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Bradford West Gwillimbury

Bradford West Gwillimbury > Home Occupations

​​​​Home Occupations

The Town of BWG Office of Community Planning has embarked on a review of the Home Occupation provisions found in the Town's current Zoning By-law (2010-050).

​Why is this happening and what is the process?

  • The review of the Home Occupation provisions in the Town's current Zoning By-law has and will continue to follow the standard planning process:
    1. identify issues as provided by residents, staff and/or council members;
    2. prepare proposed (DRAFT) by-law updates;
    3. hold a Public Meeting to obtain input from the community;
    4. gather, review and consider all written comments from the community;
    5. prepare final draft of proposed changes and present to Council – this is targeted to happen sometime in February/March 2019.*
      (*If you have not already done so, email planninginfo@townofbwg.com and provide your contact info to be notified once the date is set; at this meeting there will be opportunity once again to speak and for additional changes to be made if necessary.)
  • This project was initiated when Council asked staff to make suggestions on how the Zoning By-law could be changed to expand the permissions for home based business. The proposed changes attempt to bring the by-law up to date with the current economy (including more on-line businesses) and the make-up of our local community.
  • The list of businesses addressed by the proposed by-law change are not addressed at all in the current by-law, putting them in a legal grey area. Until they are added to the by-law, the Town cannot adequately protect either business owners or the public.
  • The proposed regulations were not selected at random. Staff conducted a significant amount of research, including reviewing the regulations in other communities, before preparing the draft set of amendments for consideration by the public and council.
  • The most vital step in the Zoning By-law review and approval process is to advertise the proposed by-law changes and hold a Public Meeting to obtain comments from the community and initial feedback from council (this is where we are currently). The Public Meeting date and outline of the topic were advertised multiple times in the local newspaper and on the Town's website and social media pages.

Once again, we wish to reiterate that the proposed changes are currently open for discussion and we want to hear from all interested parties.

What are the proposed changes?

The proposed changes include:

  • expanding the permitted home occupations to include Online Sales, Fitness Instruction (e.g. yoga, personal training), Outdoor Swimming Lessons, Home-Based Teaching, Catering Businesses and Home-Based Medical Practitioners (not listed before and therefore technically neither legal nor illegal);
  • allowing home occupations to now have the option of operating in their garage or other accessory buildings (not allowed before);
  • allowing the sale of goods associated with a home occupation (previously limited to goods produced on-site);
  • introducing some new use limitations such as hours of operation, number of students/clients at a time, and prohibition of goods pick-up (designed to address complaints from the public regarding noise, parking, and other disruptions); and
  • permit home occupations in duplexes and townhouses (not allowed before).

For the full report on the currently proposed changes please click here.

How do I provide comments?

Individuals and organizations that wish to provide comments for consideration and/or to be informed of future project activity must submit them in WRITING along with your full name and address.

By email to:
planninginfo@townofbwg.com

By mail to:
Brandon Slopack, Planner
Town of BWG Office of Community Planning
305 Barrie Street, Unit 2
P.O. Box 419
Bradford, ON   L3Z 2A9​

We would appreciate receiving comments by early January 2019.

Current Zoning By-law

​The Zoning By-law that is currently in place imposes a number of restrictions on home-based businesses. Town staff were asked by Council to investigate ways of permitting a broader range of home-based businesses in order to support entrepreneurship and to encourage more people to both live and work i​n BWG. For example, under the existing by-law it is not permitted to provide outdoor swimming lessons; it is currently not permitted to operate out of a garage or accessory building; it is currently not permitted to operate out of a townhome or duplex – all of these will be permitted under the amended by-law.​

Why Change is Necessary

​Changes in the way people do business, people's purchasing habits and methods, and other economic factors have changed the nature of home occupations. Revisions are being considered to the current Zoning By-law to better reflect what both home-based businesspeople and their customers desire. The Town's intention in amending the by-law is mainly two-fold: to expand the types of home occupations that are allowed in BWG, while setting up the necessary regulations to allow those businesses to operate without negative impact on their neighbours, such as excessive noise and traffic.​

Proposed Changes

The proposed changes include:

  • expanding the permitted home occupations to include Online Sales, Fitness Instruction (e.g. yoga, personal training), Outdoor Swimming Lessons, Home-Based Teaching, Catering Businesses and Home-Based Medical Practitioners (not listed before and therefore technically neither legal nor illegal);
  • allowing home occupations to now have the option of operating in their garage or other accessory buildings (not allowed before);
  • allowing the sale of goods associated with a home occupation (previously limited to goods produced on-site);
  • introducing some new use limitations such as hours of operation, number of students/clients at a time, and prohibition of goods pick-up; (designed to address complaints from the public regarding noise, parking, and other disruptions); and
  • permit home occupations in duplexes and townhouses (not allowed before).

Process and Timeline

When change is proposed to the Zoning By-law, the Town is legally bound to follow certain steps and procedures. This includes presenting the proposal to the public via a public meeting, and then asking for public input. Please see below for a history and anticipated timeline of this effort. 

Date​
​​Item
Oct. 18, 2016
​As a result of concerns from residents and home-based business owners, Council asked staff for information on what steps would be required to broaden support of home-based businesses in the Zoning By-law

​May 16, 2017
Staff report to Council with options as to how to proceed. Council requested Staff initiate general review. 
​Jun. 5, 2018
Staff report to Council presented findings and options for next steps. Council asked staff to begin the public consultation process including drafting proposed amendments.
​Sep. 13, 2018
Sep. 27, 2018
Advertised public information meeting date/time and info about proposed amendments in Bradford Topic
​​Sep. 20, 2018
Sep. 28, 2018
Oct. 1, 2018
Advertised Public information meeting date/time and info about proposed amendments on Facebook
Oct. 2, 2018
Public information meeting introduced proposed changes for public consumption and feedback.
​CURRENT STAGE
​Request for Public Input
Late winter/
early spring 2019
​Updated DRAFT by-law amendments posted online and sent directly to Council and those who have asked to be kept informed (see Stay in the Loop below). This will also be shared on the Town's website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Late spring/
early summer 2019
​Staff Recommendation Report presented to Council. Notice of the report will be posted and available at the end of the week prior to the Council meeting at which it will be discussed. Subsequent to the report, the final proposed amendment will be voted on by Council and, if approved, a revised by-law would be passed.

Provide Your Feedback

Feedback must be made in writing, and must include ​your full name and address. The rules set out in the provincial Planning Act do not allow informal/indirect feedback (such as via social media) or verbal feedback to become part of the report that will be officially considered by Council.
We would appreciate receiving your feedback by Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Written submissions regarding the proposal can be made by clicking here to send email​ or sending regular mail or dropping letters off to:
  Brandon Slopack, Planner
  Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury
  305 Barrie Street, Unit 2
  P.O. Box 419
  Bradford, Ontario, L3Z 2A9

Please provide your suggestions! During this stage we request comments and feedback. We want to learn about your home-based business and its operational needs, what current constraints it faces, and what you like and don’t like about the proposed changes.

Your experience will help us! Any information you are able to share about your existing or desired home-based business is useful to us, including your hours of operation, parking needs, number of clients at a time and over a 24-hour period. We encourage you to review the section of the existing Zoning By-law on home occupations to see if changes are necessary/desired to support your business.

Stay in the Loop

During this process, it has been suggested that the Town establish a mailing list of people who operate home-based businesses so that we can keep in touch with you on any future decisions. If you wish to be informed of any future​ activity that would directly affect home-based businesses, please click here to add your name to our distribution list​. You can unsubscribe at any time.

FAQ

Why was a draft by-law amendment prepared before the public meeting?

There are two main reasons for this. The first is legal - under the Planning Act, the first step when undertaking a change to the Zoning By-law is supposed to be a public information meeting, which the Town held on October 2​. The second reason is more practical - drafting proposed amendments in advance provides the public with a starting point for the conversation, as well as an idea of the scope of the changes that the Town is looking to undertake. This does not in any way limit the public's ability to give feedback and propose changes; that simply comes after the draft has been presented.​

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