Municipality of Grey Highlands - The place for all seasons Municipality of Grey Highlands - The place for all seasons Municipality of Grey Highlands - The place for all seasons
Municipality of Grey Highlands - The place for all seasons Municipality of Grey Highlands - The place for all seasons Municipality of Grey Highlands - The place for all seasons

Municipality of Grey Highlands, the place for all seasons!
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The Municipality of Grey Highlands
Office Hours
Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm

Phone: (519) 986-2811
Toll Free: (888) 342-4059
Fax: (519) 986-3643

Office Location
206 Toronto Street South
Unit 1 Markdale

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 409 Markdale, Ontario N0C 1H0
Email

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are several Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Council and Legislative Services Department - Clerks FAQ's

1a. Council and Legislative Services – Planning Division FAQ's

2. Fire and Emergency Services FAQ's

3. Waste Management FAQ's

4. Finance Department FAQ's

5. Building Department FAQ's

 

Clerk's Department FAQ's

Q How do I contact the MP or MPP?
A You can contact MP Larry Miller at 519.371.1059 or email manager@larrymiller.ca or website www.larrymiller.caor MPP Bill Walker at  519-371-2421. Email: bill.walkerco@pc.ola.org
 
Q How do I contact the Mayor or a member of Council?
A Council email and phone numbers can be found on the Council page at this link.

Q When is the next Council meeting?
A Council meetings are held every other Monday commencing at 10:00 am, with public hearings/meeting commencing at 5:00 pm unless otherwise provided by resolution of Council and unless it is a public or civic holiday.. Click here for schedule of meetings.

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Q How can I be a delegation before Council?
A Any person desiring to present new information to Council or make a request of Council shall give written notice to the Clerk by seven (7) business days prior to the Regular Meeting of Council. Click here for more information on delegations.  
 
Q When is the next Municipal Election?
A Municipal Elections take place every four (4) years. The next election will be held in the fall of 2018.
 
Q What are the fees for a dog tag?
A  Please see the dog tag fees document located in the right hand column titled "Reports and Downloads". For more information please visit the Administration Department's page.

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Q Where do I obtain a birth, marriage or death certificate?
A Please call the Receiver General at 1.800.461.2156 or visit their website at www.cbs.gov.on.ca
                The Office of the Registrar General
                P.O. Box 4600
                189 Red River Road
                Thunder Bay, ON  P7B 6L8

Are you,  a member of your family, or a friend celebrating a Birthday or a Wedding Anniversary?
A  The Mayor’s Office provides a certificate signed by the Mayor to those celebrating these major milestones. Please call the Clerks Office at 519.986.1216 Ext 242 or by e-mail at clerks@greyhighlands.ca to arrange for these presentations.

Q Where do I get a passport?
A Visit Passport Canada web site at www.pptc.gc.ca
 
Q Do you provide Commissioning services for legal documents?
A Yes. We have three staff members who have been appointed to be Commissioners for taking Affidavits. Please call and make an appointment to ensure that staff are available to assist you. The charge for this service is $10.00. Please note that a Commissioner for taking Affidavits is not the same as a Notary Public. A Commissioner can administer Oaths, take Affidavits and Administer Solemn Declarations (Statutory Declarations).  If you require a Notary Public please contact your solicitor's office.
 
Q What is the nearest Service Canada location and phone number?
A The Service Canada locations are:  Owen Sound, Parkway Professional Building, Suite 1, 1450 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound, ON or Collingwood, 44 Hurontario Street, Collingwood, ON 1.800.622.6232.  
 
Q Where can information on Marriage Licenses be found?
A  Visit the Clerk’s Department on this site for more information regarding Marriage Licensing.

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Q Who do you call regarding loose or stray dogs?
A You can call Animal Control 519-986-1587 or pager for emergency/after hours is 519-372-4557.
 
Q What are the enforceable by-laws within Grey Highlands
A Enforceable By-laws can be found on the By-Laws and Policies page. Complaints regarding by-law enforcement should be submitted in writing. The complaint form can be found on the Applications and Forms page under Administration.
 
Q How do I find where my ancestors are buried.
A The former Townships of Artemesia, Euphrasia, Osprey and the Village of Markdale History books are available for viewing at the Municipal Office or any of the Grey Highlands Libraries. You may wish to view the Grey Roots website at http://www.greyroots.com/collections-research/ for additional information. Request for searches by Municipal Staff are subject to the Fees and Charges By-law. The following website might also be of assistance http://www.geneofun.on.ca.
 
Q How do I purchase a cemetery plot?
A Please contact the Clerks Department regarding all plot purchases. Additional information regarding cemeteries may be found on the Cemeteries page.

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Corporate Services – Planning Division FAQ's

Q. What is the Official Plan?
A. The Grey Highlands Official Plan is intended to function as a road map for the Municipality; a tool to manage growth and protect environmental resources; and a blueprint for economic development.  The Plan is a lower tier document, providing a more detailed local policy focus relative to the upper tier County of Grey Official Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan.  The Plan includes policies to guide economic, environmental and community building decisions that affect land use.

Q. What is the Zoning By-law? 
A.  The Municipality of Grey Highlands Comprehensive By-law 2004-50 is used to regulate the use of land within Grey Highlands as well as to implement the objectives of the Municipality’s Official Plan.  The Zoning By-law contains specific requirements that are legally enforceable and any construction or building on a property that does not comply with the Zoning By-law is not permitted.

Q. How do I find out what a property is zoned?
A. The Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2004-50 can be found on the Municipality’s website at www.greyhighlands.ca – Active By-laws.  Refer to the Key Map under the Schedules, find the general area of your property.  The schedules are set out A-1 to A-10.  Refer to your specific “A” map, find your lot and concession number to see the zoning on your property.  The Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2004-50 contains definitions and uses of specific zoning as well as setback requirements for construction.

Q. What if I want to use or develop my property in a way that is not permitted in the Zoning By-law?
A. You may apply for a Zoning By-law Amendment/ Minor Variance Amendment for Council’s consideration. If the request is not in conformity with the Official Plan an Official Plan Amendment would also be required for Council’s consideration. Pre-consultation with a Planner is recommended to identify the scope of the zoning request to determine if a full Zoning By-law Amendment is required or if a Minor Variance is required. Applications may be obtained from the Municipal office or from the website at www.greyhighlands.ca – Look under Quick Links: Applications and Forms/Planning.

Q.Isn’t the zoning designation on my tax bill what my zoning is for planning purposes?
A. The zoning designation on your tax bill is what the property is currently used for (i.e. farming, commercial, residential).  The zoning on the land is the land use that is permitted for planning purposes and is not related to the tax bill. For example, agricultural land use zoning may be used for agriculture purposes and/or residential purposes. However the land may not currently be in use for farming purposes and therefore the tax bill will only show zoning as residential. However for planning purposes the agricultural zoning applies.)

Q. How do I sever my property?
A severance is referred to as a Consent. A Consent is an authorized separation of a piece of land to create a new lot.  Pre-consultation with a Planner is recommended due to the restrictive nature of consents, specifically in regard to agriculture lands.  The Municipality of Grey Highlands Official Plan clearly sets out Consent Policies for all Land Use Designations.  Applications for Consents may be obtained from the Municipal office or from the website at www.greyhighlands.ca – Look under Quick Links: Applications and Forms/Planning.

Q. What are the costs of planning applications? 
A. Section 69 of the Planning Act allows the establishment of a tariff of fees for the processing of applications made in respect to planning matters.  Council approves fees & charges for all costs associated with planning matters.  Refer to the Fees & Charges By-law on the website under Active By-laws for planning fees.

Q. Why is there (H) Hazard zoning on my property?
A. The hazard zones are set by the Conservation Authority responsible for your geographical area.  Lands having the (H) Hazard designation have inherent environmental hazards severe enough to pose a risk of loss of life, property damage and social disruption if developed upon. Therefore, no building or construction may occur in a Hazard zone.  As the Hazard may not be obvious to a land owner, it is advisable to contact the Conservation Authority responsible for your area to request the reason for the Hazard designation. 

Q. Does the Municipality have a Planner on staff that I can use?
A. The Municipal office contracts a Consulting Planner to assist with the Municipality’s planning needs, including the pre-consultation and the review of applications received, preparing planning reports for Council’s consideration as well as providing assistance with long term planning for the Municipality.   

Grey Highlands Fire & Emergency Services Commonly Asked Questions

Grey Highlands Fire & Emergency Services staff are asked many questions about all aspects of firefighting, fire prevention and emergency planning. Many of those questions are included here. The answers can help you prevent fires in your home. If you have a question that is not answered here, call the Grey Highlands offices for additional assistance.

Q How far is my property from a fire station?
A This question is often asked by Insurance companies to determine the premium to be charged. The quickest and easiest way to determine the distance is to use an on-line service such as MapQuest. Use the 'Directions' function, - type in your address and the station address - the shortest route will appear with the total mileage and estimated response time.

SMOKE ALARMS:

Q Do I need to install a smoke alarm in my home?
A As of March 1, 2006, the Ontario Fire Code requires every single family home to have operational smoke alarms installed on every storey of your home and outside of all sleeping areas. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals.

More important however, is the strong statistical evidence that smoke alarms do save lives. Fires often occur when people are asleep or in areas of the home away from the fire. In these cases the alarm detects the fire and warns the occupants while the fire is still small so they may escape.

If you require further information or require assistance in determining proper smoke alarm placement in your home, call the Grey Highlands offices for additional assistance.

Q What is the best brand of smoke detector to purchase?
A Purchase a smoke detector that has been either CSA-approved (hard-wired) or U.L.C.-approved (battery-operated). Labels are clearly marked on the package. If the detector is labeled it has been tested to the same quality and performance standard regardless of the brand. If possible, a combination of both types of smoke detectors in your home is recommended.

Q My rented dwelling is not equipped with a smoke alarm and my landlord refuses to install one. Am I responsible for the installation?
A No, you are not. Your landlord is required to install the smoke alarm. The occupant must notify the landlord in writing and the installation has to be done within 5 days of the receipt of the written request.

Maintenance is usually also the landlord's responsibility. The battery needs to be changed within 2 days of receiving written notification from the tenant.

However, tenants should double check their lease agreement. The lease often contains a clause requiring the tenant to maintain the smoke alarms. Regardless of the lease agreement, it is the tenant's responsibility to test the smoke alarm weekly.

If the problem persists, contact the Grey Highlands municipal offices for assistance.

Q My smoke alarm is constantly going off, for no apparent reason. Is there something wrong with it?
A False alarms are often caused by dust particles accumulating in the detector and making it very sensitive. A small insect getting into the detector can also trigger false alarms. Try cleaning the unit with your vacuum cleaner (use the brush attachment and be gentle).

If cleaning it does not correct the problem, try another location. It might simply be that it is too close to the bathroom, the kitchen or another source of steam, cooking gases or similar air borne material that is causing a false alarm..

Q Can the battery be removed to silence false alarms?
A DO NOT TAKE THE BATTERY OUT!! Too often, batteries that are removed are not replaced, making the alarm totally ineffective and putting your family's life in jeopardy.

If false alarms are a problem, purchase a smoke alarm with a ‘PAUSE' or ‘SILENCE' feature that will allow you to temporarily silence the alarm if you know it has been triggered accidentally.

Q Do Smoke Alarms have to be replaced?
A Yes, Smoke Alarms have life expectancy. It is usually specified by the manufacturer. If you no longer have the manufacturer's instructions, the ‘rule of thumb' the Smoke Alarms should be replaced every five years.

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CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS:

Q Should my carbon monoxide (CO) alarm be installed right next to my furnace?
A No. Read the information sheet enclosed with your new alarm. It should be installed where it is easily heard, so as close as possible to your home's sleeping area is the best place. Carbon monoxide in health threatening concentrations will cause headache and make you fell ill. However, because CO is undetectable with our senses (colorless and odorless) you are at greatest risk when you are asleep and may not feel the affect - headache etc. Carbon monoxide is neither heavier or lighter than air so it does not accumulate at the floor or ceiling. Therefore, it is recommended the CO detector be placed close to the same level as your head when laying on your bed.

Carbon monoxide does not just originate from your furnace, but can be emitted from any appliance using fuel such as propane, natural gas, fuel oil or wood. CO is also produced by engines so letting or car idle, running a generator, or barbecuing in your garage causes a build up of CO.

Again, purchase only detectors with the UL, ULC or CAS symbols on the package and detector.

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PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS:

Q What is the best fire extinguisher to buy for my home?
A First, look for a UL or ULC symbol on the label. This tells you the fire extinguisher meets strict standards for quality and performance. Multi-purpose dry chemical extinguishers are recommended for home use because they are effective on ordinary combustible materials, flammable liquids and they do not conduct electricity if used on an electric energized fire. The letters A, B and C on the label indicate the extinguisher is multi-purpose. For home use a portable fire extinguisher with a 2A, 10B, C rating or higher is recommended. If you require further information, call the Grey Highlands offices for additional assistance.

Q Where should I install my new fire extinguisher?
A Portable fire extinguishers should be located in higher risk areas of you home such as the kitchen, workshop and garage. Use the bracket supplied by the manufacturer to mount it on the wall. The fire extinguisher should be mounted near the exit so you can get to it easily in and if the fire grows quickly you can escape. A fire extinguisher should never be in a location where you could be trapped by a fast growing fire.

Q Are the contents of a dry chemical extinguisher toxic?
A No, they are not. Dry chemical extinguishers are usually filled with Mono-ammonium phosphate, which is a non-toxic substance. However, large amounts of this powder in the air can make it difficult to breathe and irritate your eyes. As soon as a dry chemical extinguisher is discharged, leave the area and call the fire department at 9-1-1 to make sure the fire is out.

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FIRE PREVENTION:
 
Q What are common causes of fires I should watch for and prevent?
A Common causes of fires in homes include:

  • Careless use of cooking equipment
  • Careless smoking 
  • Improperly installed or improperly maintained wood stoves 
  • Faulty wiring - primarily use of unapproved extension cords and receptacle multipliers and damaged appliance cords.
  • Careless use of flammable liquids

Q How can I make my home safer?
A Install smoke alarms. Have a home escape plan. Install fire extinguishers.

Q What to do I do if a fire occurs in my home?
A Stay low since smoke rises, leaving fresh air at floor level.
Once you are safe, call 911, from the nearest phone
Do not re-enter the building

Q What facts is it helpful to know about fire safety?
A Fires can double in size approximately every 30 - 60 seconds. (A $20,000 kitchen fire can become a $160,000 house fire in less than three minutes.)

In eight minutes a fire can grow by 64 times.

Progression of a structural fire to the point of "flashover" (the very rapid spreading of the fire due to super heating of the room contents and other combustibles) generally occurs in seven to ten minutes.
As Fire Service response times increase, public safety decreases. The further you are from a fire station the greater your risk is.

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PROPANE TANKS:

Q Can I put my old propane tank out with the garbage?
A No, all old propane tanks must be taken to an outlet that refills them. Do not store them in or around your home and garage.

Q Can I store propane cylinders inside?
A No. These should be stored outside or in a separate shed and at least 10 feet away from any of the building's openings.

Q Where should I store the propane tank for my BBQ?
A All propane tanks should be stored in a detached shed or outside, protected from the weather. Make sure the tank is stored 10 feet from any of the building openings such as windows and doors.

OPEN AIR BURNING - CAMPFIRES:

The Ontario Fire Code prohibits ‘Open Air Burning' unless approved by the Chief Fire Official (Fire Chief). Approval is in the form of a Burn Permit issued by the Chief Fire Official or designate.  There are two categories for Burn Permits:  Open-Air Burning and Campfire/Burn Barrel/Bonfire. 

Many retailers sell various types of outdoor fireplaces, firepits and chimineas.  Some people build their own firepits when landscaping their properties. The use of these appliances and constructed/landscaped firepits is a form of open air burning which is allowed, but only with a valid Burn Permit.

Conducting open air burning, including bonfires and campfires, without written approval of the Chief Fire Official is a violation of the Fire Code and could result in a fine of up to $50,000.

Q Can I burn waste material to dispose of it?
A For recreational/residential burning, only clean dry wood may be burned.  The burning of leaves or other compostable yard waste is prohibited in built-up or urban areas.  For burn barrels, only clean dry wood and dry vegetation may be burned.  Care must be taken when burning noxious weeds as toxins could be released.  For all burning categories, the permit holder must ensure the fire does not include any plastic, rubber or petroleum products, asphalt shingles, aerosol or pressurized containers, wood treated with chemical perservatives, household garbage, or any products potentially hazardous to the environment.  Smoke shall not reduce any neighbour's right to enjoy their property.  Any complaint about smoke from a neighbour will result in the permit being withdrawn. 

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FIRE HYDRANTS:

Q I have a fire hydrant in my front yard...can I beautify it by planting shrubs or flowers around it? Can I paint it to complement my house colour?
A Absolutely not! Fire hydrants not only are municipal property, they are located on municipal property and must be easily visible for use in case of a fire.

Q Am I required to remove snow around the fire hydrant?
A No, you are not required to keep the snow cleared from around a fire hydrant in front of your home. But remember, a fire can double in size approximately every 30 - 60 seconds so the more time firefighters spend shoveling snow from the hydrant, the bigger the fire in your home or your neighbor's home will be.  During the winter, please make sure snow is cleared around the hydrant so it can be easily reached by firefighters.

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ELEVATOR USE:

Q Why can't I use the elevators during a fire alarm?
A The elevator shaft could become a smoke shaft (chimney) during a fire.
There could be a power failure and you could be trapped in the elevator car.
The elevator door could open at the floor where the fire is located and expose you to extreme heat and smoke.
The elevator is needed by firefighters to transport manpower and heavy equipment to the upper floors as quickly as possible. (Firefighters have keys to manually control the elevator and eliminate the risks of the push button control you use.)

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FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS:

Q Is a building's fire alarm system directly connected to the fire station?
A No! Many buildings have only a ‘local' alarm which is not monitored outside the building itself. Some buildings such as schools and the hospital are monitored by private companies which notify the fire department when the alarm goes off.

When the alarm is sounding, it is important for people to call the fire department immediately and not to assume that someone else has already done so or that the alarm is being monitored.

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TIERED RESPONSE:

Q I called for an ambulance recently and a fire truck showed up first. Why?
A Grey Highlands Fire & Emergency Services supports the ambulance service (EMS) and responds when the ambulance will be delayed or the ambulance staff think they may need additional help. This is now common practice in many areas of Ontario. The fire department responds to any life threatening medical calls received by the ambulance service. Our staff is thoroughly trained and certified in CPR and heart defibrillation. This quick response provides the public with the best life support until the paramedics arrive. 

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Waste Management FAQ's

Q Why do blue boxes and garbage need to be placed by the curb/roadside by 7 a.m.?
A - To maximize operational efficiencies, collectors begin collection at 7 a.m. and follow specified routes that service a large geographical area with an average of 3,685 households. 7 a.m. set out is requested, as it will help to ensure that participants do not miss collection as a result of materials being placed out late (after the truck has already collected their side of the road)

Circumstances do arise that may require immediate changes of routing, and thus, modifications to collection times. Common occurrences that may cause re-routing include: weather conditions, road closures, construction, accidents, truck breakdowns, and queuing times at landfill sites and recycling facilities. Collectors are not responsible for returning to collect garbage or recyclables that were placed out after 7 a.m. and, therefore, if you choose to place your waste out after 7 a.m. you risk not having it collected.

If you miss your collection, you are encouraged to store your materials until your next collection day or take them to your area landfill site.

Click here for recycling and garbage schedule and landfill times and locations.

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Q Why does the Municipality not permit scavenging at landfill sites?
A The Ontario Ministry of the Environment Regulation 347 prohibits scavenging (or the uncontrolled removal of materials from landfill sites). Once an item is dropped off at a landfill site, the Municipality becomes responsible for managing its proper disposal. The Municipality supports the principle of reuse, and encourages residents and businesses to consider suitable alternatives to landfilling reusable items.

Q Why are fees charged for curbside garbage dropped off at landfill sites if not tagged?
A The Municipality assesses user fees on garbage to encourage residents to reduce the amount of waste they send to the landfill for disposal. User pay provides a means of charging waste generators for the disposal of waste that they create, and encourages residents and businesses to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.

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Q How should residents dispose of empty paint cans and liquid paint?
A Residents may take household paint (full or partially full cans) or aerosol paint cans (empty or containing paint) to any of the Household Hazardous Waste event days held at the City of Owen Sound.

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Finance Department FAQ's

Q What Tax Payment Options are available?
A There are many ways to pay your property taxes:

  1. Pre-authorized automatic withdrawal from your bank account, regular amounts either monthly, or on the installment amount on the installment due date. The forms are available on the web site or at the Municipal Office.  A void cheque or photocopy of one is required.
  2. Telephone or internet banking. How we are listed depends on the bank. Your roll number is your account number.
  3. You may make arrangements with your mortgage company to pay the taxes
  4. In person at most major financial institutions
  5. Deposit a cheque (no cash) in the drop box at the front door of the Municipal Office
  6. Mail cheque/money order to:
    Municipality of Grey Highlands
    PO Box 409
    Markdale, Ontario
    N0C 1H0
    Post dated cheques are accepted. Your cancelled cheque is your receipt
  7. In person at the Municipal Office, 206 Toronto Street South, Unit 1, Markdale - Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30



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Q How do I change my address?
A Address changes may be made by

1. Fax 1-519-986-3643

2. In writing to the Municipality of Grey Highlands

PO Box 409
Markdale, Ontario
N0C 1H0

3. In person at the Municipal Office.

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Q What is the cost of a Tax Certificate?
A A Tax Certificate costs $50.00

Q What is the penalty/interest charges on overdue taxes, water and/or wastewater?
A Penalty/interest charges of 1.25% per month (15% per year) is added to all overdue taxes, water, and wastewater charges on the first day of the month following the due date and each month thereafter while there is an amount in arrears. To avoid these charges you must ensure that your payment reaches our office by the due date. Failure to receive a bill does not relieve a taxpayer from penalty charges, therefore please make sure your mailing address is correct!


Q Am I eligible for a Tax Incentive Program?


A You may be eligible if you own a farm, managed forest or conservation land. For more information contact:

Farm:

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
www.omafra.gov.on.ca    
1-800-469-2285

Conservation Land:

Ministry of Natural Resources
www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/cltip

Managed Forest:

Ontario Forestry Association
www.oforest.on.ca
1-800-387-0790

Or

Ontario Woodlot Association
www.ont.woodlot-assoc.org
1-888-791-1103

Q Are there Tax Rebates/Relief Programs?
A There are tax rebate or relief programs available to provide tax relief for eligible seniors or the disabled.  Contact our office for more information.

Q Are there Commercial and Industrial Vacancy Rebate Programs?
A Properties in the Commercial or Industrial property tax class may be eligible for a rebate if the property is vacant for at least 90 consecutive days during the year.  Applications are available at the Municipal Office and must be filed by February 28th of the following year.

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Q I have questions about my assessment
A Contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)

PO Box 9808
Toronto, Ontario
M1S 5T9

Telephone: 1-866-296-6722
Fax: 1-866-297-6703

www.mpac.ca

Q How do I compare my assessment to my neighbours?
A Everyone has been given access to the MPAC website which has tools to allow property comparisons.  Your login information was provided to you on your 2008 Property Assessment Notice.  You can also contact MPAC directly at 1-866-296-6722 and they will assist you.

Q How do I appeal my assessment?
A You may ask the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) for a "Request for Reconsideration" of your assessment at any time during the current year.  The forms are available at the Municipal Office or on MPAC's web site at www.mpac.ca  

If a satisfactory result is not reached through the Request for Reconsideration process you may then file a Notice of Complaint with the Assessment Review Board.  There are specific forms and fees involved.  Your complaint must be filed before March 31st.  For more information please contact the ARB at 1-800-263-3237 or at www.arb.gov.on.ca

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Building Department FAQ's

Q What is a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN)?
A A Building Code Identification Number, or BCIN, is the unique identifying number assigned to individuals who file their qualifications with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and firms which register with the Ministry. The BCIN is used for several purposes: you may need to provide it on building permit applications in all correspondence with the Ministry, and in any other building-related work that requires a qualified person or registered firm.

Q What is a building permit?
A The body responsible for enforcing Ontario's Building Code in your area issues permits or the construction, renovation, demolition and certain changes of use of buildings. Building Code enforcement is generally carried out by municipal building departments, although in the case of on-site sewage systems, enforcement in some areas is conducted by boards of health and conservation authorities. In Grey Highlands, the Building Department is the authority for septic systems.

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Q Why do you need to obtain a building permit?
Building permits allow your municipality to protect the interests of both individuals and the community as a whole. By reviewing and approving building plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with:

  • The Building Code, which sets standards for the design and construction of buildings to meet objectives such as health, safety, fire protection, accessibility and resource conservation
  • The local zoning by-law and other planning controls on buildings
  • Other applicable legislation, including conservation authority approvals and certain requirements under the Environmental Protection Act. 

Q How do you apply for a building permit?
A You can get an application for a building permit from the Building Department or this municipal website. It's a good idea to talk to the staff at the building department before you apply. We can tell you what information, drawings and plans you'll have to include with the application and whether you'll need any other permits or approvals. When you apply, you'll have to submit building plans, a site plan showing all structures on the property and the proposed construction and setback from all lot lines.

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Q What happens to your application?
A Staff at the municipality will review your application to confirm that the proposed work complies with the Building Code and other laws set out in the Building Code, such as local zoning by-laws. Applications for a simple alteration or addition can be processed fairly quickly, but more complex proposals may take longer. The Building Code requires that a municipality review a permit application within a certain timeframe where the application meets the criteria set out in the Code. For example, the timeframe on a permit application for a house is 10 business days. For a more complex building, such as a hospital, the timeframe is 30 business days. Within this timeframe, the municipality must either issue the permit or refuse it with full reasons for denial. In order to be issued a permit, the proposed construction must comply with the Building Code and with the applicable laws set out in the Building Code. If you need a zoning change or a minor variance from the zoning by-law (municipal zoning is considered applicable law), or if the proposed construction does not comply with the Building Code, a permit will not be issued until the zoning change or minor variance has been obtained, or the proposed construction complies with the Building Code. If your property is covered by a site plan control by-law, you will not get a building permit until the plans and drawings have been approved by the municipality. Please see the Planning Departments requirements for clarification on minor variances and site plan control.

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Q What happens during construction?
A The Building Code sets out the stages of construction at which different types of buildings/sewage systems require inspections. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to contact the municipality for an inspection when the project is at the stages of construction set out in the Building Code. The municipal building official is required to carry out the inspection within two working days of being notified. For construction of a sewage system please contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at (519) 376-9420. During the inspection, a building inspector will inspect the work to determine if it is carried out in accordance with the Building Code, your permit and the approved plans.

You will also be required to:

  • show your permit in a window or other place where it can be easily seen
  • keep copies of the plans on the site
  • tell the municipality about any changes to the proposed construction, which will also have to be approved by the municipality. The inspector must always be able to see the work. If it's different from the work that was approved and, unless you get permission for a revision to your plans, you will be told to correct it. If you don't, the municipality can take enforcement action, such as issuing orders authorized under the Building Code Act, 1992.

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2017 Dog License Application (pdf - 112 KB)
Posted: January 3, 2017


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Municipality of Grey Highlands - the place for all seasons
Municipality of Grey Highlands, the place for all seasons!