Roles in Controlled Access Highways

The Controlled Area is the area within a radius of 800 metres from the intersection of a controlled access highway with any other highway. This power ensures that local government rezonings within Controlled Areas do not affect the integrity of provincial highways in developed areas.

According to Section 52 of the Transportation Act, Ministry approval is required for :

Within a controlled area, under Section 52 of the Transportation Act, and 505, 546 and 610 of the Local Government Act, a local government must first receive the approval of the Ministry before approving the following:

  • Zoning bylaw
    Under Section 52 of the Transportation Act, anyone who wants to change the land use of a property in a controlled area needs zoning approval not only from local government but also from the Ministry of Transportation. In controlled areas, protocol agreements on land use management are encouraged between the Ministry of Transportation and local government, as part of the process to reduce government regulations. Currently, no such agreements are in place.
  • Commercial or industrial buildings over 4500 square metres
    Under Section 505 of the Local Government Act local governments may not issue a permit for commercial or industrial buildings exceeding 4500 square metres unless a designated official in the Ministry of Transportation approves a site plan of the buildings, including access, traffic circulation and parking areas.
  • Amendments of land use contracts
    Under Section 546(4) of the Local Government Act local governments must not enact a bylaw, adopt a development variance permit, nor issue a development permit without approval of the Ministry of Transportation.
  • Heritage Conservation Agreements
    The purpose of heritage conservation agreements is to maintain, protect and restore heritage property. Such agreements are negotiated between the property owner and the local government and they are registered on the property title. Pursuant to Section 610 (6)(b) of the Local Government Act, a local government must not enter into or amend a ‘heritage conservation agreement’ unless the agreement or amendment is approved by the Ministry of Transportation.

The purpose is to ensure that the development authorized by the approval or permit does not adversely affect the present or future integrity of the controlled access highway.

In order to provide an integrated management approach to developments near a controlled access highway, the province may develop land use and access management protocol agreements with local government relative to the managing of major provincial transportation corridors. These protocol agreements are brought into force by regulation and may provide an exemption from the approval requirements of Sections 505(2) and 546(4) of the Local Government Act

For information on how to apply, refer to Section 3.2.1 Permits in Controlled Areas.

This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website ( to make sure you version is sufficiently current.