In 1970, the Municipality of the District of West Hants and the Town of Windsor formed the Windsor-West Hants Joint Planning Advisory Committee (JPAC) in response to increasing development pressure. The Windsor-West Hants Planning Department came was created in 1973 when the JPAC hired its first full-time planning staff. The Joint Planning Department provided planning, heritage, development control, building inspection, civic addressing and mapping services to both the Municipality of West Hants and the Town of Windsor until March 31, 2011, when the JPAC was dissolved and each municipal unit established its own separate Planning and Development Department.
Land use planning in West Hants began with the adoption of a Municipal Development Plan and Zoning By-law for Falmouth in 1976, followed by Area One in 1982. In 1989, planning documents were approved for the primarily agricultural area of Upper Falmouth. Planning reached the remainder of West Hants in 1994 when a Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law were adopted for Areas Two and Three. A comprehensive plan review was begun in 2001 and completed in 2008. The end result was a consolidation of the four separate sets of planning documents into one, enabling a more consistent approach to planning across the entire Municipality.