Minor Variance & Land Severance General Information
What is the Committee of Adjustment?
The Committee of Adjustment is an independent body consisting of five (5) members, and is appointed by Council. This Committee is granted authority by the Province of Ontario and has the ability to grant relief from the provisions of the Township’s Zoning By-Law. The Committee of Adjustment is also empowered to grant consent (sever) to divide a lot in additional pieces.
What is a Minor Variance?
A Minor Variance is a change or permission from the specific requirements of the Township’s Zoning By-Law. The provisions in Zoning By-Laws are very specific in terms of set-backs, lot coverage, etc.; these provisions are crafted to anticipate most scenarios but they cannot anticipate all scenarios. The minor variance process allows for a property owner to seek permission or relief from a certain provision by applying to the Committee of Adjustment.
What is consent (severance)?
Consent is a term often used to describe the approval required to subdivide a piece of land without the plan of a subdivision. The Planning Act requires that consent be granted before a parcel of land can be divided to create an additional lot. This process is referred to as Land Severance and the type of consent given in this instance is a severance.
What does the consent and minor variance process consist of?
There are several steps that need to be completed in the instance of applying and being granted a decision for both minor variance and consent. The following steps outline the requirements and process in either a minor variance or consent situation:
- Pre-consultation: prior to making the application, the applicant may wish to confer with the Deputy Clerk/Clerk.
- Submission: when submitting, ensure that the application is completed in it’s entirety. Once the application is received it is processed by the Deputy Clerk/Clerk.
- Circulation: all property owners within 60 metres of the subject lands as well as various Township departments, the Committee of Adjustments and various agencies that may be affected are provided with a Notice of Hearing, two weeks prior to the Hearing Date. This Notice briefly outlines the nature of the application, and notifies affected parties to send their concerns in writing to the Township Office prior to the Hearing Date.
- Hearing the Decision: the Committee hears the application and usually makes a decision the same day; generally the decision is granted conditionally and terms are attached to be fulfilled by the applicant.
- Notice of Decision: a Notice of Decision is circulated to the applicant and all persons who were notified of the hearing or made a written request to be notified of the decisions. Once the decision has been circulated, a twenty (20) day appeal period begins, during which time the Committee’s decisions may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
- If Appealed: the application is heard before the OMB in what amounts to a new hearing.
- If No Appeal: the Committee’s decision is final after the expiration of the twenty (20) day appeal period and the applicant has one year to complete all conditions established by the Committee (if conditions are not met within given timelines, the application will be deemed null).
How long does the process take?
For both a minor variance as well as consent application, from the time the application is submitted until a decision is made and the appeal period expires, takes approximately two months. If conditions are attached it or the decision is appealed and sent to the OMB the process could take considerably longer.
How much does an application cost?
The fee for an application is for a Minor Variance is $500 and for consent it is $500. All planning fees can be viewed in the Fees & Charges By-Law.
Where can I get an application form?
You can pick up both applications and additional information at the Township Office or you can view the applications by selecting the applicable one above.
Where are the Hearings held?
The Hearings are typically held at the Royal Canadian Legion, however if an alternate location is necessary it will be stated in the Notice of Hearing.
If you require any assistance or additional information throughout this process please contact John Maddox, Interim CAO/Clerk, at the Township Office: (519) 724-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org .