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Minor Variance

On occasion, a property owner may not be able to satisfy all of the regulations of the zoning by-law governing new construction. If the project requires a minor variance from the zoning by-law regulations, the property owner has the option of applying to the Town’s Committee of Adjustment. The Committee has the right to grant a minor variance, if it is satisfied that the variance is minor in nature, is a reasonable fit relative to abutting land uses and building characteristics, and is in conformity with the Official Plan.

For example, if a vacant residential lot is less than the minimum required width set out in the zoning by-law for the construction of a dwelling, the Committee may grant a variance to the regulation if it considers the variance to be minor in nature and the development will be a reasonable fit with the adjacent land uses and physical character of the neighbourhood.

Apply for a minor variance

Prior to the submission of an Application for Minor Variance, consultation with the Town Planner is required. Pre-consultation may reveal other variances that might be required, so detailing the nature of the application and being assured that no other impediments to the future issuance of a building permit is important.

Upon receipt and acceptance of the application, the application and a location map are circulated to internal departments and external agencies for comment. Prior to the presentation of the application to the Committee of Adjustment, public notice describing the nature of the variance with an invitation to attend the meeting is given, usually by letter, to property owners and tenants within 60 metres of the specific site.

The Committee will hear representation from the applicants, and from anyone who wishes to comment, before making a formal decision concerning the variance request. If favourable, conditions of approval may apply.

The proponent or any other person who presented to the Committee or who submitted written comments has the right to appeal a Committee decision, provided the appeal is received within 20 days of the Committee’s decision. This appeal is made to the Ontario Municipal Board and formal steps are mandated for the acceptance and processing of the appeal. This should be discussed with the Town Planner prior to application submission or appeal of a decision.