Seating Permit allows businesses to have a maximum of four tables with two chairs each against the wall of their building. At no time can alcohol be served at the cafe seating.

Customer Service Box Permit

Customer service boxes are either publication distribution boxes or courier drop boxes that are permitted to be installed on the road allowance.  

Decorative Banner Permit

Decorative Banners may be installed on utility poles to decorate an area or promote a major special event.

Directional Farm Sign Permit

Directional Farm Signs are permitted alongside roadways to direct traffic to registered farms or farmers’ markets.

Homebuilder Way-finding Sign Permit

Homebuilder Way-finding Signs are permitted alongside roadways to direct traffic to the boundary of new housing developments and to the builder sales centres to assist with general way-finding.

Permanent Encroachment Agreements (Aerial, Subsurface, Surface)

A legal agreement is required for anything man-made that encroaches on public property whether below, at, or above grade.

Private Approach Permit

If you plan to construct, widen or close your driveway, you need to apply for a Private Approach Permit.

Road Cut Permit

A permit is required before anyone can undertake a road cut, which is defined as: a surface or subsurface cut in any part of a highway made by any means, including excavation, reconstruction, cutting, overlaying, crack sealing, braking, boring, jacking or tunnelling operations.

Temporary Construction-Related Encroachment Permit

Temporary Construction-related Encroachment Permits are issued to clients undertaking a private property project requiring the use of City road allowance in order to store materials and/or stage part of their work.

Patio Permit

The Outdoor Patio program allows businesses, such as bars, restaurants and cafés, to put outdoor seating on the road allowance. An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Right of Way Patio By-law is required, after which monthly permits may be issued.

Over-Dimensional Vehicle Permit

A permit is required in order to operate an over-dimensional vehicle on City Streets.

For any questions, you may contact the City’s ROW By-law, Permits and Inspection Unit at 613-580-2424 ext. 16000 or