Applications for Minor Variance by the owner of any land, building or structure who has been unable to comply with the provisions of the Zoning By-law may apply to the Committee of Adjustment.

Process

Pre-consultation with a planner prior to submission is recommended and to determine what outside agencies will be required to review the application such as the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and/or Region of Niagara. Other possible contacts are listed below.

Site Plan

A plan, must be submitted with the application. The Committee may accept a sketch, which provides all the information necessary for the purpose(s) of the application. All writing is to be large and clear enough to be readily understandable when the sketch (or applicable portion of a site plan) is reduced to a legal size sheet of paper for distribution to the public and the Committee members. All plans must be no larger than 11” x 17”. The plan must be drawn accurately and provide the information as shown on the site plan sketch 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.

Required

You must ensure that:

  • All questions on the application are fully completed and fee is paid;
  • Staff will view the application and notify the Applicant of the Committee of Adjustment date;
  • A Notice of Hearing is circulated to every owner of land located within 60 metres of the property, Town departments and outside agencies;
  • Applicants, if required, are to post a Notice of Hearing sign and ensure the sign is posted for the entire period;
  • Staff will prepare a Planning Report;
  • At the Hearing the Applicant and or agent must be present at the hearing;
  • The Secretary-Treasurer provides 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 require the Committee may defer their Decision;
  • After the Hearing a Notice of the Committee of Adjustment Decision including the last day of appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board is given to the Applicant and anyone who has requested it;
  • If there is no appeal within 20 days, notice is given to the Applicant that the Decision is final and subject to the conditions set out in the Decision if applicable;
  • If an appeal is filed, notice is given to the Applicant and the Appeal is forwarded to the Ontario Municipal Board.

There are changes to the Planning Act by Bill 139 introduces to the appeals process and regulations have yet to be released or adopted. More information regarding the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Appeal

Once a Notice of Appeal is filed, notice is given to the Applicant and the Appeal is forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) is an adjudicative tribunal that hears cases in relation to a range of municipal planning, financial and land matters. These include matters such as official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, land compensations, development charges, electoral ward boundaries, municipal finances, aggregate resources and other issues assigned by numerous Ontario statutes.

LPAT is part of Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO), a cluster of tribunals that adjudicate matters related to land use planning, environmental and heritage protection, property assessment, land valuation and other matters.

Contact information for agencies

This list is for reference purposes and may not be complete or accurate:

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-laws and applications for consent (severances). 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.

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