Oxford County is in the process of updating its Official Plan policies to allow for Additional Residential Units (ARUs) across the County. 

The Planning Act directs that municipalities enact policies and zoning provisions that authorize ARUs in, and/or on the same property as, low density housing types, such as single-detached and semi-detached homes. This is one way that communities can provide additional housing options and increase the overall housing supply.

Updates to policies for ARUs in Oxford’s rural areas (Townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich, South-West Oxford and Zorra) are being considered together, while policies for the urban areas, including Ingersoll, Tillsonburg, and Woodstock, are being considered individually. Further details on the status of the development of policies in the respective areas of the County is provided below.

What are ARUs?

ARUs are smaller, self-contained dwelling units (i.e., with their own kitchen, bathroom and sleeping areas) that are inside, attached to, or in an ancillary building on same property as a primary dwelling, including single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and street fronting townhouses. ARUs can take many forms, such as basement apartments, attached suites, tiny homes and coach houses, but they must be smaller than the principal dwelling or residence.

additional residential units lover leverl or basement drawing, upper level, connected, in an accessory structure, inside princiapl dwelling and in an accessory structure

ARUs in Rural Areas

Amended policies regarding ARUs in the rural areas of the County (Townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich, South-West Oxford and Zorra) were adopted by County Council on February 8, 2023 via Official Plan Amendment No. 285  (see Report CP 2023-20  and OPA 285). Development of zoning provisions to amend the respective Township Zoning By-laws is underway.

Additional background information regarding Official Plan Amendment No. 285 are posted on Speak Up Oxford.

ARUs in the Town of Ingersoll

Town of Ingersoll Council considered a report to initiate review of the Official Plan policies and zoning provisions with respect to ARUs (see Report CP 2021-237 on Council Agenda, September 13, 2021).

ARUs in the Town of Tillsonburg

Town of Tillsonburg Council has initiated development of amendments to the Official Plan policies and zoning provisions with respect to ARUs, including consultation with the public and agencies (see Report CP 2022-165 Item 9.1 on Town Council Agenda, June 27, 2022).

ARUs in the City of Woodstock

The Official Plan Amendment (OPA 271) regarding ARUs was approved by County Council on February 23, 2022 (See Report CP 2022-65 and Notice of Adoption, March 1, 2022) and the Zoning Amendment (ZN 8-21-17) was approved by the City of Woodstock Council on April 21, 2022 (Report CP 2022-114/Item 9.a.).

If you have any questions regarding Additional Residential Units please visit the individual Speak Up Oxford pages as applicable or email planning@oxfordcounty.ca for more information.