What is a Variance?

A variance is required when a person believes that the Zoning By-Law adversely affects their property in regards to building and/or use of the individual site.  The Planning Act gives council the authority to vary the application of the zoning by-law as it affects the person's property.

When is a variance required?

A variance is required when a person proposes to construct a building on their property and it does not conform to the regulations for that zone or the property itself doesn't conform. 

The Development Officer has the authority to grant a minor variance of not more than 15% of a requirement within the zoning by-law regulation.  

How do I apply for a variance?

The EIPD handles the administration for the variance applications.  Application forms can be obtained from the office.  We require a completed application form, application fee and site plan/proposal for the variance.  A legal survey or building location certificate may be required to be submitted with the application to ensure the actual distance for the variance.

What is the cost of a variance application?

Our fee schedule can be found at this link:  EIPD Fee By-law 

What is the process for a variance?

Once a completed application has been submitted to EIPD, a public hearing is set up with the municipality.   Public hearings generally take place during regular council meetings.  The Planning Act requires that a Notice of Public Hearing is mailed out to the neighboring property owners on title within a 100 meter radius 14 days prior to the meeting.  A notice is also posted on the website, at the EIPD office and the municipal office.  Representations can be received by mail or in person at the public hearing that either object or support the proposed variance.  Council will hold the public hearing and then make a decision. 

What is the process for a minor variance?

As per the Planning Act, a minor variance does not require a public hearing, therefore notice is not required to be sent to property owners.  The Development Office will review the application and render a decision. 

Can I appeal the decision of Council?

No, the decision of Council is final.

Can variances expire?

A variance must be acted upon within 12 months of the approval date in order to be valid.  An additional 12 month extension may be provided subject to Council approval prior to the expiry date.

Why didn't I receive a notice in the mail?

As per the Planning Act, notices are only required to be mailed out to property owners within 100 meter radius of the property.  Notices are sent to the person on title, so please ensure you have notified the municipality/EIPD of any address changes.  In the case of rentals/leases, the owner on title is sent the notice and it is their responsibility to notify tenants.  Per the Planning Act,  notices for variance are not required to be advertised in the newspaper.

I am not in the radius to receive a notice, can I still get information on the application?

Yes! Public Hearings are open to everyone.  If you would like a copy of the mail out package or have any questions, please contact our office.

A fantastic resource for all planning questions, including processes, checklists, etc. can be found in the province's Planning Act Handbook.