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Board of Variance - A Guide to Procedures

Any person being the owner of land or having the written permission of the owner may apply to the Board of Variance.

Under the Local Government Act, where a local government has adopted a Zoning Bylaw, it must establish a Board of Variance.

The Board of Variance is an independent and impartial body whose purpose is to consider each application and render a decision once the applicant and any other person who believes their interest in property is affected by the application has been heard.

The Local Government Act requires that the Board of Variance consist of three people appointed by Town Council.,

The Board of Variance will consider applications where the applicant alleges that:

(a) compliance with the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw, Mobile Home Park Bylaw or Subdivision Bylaw, or a prohibition of a structural alteration or addition to a non-conforming building or structure is in error;

(b) the determination of the Building Inspection Department of the amount of damage to a non-conforming building or structure is in error.

The Board of Variance cannot vary the permitted uses or densities under the Zoning Bylaw nor can it deal with major variations that should be the subject of a Development Variance Permit.

All applications are made to the Secretary to the Board of Variance, 238 - 10th Avenue North, on the prescribed forms, together with the $50.00 application fee.

Adjacent property owners/tenants in occupation will be notified about the application and any person who believes their interest in property is affected will be heard by the Board of Variance. 

The following guide is intended to generally illustrate the procedure involved in applying to
the Board of Variance.
 

Procedure for Board of Variance Applications

1. The applicant makes preliminary enquiries to the Development Services Department regarding the proposed application.

2. If the applicant alleges that compliance to the applicable bylaw(s) would cause an undue hardship or an error respecting the amount of damage to a non-conforming use, the applicant completes the form “Application to the Board of Variance” and submits a copy of the site plan, floor plan, elevation plan or other plans as required to support the application.

3. The application is processed by the Secretary to the Board of Variance. The Board of Variance members will be notified and a hearing date will be set.

4. The application is reviewed and the information is forwarded to the Board of Variance members. The applicant may be required to provide additional information for review and presentation to the Board of Variance.

5. Where the application alleges undue hardship, the Secretary to the Board of Variance will notify all the owners and tenants in occupation of land that is the subject of the application and adjacent to it which might be affected, giving at least ten (10) mailing days notice of the hearing.

6. The applicant is advised of the date and time of the Board’s meeting and advised to attend the meeting or have a representative appear on his/her behalf.

7. At the Board of Variance meeting, the applicant will be afforded the opportunity to present his/her application. Any other person who believes their interest in property is affected by the application will be heard as directed by the Chairman of the Board. If the applicant or his/her representative fails to appear at a meeting, the Board may proceed to decide on the application in their absence.

8. Upon considering the application, the Board of Variance may:

  • approve the minor variation;
  • deny the application;
  • table the decision to a later date; 
  • adjourn the meeting;
  • order that public notice be advertised in the newspaper and consider the application at a later time.

9. The applicant is notified of the Board’s decision.

Board of Variance Background

The members of the Board of Variance shall elect one of their members as Chair;

An appointment is for a term of three (3) years;

A member of the Board of Variance shall not receive compensation for his services as a member;

A person who is (a) a member of the Advisory Planning Commission of the local government, or (b) an officer or employee of the local government, is not eligible to be appointed to a Board of Variance.

Resumes for positions on the Board of Variance are accepted at the Town Office.

Flow Chart (ESTIMATED TIME)

  Application Submitted to Development Services Department
1-2 weeks
 

Reviewed by the Secretary to the Board
Date of Board meeting set

 
1 week Property Owners/TenantsNotified of Application
 
1 week Applicant and Board Members Advised on Agenda
 
1-2 weeks Board of Variance Meeting (Application Rejected)
 
  Application Approved
 
1 week  Applicant Notified
5-7 weeks  

NOTE: The decision of the Board of Variance is final, unless the matter involves the determination of the amount of damage to a non-conforming building or structure in which case an appeal can be made to the Supreme Court.

For additional information, please contact the Secretary to the Board at 250-428-2214, ext. 233.

Application to the Board of Variance