Milton easing building permit process while looking for feedback on extra unit policy


Published October 26, 2023 at 1:17 pm

Additional residential unit
modern interior light a large apartment in mansard

Milton is updating its Official Plan policies and zoning by-law regulations on extra residential units in homes to align with recent provincial legislative changes and wants to hear from residents on the issue.

Queen’s Park made some wholesale changes to its planning act last November with the More Homes Built Faster plan that changed the threshold for the number of units that can be created in residential homes.

The new rules, which aim to address the ‘missing middle’ in affordable housing, now allow up to three residential units “as of right” on most land zoned for one home in residential areas – without needing a municipal by-law amendment.

The units could all be within the existing residential structure or could take the form of a residence with an in-law or basement suite and a laneway or garden home. These new units must be compliant with the building code and municipal by-laws and would be exempt from development charges and parkland dedication fees.

‘Additional residential units’ (ARUs), as defined by the Province, refer to a second and a third residential unit in addition to a primary residential unit on a residential lot containing a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse.

To constitute a ‘residential unit,’ the unit needs to include a set of self-contained rooms with a kitchen and sleeping and bathroom facilities intended for the exclusive use of the unit.

ARUs are also referred to as second units, secondary suites, accessory dwelling units, basement apartments, coach houses, tiny homes, granny flats, in-law apartments or nanny suites.

To have your opinion heard or to learn more about the review of ARUs policies and regulations, visit the project page.

The deadline for taking the survey is October 31

The Town of Milton has also launched a new online portal that makes it convenient for residents and design firms to submit and track residential building permit applications.

The online services portal will allow users to:

  • Apply for a permit online.
  • Securely upload plans, drawings, and supporting materials.
  • Pay for permits, reducing reliance on cheques or cash.
  • Track an application’s status, for real-time transparency.
  • Receive automated notifications at key points in the permit application process.
  • Complete the permit process, from start to finish, and receive approved permit documents digitally.

In its first phase the portal will support new residential building permits for work that may include a deck, additions or alterations to existing residences, or a completely new house, pool enclosure and signs.

In the future it will expand to offer other permit types, including larger residential developments, as well to permits used in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector.

The portal is expected to make the permit application process more efficient and accessible, more environmentally responsible by eliminating paperwork and travel and more streamlined by reducing the need for multiple inquires.

For more information on the portal visit

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