Lifting Holding By-law

A Holding Zone is used in conjunction with a zoning designation when the proposed uses for those lands are considered premature or inappropriate for development at a certain time or until the applicant has met certain conditions or requirements.

Before you begin

Before making an application, you should discuss your proposal with staff through a pre-consultation. The pre-application process is designed to help promote the exchange of information and development considerations early in the planning process and a customized list of the studies and plans required in support of a development application is provided. If you fail to consult with staff, the City cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of your application submission which may result in processing delays.


Landowners can apply to have these holding zones lifted in order to proceed with development. The decision to approve these types of applications is under delegated authority if the prescribed pre-conditions have been met. If that is not the case, the application must be reviewed by the Planning and Housing or Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and approved by City Council. Notice of intent to Lift a Holding Zone is given in accordance with the Planning Act and the corresponding By-law is approved by City Council.

Lifting of Holding By-law applications, where not tied to Site Plan Control approval, are one of five types of applications included within the City’s Guaranteed Application Timeline Initiative (GATI). Since July 1, 2012, the City of Ottawa has been committed to rendering a decision on certain classes of development applications within the Council approved timeline, in this case 44 days, or else the applicant’s next application of that type will be free of charge.

For additional details on the steps associated with the processing and review of development applications, please refer to the City’s development application process information.


The fee for an application for Lifting of Holding By-law (effective January 1, 2024) is $10,558.00. The Conservation Authority will invoice separately as required.

Please see additional information related to the City’s Development Application Fees including information on reductions for multiple applications, re-circulations as well as refunds.


Applications can be submitted to accompanied by required plans, studies and any other information that may be needed to assess your application.

  • Note: If using a file sharing / transfer site to submit supporting documents, please select one that does not restrict access to a single planning staff member or email address.

Lifting Holding By-law Application Form

Upon application submission, staff will provide confirmation of the amount due, the specific payment methods available for the application type, and the necessary details for the different payment methods.

Application commissioning, fees and payments

Client Service Centres will continue to offer commissioning services for applications and handle payments for new applications. Please ensure the payer’s name and address are indicated on the cheque.


If you require assistance using an electronic application form please contact a Development Information Officer, located at any of the Client Service Centres. You can make an appointment by calling 3-1-1 and asking to speak with a Development Information Officer.

If you would like to speak with planning staff please contact the appropriate development review Planner III by calling 3-1-1 and providing the address of the property you wish to discuss.