Request an exception to the building rules

In some cases, if you cannot receive a building permit because your plans do not meet siting, size, or dimension requirements, you can appeal the decision to the Board of Variance, and request permission to receive a variance to the zoning bylaw.

What the board considers

The Board will consider minor variances in siting, dimensions, or size requirements (side yard, back, front, height, and area coverage) when complying with the bylaw would cause hardship.

What the board does not consider

The Board of Variance cannot vary the permitted uses, densities, or parking in the zoning bylaw. It also does not deal with major variance applications. Major variance applications require a development variance permit application.

Learn about development variance permits and how to apply

How to apply 

To appeal to the Board of Variance, you will need to apply to the Municipal Clerk. Bring in your completed application form, along with:

  1. Your letter of rejection from the Building and Environmental Department
  2. A letter of application to the Board of Variance, explaining the rationale for your requested variance
  3. Written authorization from the owner of the property if you are the agent/architect working on their behalf
  4. Site plans which are clearly defined, well dimensioned, and to scale. That plans should show the variance being requested. You must also submit a surveyor's plan
  5. Floor plans and elevations of the structures proposed and of the existing development. The drawings must match those originally submitted to the Building and Environment Department for review.

Letters of support from neighbours are helpful.

When to apply

The Board generally meets 10 times a year on the third Thursday of each month, except August and December. They consider a maximum of 10 applications per meeting, scheduled on a first-come first-served basis.

You need to submit your application to appear before the Board to the District Clerk before 4:00pm no later than 12 working days before the date of the meeting you want to attend.

You must also schedule a plan check meeting a minimum of 5 days before the Board of Variance deadline.

Related fees

The application fee is $403.90.

You must pay the fee when you submit your application. If you withdraw your application before notification of the hearing, you will receive a 50% refund.

Learn more about the Board of Variance