What Does the Board Vary?
A local government that has adopted a zoning bylaw must establish one or more Boards of Variance. A person may apply to the Board of Variance for a minor variance if they feel compliance with the bylaw would cause them a hardship.
Each member is appointed for a three-year term and members of an Advisory Planning Commission or an officer or employee of the local government are prohibited from being appointed to the Board of Variance. Meetings of a Board of Variance are open to the public.
The Board of Variance may grant a variance if they have considered the following factors and are of the opinion that the variance does not:
- result in inappropriate development of the site
- adversely affect the natural environment
- substantially affect the use and enjoyment of the adjacent land
- vary the permitted uses and densities or defeat the intent of the bylaw
The Board of Variance focuses primarily on hardship relating to matters such as siting, dimensions and size of buildings. They cannot conflict with other matters such as Land title Act covenants, permits or land use contracts or floodplain bylaw specifications.
A decision of the Board of Variance is final. However, there may be an appeal to the Supreme Court in the specific case where a person alleges that there has been an error by the building inspector in the determination of the amount of damage to a non-conforming building above its foundation (75% or more of its value).