Board of Variance

The Board of Variance is an independent body that hears appeals for relaxation of zoning regulations, extension of non-conforming uses, relaxation of servicing requirements, reconstruction of non-conforming uses and relaxation of tree protection requirements. The Board primarily deals with requests for minor variances to the Zoning Bylaw regarding siting, size and dimensions of buildings where compliance would cause an undue hardship.

The term “undue hardship” limits the Board to considering only hardship that results from aspects of the site as opposed to those which are personal to, or generated by, the owner. For example if a characteristic of the site is that bedrock protruding in the site’s building area makes compliance with the siting provisions difficult, the hardship created, through no fault of the property owner himself, is undue. If other properties in the zone do not have the protruding rock, they would not be subject to the same degree of hardship. The difficulty in determining what is undue hardship revolves around whether the hardship would have been a hardship for everyone. If compliance with the general setback regulations is difficult or expensive, but that is the case for all properties within the zone, there is not undue hardship. If a circumstance penalizes one or only a few owners, it would then be undue hardship.

The Board consists of five members, all appointed by Council.

Apply to be on the board

How do I present to the board

Before you apply to the Board of Variance, you should first apply to the Inspections Division for a building permit. If your application for a permit is denied because your building plans do not meet siting, size or dimension requirements under the zoning bylaw, you may appeal the decision to the Board of Variance and seek permission to vary the bylaw.

An application form needs to be completed and any required information to be submitted is identified in the Board of Variance Bylaw No. 9817.

Applications for the Board of Variance are handled by the Office of the City Clerk, 2nd floor City Hall.

When are the Meetings?

Board of Variance hearings are scheduled by the Chief Building Official and the Secretary after meeting with the applicant to review the complete notice of appeal.

Is there a fee?

Yes. The fee is approved by Council, refer to the Development Application Fees Bylaw No. 10560.

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Please refer to the archives for this committee's past meeting information.

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