First and foremost, property owners should design their development to comply with existing regulations. However, in some situations there may be specific site characteristics or other unique circumstances that do not permit strict compliance with an existing regulation. Some variances may be considered by Council, while others may be considered by the Board of Variance.
In these situations, a property owner may request to vary certain regulations of the Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303, 2015 (other than use and density), the Subdivision Bylaw No. 265, 1981, the Sign Bylaw 558, 1987 or a tree protection bylaw. A property owner may also apply for permission to add to, or structurally alter, a building containing a legally non-conforming use under Division 14 of the Local Government Act.
Depending on the situation, some variances may be considered by Council by way of a Development Variance Permit Application, while others may be considered by the Board of Variance. The Board of Variance is a quasi-judicial body independent from Council. This Flow Chart explains whether a variance request should be submitted under the Development Variance Permit process or the Board of Variance process.
- If your variance request is within the jurisdiction of a Development Variance Permit, refer to the Development Variance Permit process.
- If your variance request is within the jurisdiction of the Board of Variance, refer to the Board of Variance process.
The jurisdiction of Council respecting Development Variance Permits is generally broader than that of the Board of Variance. However, the jurisdictions also overlap in some respects, primarily in relation to the siting, size and dimensions of buildings and structures.