A minor variance is a change or permission from the specific requirements of the Town’s zoning by-law. It is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning by-law. The minor variance process allows a property owner the opportunity to seek permission or relief from a specific provision of the Town’s zoning by-law by applying to the Committee of Adjustment. They are used for issues such as small changes to building setback or parking requirements. A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning bylaw. In summary, a minor variance approval is a certificate of permission, because it allows the property owner to obtain a building permit even though their property does not comply precisely with the zoning bylaw. To learn more about a minor variance and see how we can help you, contact us.
Who approves minor variances?
The approval of a minor variance rests with your City or Township’s Committee of Adjustment (Committee). Before you apply for a minor variance, you should consult the Planning Department at your city or township. They can fully explain the process including the dates for site visit and meetings, how to apply, supporting material that must be submitted and any other approvals that may be required. The minor variance form can usually be found on your Township or City’s website. Contact us about your minor variance.
Your planning department will be able to explain the process, how to apply, supporting material required (i.e. sketches, plans, building location survey, etc.) and other approvals that may be required. There is always a fee (can range from $600-$800) when applying.
As an applicant, you will be required to complete the application form. The more accurate the information provided, the less likely that delays will occur. If your submission is incomplete, your application will be returned. Also, the 30 day time frame for making a decision does not begin until all of the prescribed information is received. Once the application is ready to be processed, there will be a site visit conducted by the Planning Advisory Committee. They will visit the site and make recommendations to the Committee of Adjustment. The property owners 60 metres surrounding the subject property and other applicable approval authorities will be circulated a notice of the application with a site plan 10 days prior to the Committee of Adjustment meeting. Any person or public body may submit opinions /concerns to the Committee. These submissions will be read into the record at the Committee of Adjustment meeting. When the Committee has made a decision on your application, it is required to send a Notice of Decision, within 10 days of the decision being made, to the applicant and any other person or public body who attended the meeting and requested, in writing to the Clerk, to be notified. Once the decision is made, a 20 day appeal period follows. Any appeal can be filed with the Clerk of the municipality who will forward it to the Ontario Municipal Board. Ask us to help you navigate through this process and act as your agent in your minor variance.
How is the variance application evaluated?
When the Committee is considering a variance application, the four tests as prescribed by Sec. 45(1) of the Planning Act are applied to determine if the variance should be approved. The four tests are: Is the application minor in nature? Is it appropriate and desirable development for the area? Is it in keeping with the purpose and intent of the Zoning By-law? Is it in keeping with the purpose and intent of the Official Plan? We can help you with your minor variance.
What about the conditions of a variance approval?
A variance approval may contain various conditions including approvals from outside agencies such as your local Health Unit or Conservation Authority or any other condition that the Committee feels is appropriate. Every variance approval will contain the condition that there is a 20 day appeal period before a building permit can be issued.
How can IN Engineering + Surveying help you?
We can help you navigate this process and act on your behalf (agent). We can liaise with your City or Township, fill out the minor variance form, represent you at the Committee of Adjustment Meeting, address queries from neighboring landowners, and even help through the appeal process. Contact our office for the minor variance fees.
ABOUT IN ENGINEERING + SURVEYING
IN Engineering + Surveying has been providing engineering services across Eastern Ontario since 2018. In March 2020, In Engineering acquired Collett Surveying, one of the oldest businesses in Brockville and Eastern Ontario. This acquisition positions In Engineering + Surveying as a new and modern engineering firm which can now offer engineering, surveying, planning and architectural services. IN Engineering is a modern firm as it offers services that can see a project through, start to finish.
In addition to providing leading-edge designs from professional engineers they have also been active in serving the community by donating engineering services to local projects like the P&G Pavilion at Rotary Park and assisting with the reconstruction of the Five Mile Lighthouse.