A minor variance is a minor variation or change, from the specific requirements of a zoning by-law.

There are 2 specific types of zoning variances that the Committee of Adjustment may consider:

  1. The applicant seeks relief from a specific zoning by-law requirement, such as a reduction in minimum yard setback or an increase in maximum permitted building height.
  2. The applicant seeks to expand or change an existing lawful non-conforming use. A lawful non-conforming use is a use on a property which does not comply with the existing zoning by-laws, but which has been in existence prior to the by-law coming into effect. No change is permitted to a lawful non-conforming use other than complete removal and compliance with existing zoning unless a variance is granted.

Note:  As of July 1, 2016, changes to the Planning Act prohibit an applicant from making an application for a minor variance from the provision of a by-law passed within the last two years.