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Minor Variance

Minor variance
It is often necessitated by circumstances peculiar to the property which prevent the owner from developing it in a way which conforms to the by-law’s provisions. Examples of minor variances include relief from certain parking space requirements, building setbacks, and height restrictions.

If you think you might need a minor variance, the first step is to talk with the Chief Building Official of the munipality. He will be able to tell you the exact requirements of the zone in which your property is located, and whether or not your existing or proposed building conforms to the by-law. If it does not, then you may have to apply for either a minor variance, if the variation is small, or for a Zoning By-law Amendment, in the case of greater variations of the by-law. Since the variance may be "minor" in some situations and "major" in others, each case must be evaluated on its own merits.

How to apply
An application for minor variance is made to the Committee of Adjustment. You will need to fill out an application form [ pdf ]and submit it with the appropriate fee and a copy of your survey plan, your property showing any of the existing buildings, a proposed site plan and evaluation drawings if there is construction, and depending on the nature of your proposal, other required documentation may be necessary. A covering letter explaining your request should also accompany the application form.

What happens next
Property owners who are listed on the Assessment Rolls and who are within 60 metres of the property in question will be notified of the application in writing and other agencies. As well, you will be required to post a sign on your property advising of the requested variance. A public hearing will be held, at which time the Committee will hear you or any other person who is in favour of or opposed to the application.

The Committee is authorized to grant you a minor variance if the following criteria are met:

The variance is minor;
The variance is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the property;
The general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law is maintained;
The general intent and purpose of the Official Plan is maintained.
The Committee cannot grant exemptions to the by-law which, in effect, would constitute a change of zoning. In such cases, an application should be made to the Development Approvals Division for an amendment to the Zoning by-law.

The Committee may either approve your application or refuse it if one of the tests have not been met. It may also postpone the hearing. You will be notified of the Committee’s decision in writing, which becomes final and binding if no appeals are received.

If you or a person who has an interest in the minor variance does not agree with the Committee’s decision, an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board may be filed within 20 days of notice of the mailing decision. The appeal must be supported by good planning reasons. The appeal is filed with the Committee of Adjustment Office who will forward it to the Ontario Municipal Board. There is a fee for filing an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board
Please note that an application for a Minor Variance, an Amendment to the Zoning By-Law or a Site Plan Application must be sent it to the following address:

Township of East Hawkesbury
5151 County Road 14
P.O. Box 340
St-Eugene ON K0B 1PO


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