Understanding Rural Land Development and Resource Management

Rural land development and resource management is a special field of planning and municipal law. Garrod Pickfield LLP has many years of experience in this area, acting on behalf of developers, farmers, landowners, rural municipalities and conservation authorities, and other rural stakeholder groups. Key areas of firm experience and expertise include:

  • Aggregate Resource Management and Approvals
  • Forest Management and Municipal Tree Bylaws
  • Conservation Authority planning and regulatory requirements
  • Fisheries Act and Endangered Species Act approvals and issues
  • Wind Energy and Renewable Energy Approvals
  • Source Water Protection and the Clean Water Act

Understanding the Challenges

It sometimes seems like the laws and regulations concerning management and development of rural lands are themselves always under development. Non-urban lands have special restrictions and requirements to obtain permission for development and resource management. For developers, landowners and even the regulators themselves - municipalities and conservation authorities - staying informed about changing rules, regulatory requirements, and administrative and tribunal practices and procedures can be a challenge.

Our approach draws on years of experience and maintains an up-to-date knowledge and practical understanding of regulatory requirements in the area. We are familiar with both the restrictions placed on land use and resource management and the reasoning behind them.

We act for both the regulatory agencies, and the businesses and individuals who must meet the approval requirements and standards imposed by regulators. Our lawyers can help you explain your position to the relevant authorities, and provide strategic, cost-effective advice that will help you obtain environmental and development approvals.

Our emphasis is always on avoiding costly disputes, but if litigation is necessary, we have a successful track record representing clients before tribunals and courts in rural areas.


Our farming clients can run up against various regulations that limit their ability to carry out their farming duties, or to carry them out cost-effectively. We can help you deal with the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board and other government agencies involved in your use of land for issues such as:

  • Nutrient management
  • Pesticides regulation
  • Minimum separation distances
  • Municipal drains
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Land-use approvals

Contact Garrod Pickfield LLP

Let us use our familiarity with Ontario's rural land and resource management legislation and processes for your benefit. Centrally based in Guelph, we are willing and able to travel to our rural clients wherever necessary. Call us at 519-837-0500 or fill in our online form.