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Minor Variances

Applications to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance can be submitted by the owner of any land, building, or structure, who is unable to comply with the provisions of  Zoning By-law 14-15

For further information regarding minor variances, please contact the Planning Department at

Helpful Documents


Pre-consultation with Planning staff prior to submission may be required to determine if external agencies will be required to review the application. External agencies include, but are not limited to the Regional Municipality of Niagara, Region of Niagara Public Health, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Niagara Escarpment Commission, Canadian National Railway, Grimsby Power Inc., Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Bell Canada, Cogeco, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Environment and Energy, and Ministry of Natural Resources. 

Site Plan

A site plan must be submitted with the application. The Committee may accept an accurately-drawn sketch, which provides all the information necessary for the purpose(s) of the application. All writing on the site plan is to be legible enough to be understandable when reduced to a legal size sheet of paper. The maximum site plan dimensions appropriate are 11” x 17”. Please see the Site Plan Sketch for an appropriate site plan example.

Please note that the Committee may require a plan to be prepared by an Ontario Land Surveyor, prior to making a decision on an application.

General Procedure

  • Applicant must ensure the application form is fully completed, a site plan is prepared, and the fee is paid; 
  • Staff will view the application and notify the Applicant of the Committee of Adjustment Hearing date;
  • Staff will circulate a Notice of Hearing to every owner of land located within 60 metres of the subject property, Town departments, and outside agencies;
  • Staff will post a Notice of Hearing sign and ensure the sign is posted on the subject property for the entire period;
  • Staff will prepare a Planning Report;
  • At the Committee of Adjustment Hearing, the Applicant and or agent must be in attendance;
  • The Secretary-Treasurer will provide an overview of the application, and the Committee and public will have opportunity to ask questions;
  • The Committee will make a Decision on the application. If further information is required the Committee may defer their Decision;
  • Decisions are made based on the four tests outlined in the Planning Act:
    • Do the variances meet the intent of the Official Plan?
    • Do the variances meet the intent of the Zoning By-law?
    • Are the variances desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land?
    • Are the variances considered minor?
  • After the Committee of Adjustment Hearing, Staff will circulate a Notice of Decision to the Applicant and anyone who has requested a copy. The Notice of Decision includes the deadline for appealing to the Ontario Land Tribunal; 
  • The appeal period will last 20 days. If no appeals are received, the decision is final and binding, subject to the conditions set out in the Notice of Decision (if applicable);
  • A Final Certification letter will be sent to the Applicant if no appeals are received;
  • If an appeal is received, notice will be given to the Applicant, and the appeal is forwarded to the Ontario Land Tribunal.


If an appeal is received, notice will be given to the Applicant, and the appeal is forwarded to the Ontario Land Tribunal. The Ontario Land Tribunal adjudicates matters related to land use planning, environmental and natural features and heritage protection, land valuation, land compensation, municipal finance, and related matters; information can be found here regarding the Ontario Land Tribunal.

About the Committee of Adjustment

The Committee of Adjustment is comprised of five citizens appointed by Council to consider applications for minor variances to Zoning By-law 14-45, and applications for consent (land severance). The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body, similar to an informal court that operates under the Planning Act, the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, and various provincial regulations. The Committee operates independently from the Town Council.


These materials are available in alternate format, upon request.

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