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Planning & Development Department

Structure of the Planning & Development Department

The Planning & Development Department is divided into two branches.

The Planning Services Branch maintains and operates a GIS to provide and analyze spatial data to support long range policy initiatives of the CBRM. To date the Planning Services Branch has been instrumental in providing technical and analytical support for projects as varied as:

  • development of the Regional Municipality's tax structure correlating the tax rate to the level of service provided;
  • establishing council district boundaries;
  • establishing and maintaining an address system for use in implementing the 911 response system;
  • establishing fire service boundaries
  • a demographic report for the Regional Municipality;
  • a draft report intended to guide the future development of the region focusing on economic development, the environment, transportation and infrastructure;
  • a Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use Bylaw now in effect throughout the Municipality;
  • preparing and revising policies on the subdivided land within CBRM

The Development Service Branch is responsible the CBRM's administrative service obligations pursuant to Parts 8 and 9 of the Municipal Government Act. More specifically this includes the following:

  • administering the various land use bylaws in effect throughout the Regional Municipality;
  • administering the Subdivision Bylaw in effect throughout the Regional Municipality;
  • processing applications to amend any land use bylaw, the Subdivision Bylaw, or any Municipal Planning Strategy

Planning & Development Department Staff

Staff Phone E-Mail
Acting Director Planning & Development/Planner, Malcolm Gillis (902) 563-5027 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Planner/Heritage Officer, Rick McCready (902) 563-5072 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Planner/Property & Services, Ken Smith (902) 563-5093 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Development Officer, Brian Spicer (902) 563-5134 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Assistant Development Officer, Sandra Bobyk (902) 563-5092 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
GIS/Planning Technologist, Jamie Whitters (902) 563-5071 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Planning Technologist, Bill MacDonald  

 (902) 563-5075  

  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Civic Addressing Coordinator, Fred Boutilier (902) 563-5052 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Office Administrator, Colleen McGuire (902) 563-5068
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General Information (902) 563-5070


 

Responsibilities of the Development Service Branch

Subdivision

When do I need Subdivision Approval?

With a few exceptions, in the Province of Nova Scotia any time the boundary of a legal parcel of land is altered by either:

  • dividing it into two or more parcels,
  • realigning a shared boundary, or
  • consolidating two or more parcels,

the owner of the parcels is obliged to acquire approval from the Municipality having jurisdiction.

Why do I need Subdivision approval?

Within Nova Scotia, it is a legal requirement to obtain subdivision approval. An approved lot ensures the property has been assessed by the appropriate Departments with regards to services and road access. It also establishes the legal boundaries of the land. An approved plan of Subdivision is filed at the Registry of Deeds Office.

Where do I apply for subdivision approval?

If the land is located within the boundaries of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality you, or your agent may apply in person or by mail to:

Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Civic Centre
320 Esplanade
Citizens Service Centre
First Floor, Suite 101

What other Departments of the CBRM or the Province of Nova Scotia may be involved in the approval process?

The Provincial Nova Scotia Environment - On-site sewage disposal systems. The Provincial Department of Transportation & Infrastucture Renewal - Lots which front upon a public road owned and maintained by NSTIR.  CBRM Engineering & Public Works Dept. -  Lots which front upon a public road owned / maintained by The Cape Breton Regional Municipality and / or lots serviced by Municipal Water / Sewer
CBRM Building Inspection Dept. - To ensure existing buildings meet minimum setbacks to proposed boundary lines.

What is the fee for Subdivision approval?

The application fee is $ 280.00

Other fees that may be applicable: i.e.: Registry of Deeds, Deed Transfer Tax

Does subdivision approval expire?

A Tentative Plan of Subdivision expires 2 years from the date of approval if not submitted on a Final plan of subdivision.

A Final Plan of Subdivision, once approved and filed at the Registry of deeds, does not expire.

How long is the approval process?

After receiving a completed application, the time in which approval is granted may vary. Outside referral agencies (Departments) may require further information from the applicant, which may slow the process. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Application Forms - Both forms must be submitted together.

Final Subdivision Application Statement of Plan Registration (38.07 KB)

Subdivision Application Form (175 KB alt)

Where can I get more information?

The office of the Development Service Branch of the Planning & Development Department is located in the 2nd floor of the Civic Centre at 320 Esplanade, Sydney and is accessed through Door 200. For further information regarding Subdivision please contact the following:

 

Development Officer Brian Spicer
(902) 563-5134
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Assistant Development Officer Sandra Bobyk
(902) 563-5092
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Development Permits

Who needs a Development Permit?

In the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, a development permit is required if you are intending to:

  • construct, add to, alter, replace or relocate any building or part of building or structure;
  • change or alter the use made of land, buildings or structures, or
  • erect a new sign.

A Development Permit is required to ensure compliance with the zoning provisions of the Land Use Bylaw in effect for a given property.

What is the fee for a Development Permit?

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality charges $20.00  for Development permits.

Does this permit expire?

A development permit expires after one year. If you did not start your project within the year, you can renew your permit.

What do I need to apply?

You should call ahead to see what type of information you will need to supply at the time of application. Depending on what you are applying to do, requirements may vary. Such things as property mapping, site plans to show parking layouts, amenity space, proposed buildings / structures etc., floor plans, written descriptions of your proposal, are some things you may be obliged to submit to the Development Officer.

Where do I apply for a Development Permit?

If the land is located within the boundaries of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality you, or your agent, may apply in person or by mail to:

Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Civic Centre
320 Esplanade
Citizens Service Centre
First Floor, Suite 101

After I apply, when will I get my Development permit?

Within 30 days of after receiving a completed application, the Development Officer is obliged to either grant the Development Permit or inform the applicant of the reasons for not granting the Development Permit.

Where can I get more information?

The office of the Development Service Branch of the Planning & Development Department is located in the 2nd floor of the Civic Centre at 320 Esplanade, Sydney and is accessed through Door 200. For further information regarding Subdivision please contact the following:

Development Officer Brian Spicer
(902) 563-5134
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Assistant Development Officer Sandra Bobyk

(902) 563-5092
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Zoning Confirmation

What is a Zoning Confirmation?

Upon receipt of a formal written request, the Development Officer will provide a signed letter certifying the zoning provisions of the Land Use Bylaw in effect for a given parcel of land.

What do I need to request a Zoning Confirmation?

Any property mapping illustrating the boundary of the lot that allows the Development Officer to locate and plot the dimensions of the property on the zoning map. A zoning map is a map illustrating the boundaries of the various zones in effect within the jurisdiction of a Land Use Bylaw.

What is the fee for a Zoning Confirmation?

The fee for a Zoning Confirmation is $25.00. Because a Zoning Confirmation is not a licence or permit you are obliged to acquire under legislation of the Province of Nova Scotia, the CBRM is obliged to charge HST. The inclusion of this tax increases the fee to $28.75.

Demographic Information

According to the 2001 Census of Canada, the population within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is 109,330. This represents a decline of approximately 7.2% from the population recorded during the 1996 census (117,849) including Native Reserves. When Statistics Canada releases more 2001 census data the CBRM web page will provide a more detailed analysis of this latest census.

Below is a table providing historic demographic statistics for the CBRM and the eight former municipalities which comprised Cape Breton County prior to the August 1st, 1995 amalgamation.

 

YEAR

LSB*

DOM*

NSY*

SYM*

NWD*

GLB*

SYD*

CBM*

CBRM*

1891     2,522 2,466   2,459 2,427 23,274 34,244
1901     4,646 3,191   6,945 9,909 23,489 49,166
1911   2,589 5,418 7,470   16,562 17,723 22,562 73,330
1921   2,390 6,585 8,327 5,615 17,007 22,545 22,698 86,319
1931   2,846 6,139 7,769 7,745 20,706 23,089 23,237 92,503
1941 1,012 3,279 6,836 8,198 9,302 25,147 28,305 28,264 110,703
1951 1,120 3,143 7,354 8,410 10,423 25,586 31,317 32,953 120,306
1961 1,414 2,999 8,657 9,122 10,592 24,186 33,617 39,644 131,507
1971 1,508 2,879 8,604 8,991 9,579 22,440 33,230 40,221 129,075
1981 1,410 2,856 7,820 8,501 8,808 21,466 29,444 44,688 127,035
1991 1,261 2,517 7,260 7,551 7,695 19,501 26,063 45,555 120,098
1996 1,152 2,452 6,797 7,559 7,374 18,659 25,636 48,220 117,849
2001 1,071 2,144* 6,158* 6,982 6,944* 16,984 23,990 45,057* 109,330
2006 971* 2,019* 5,921* 6,689* 6,556* 16,139 22,789* 44,644* 105,928   

 2011  

 945

 1,955*

 5,480*

 6,217*

 6,032*

 15,485

 20,940*

 44,565*

 101,619

* Estimated 2006 and 2011 population by CBRM Planning & Development Department; estimates were
required due to changes in dissemination area boundaries implemented in 2001 and 2006
by Statistics Canada

* LSB = Louisbourg DOM = Dominion NSY = North Sydney SYM = Sydney Mines

NWD = New Waterford GLB = Glace Bay SYD = Sydney

CBM = Municipality of Cape Breton County

Population counts in red indicate a decline from the previous census.

"The Cape Breton Regional Municipality at the End of the 20th Century " (480.89 KB) 

The Report entitled Population Projections for Cape Breton Municipal Units - 2001-2021 dated February 5, 2004 as prepared by the Terrain Group Inc. can be viewed by clicking here (508.84 KB).

Population Projections for Cape Breton Regional Municipality: 2006 - 2021

alt CBRM Demographic Final Report (2008)

alt CBRM Demographic Presentation to Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) (May 2008)

alt CBRM Demographic Presentation to PAC (February 2008)

 

Property Sales

The Planning & Development Department is responsible for managing the landholdings of the CBRM which are either not presently used, or proposed to be used, to provide municipal services to its constituents, in accordance with the Regional Municipality's Property Management Policies (119.44 KB) adopted by Council on September 19th, 2000. The Planning & Development Department has a computerized inventory of surplus properties owned by the CBRM. By appointment, a prospective buyer can review the surplus properties with a Planning & Development Department staff member. The Planning & Development Department office is located in Suite 200, 2nd floor, Civic Center, 320 Esplanade, Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Residents of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality may purchase surplus property owned by the Municipality at a fair market value in compliance with the practice explained in the Property Management Policies (119.44 KB) . If and when a property is deemed surplus, it can be sold at the assessed value listed by the most current Provincial Assessment Department records. If the assessed value is brought into question a prospective buyer has the option of seeking a current appraisal. The costs of a current appraisal, survey, legal fees, or any other necessary processing fees to purchase any property shall be the responsibility of the purchaser. A public tender process shall be initiated if the purchaser offers to buy the property for less than the assessed or appraised market value.

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Mr. Kenneth L. Smith MCIP, Planner, at (902) 563-5093, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Community Planning

The Municipal Government Act mandates that municipalities have the exclusive responsibility for community and land use planning within Nova Scotia.

Within the CBRM, the Planning & Development Department is divided into two branches.

1. The Planning Services Branch maintains and operates a Geographic Information System (GIS) to provide and analyze spatial data to support long range policy initiatives of the CBRM.

2. The Development Service Branch administers the service obligations of the CBRM pursuant to Parts 8 and 9 of the Municipal Government Act.