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 Residential 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. 

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, or 2 units in a main building and 1 unit in a detached building.

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

Council Decision

A public meeting was held on March 4, 2024. Comments received were in support of the proposed changes. 

Council approved the final draft and passed an amending by-law on April 29, 2024. See Notice of Decision in the below documents. 

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 Meeting Staff Presentation March 4, 2024

Public Notice - Zoning Amendment ARU Provisions March 4, 2024

Staff Report DEV2023-25 Additional Residential Units Zoning Update

Staff Report DEV2024-11 Additional Residential Units Zoning Update

Draft Provisions - Readable Document (April 15, 2024)

Notice of Decision - Zoning Amendment 2024-24

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