Things to consider: For large scale site alterations, municipalities may require owners to enter into site alteration agreements with the municipality (sometimes referred to as Fill Agreements or Permit Agreements), which are often registered on title.

United Soils Management (USM): Whitchurch-Stouffville Site Alteration Permit
USM is restoring the Whitchurch-Stouffville Lee Sand & Gravel Pit to farmland through a large scale fill operation. See the complete USM Site Alteration Agreement for more information.

Whitchurch-Stouffville Agreement Template
See Appendix B of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Guideline for Application of a Site Alteration and Fill Permit- Agreement Template for Large Site Alteration1.


Things to consider: Large site alterations may be defined to delineate operations that are large enough across a certain time period to have significant impacts and may require additional requirements and fees due to increased potential impact. The definitions should be determined based on calculated volume of the site alteration, the total volume of fill being dumped or placed (anywhere between 500 and 10,000 cubic metres) and/or the change in grade elevation (0.5 m to 1 m). Municipalities may also choose to include a specified time period for the fill placement as done in the example definitions below:

“‘Large site alteration’ means any site alteration where greater than five hundred (500) cubic metres of fill is being placed or dumped within any twelve (12) month period or resulting in a change to existing landform of greater than six hundred (600) millimetres from existing grade”2


"‘Large Scale Site Alterations’ includes the placing or dumping or removal of fill and the alteration of grade involving more than 1000 cubic metres of fill or where the elevation of the site will increase or decrease by more than lm at any point on the site;”3


“‘Large site alteration’ means any Site Alteration where the total volume of Fill or Waste or any combination of Fill or Waste, is 5,000 cubic metres or greater on any Property in any 12 month period” 4

Since there are variances between districts, when defining large site alterations, municipalities should consider the definitions used in surrounding areas and evaluate their own enforcement and administration capabilities and resources.

See Definitions Page for additional definitions relevant to any site alteration or fill by-law.


Things to consider: Municipalities may require the owner or permit applicant of a large site alteration to enter into a permit or site alteration agreement with the municipality. The agreement specifies that the owner or permit applicant has agreed to a list of terms deemed necessary by the municipality. The agreements are typically registered to the title of the land on which the site alteration is to be performed, and often must be approved by Council before a permit can be issued. Examples of permit agreement requirements for large site alterations are provided below.

Where greater than one thousand (1,000) cubic metres of fill is being places or dumped or where the resulting proposed grade will be greater than two (2) metres above or below adjacent existing grade, the owner shall provide a complete application and enter into an agreement with the Corporation which shall be registered on title to the land on which the work is to be performed and such agreement shall include the following conditions:”5


“Where the calculated site alteration volume is greater than 1000 cubic metres or where the proposed elevation will be greater than 1m above or below the originally existing grades, the owner shall, in addition to providing a complete application as detailed in this by-law, enter into a Site Alteration Agreement with the Town in a form to be approved by the town; which shall be registered on title to the land on which the site alteration is to be performed. The application for a Large Scale Site Alteration Agreement shall be submitted for approval by Council.”6
Additional Permit Requirements
Additional permit requirements generally include:
  • the provision of a fill management plan;
  • the requirement for groundwater monitoring;
  • the provision of a grading plan and/or site plan;
  • mud and dust control measures;
  • erosion and sedimentation control measures;
  • hours of operation and noise mitigation;
  • approved haul routes;
  • truck traffic requirements;
  • a complaint protocol;
  • requirements for source site approval;
  • public meetings;
  • right of entry;
  • reporting;
  • default provisions;
  • liability insurance;
  • application to court;
  • record retention and a public liaison committee; and
  • other requirements deemed necessary by the municipality.

For detailed examples of requirements for large scale site alterations refer to municipal by-laws such as Section 5 – Site Alteration Agreements for Large Scale Site Alterations in the City of Burlington’s by-law9 and in the Town of Erin’s by-law section - Additional Requirements for Large Scale Site Alterations.10