Meaford is Updating the Zoning By-law!

We are updating the Zoning By-law to reflect changes to the Ontario Planning Act and the Meaford Official Plan (updated in 2023). 

It's a big job, but we are breaking off this project into manageable parts - the first part is updating the rules for "Additional Dwelling Units". 

Additional Dwelling Units

Additional Residential Units are also known as “ARUs” or “ADUs”.  An ARU is a separate residential unit that may be inside a single detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling or townhouse dwelling (sometimes through a basement apartment), or, may be detached as a separate building (for example behind the house or above a garage).

Diagram of a house where the second unit is in the basement or the top floor

Some other names used to describe an ARU are basement apartment, second unit, granny flat, laneway house, garden suite, in-law suite, or even tiny home. 

It is important to note that Meaford already allows ARUs but intends to change the Zoning By-law to make it easier to add these units to most properties. 

The proposed zoning changes apply to the entire Municipality of Meaford but urban and rural areas. Join us for the first public meeting to consider changes for Additional Dwelling Units. 

Public Meeting Information:

Date and Time: March 4, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

Location: 157859 7th Line, Meaford, ON (Council Chambers)

See the Event in our Community Calendar

You are invited to review the proposed changes below and provide feedback by participating in the upcoming public meeting, writing a letter, or just follow along with this project. 

This meeting is in person, but there is the option to participate remotely via Zoom (phone or internet). To participate via Zoom you MUST register in advance. Contact Planning Services by noon on March 4, 2024 by emailing or by calling 519-538-1060 ext. 1127.

You can also watch the meeting live or at your convenience on Municipality of Meaford’s YouTube channel at . You do not need to register to watch the meeting on YouTube.

What are the Proposed Changes?

One of the first proposed change is the name!  Meaford's Zoning By-law currently lists these types of homes   "Accessory Apartment Dwelling Units" and there are many existing regulations, including size, bedrooms and location.

Some of the proposed changes are to bring the Zoning By-law in line with Planning Act changes including:

  • Change the name of these units from “Accessory Apartment Dwelling Unit” to “Additional Residential Unit” to be more in line with Provincial changes.
  • Allow up to 3 residential units in a single detached, semi-detached or townhouse on an urban residential property. These may be 3 units in a main building with no units in a detached building, 2 units in a main building and 1 unit in a detached building, or 1 unit in a main building and 2 units in detached buildings.

Other changes are proposed to the existing regulations for both urban and rural properties and are proposed to be less restrictive.

  • Increase the maximum permitted height up to 2 storeys (currently 4.5m in urban residential zones and 5.5m in rural zones)
  • Increase the maximum number of bedrooms to 3 (current maximum of 2 bedrooms)
  • Increase maximum size to 90% of the main unit (currently no greater than 50% of the size of the main dwelling)
  • Clarify that Additional Residential Units are separate from Apartments in Commercial buildings and on Commercial properties

Additional changes may include reduction to minimum required yards/setbacks, relationship to the main dwelling and minimum distance from a main dwelling in rural areas (currently no greater than 50m from a main dwelling).

For more information contact Denise McCarl, Manager of Planning Services during regular office hours by phone at 519-538-1060 extension 1120, by email to

Reports and Documents

Public Notice - Zoning Amendment ARU Provisions March 4, 2024

Staff Report DEV2023-25 Additional Residential Units Zoning Update

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