What is a Minor Variance?
The owner of a property or any person authorized in writing by the owner who is unable to comply with the provisions of the Zoning By-Law may apply to the Committee of Adjustment by means of an “Application for Minor Variance” for relief from the Zoning By-Law. Minor Variances may be granted provided that, in the opinion of the Committee, the request is minor in nature, is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure and if in the opinion of the Committee, the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-Law and the Official Plan are maintained. A minor variance does not change a zoning by-law. It simply excuses you from a specific requirement of the by-law and allows you to obtain a building permit.
The Committee of Adjustment is composed of 7 members, who are appointed by the Council of the Township of Lanark Highlands. The authority of the Committee of Adjustment is set out in the Planning Act.
Minor Variance Applications
If you wish to apply to the Committee of Adjustment you should obtain and complete the application form. The application form outlines the requirements for submitting an application for minor variance. The requirements include a site plan or survey which will indicate the location of the property, the setbacks of all buildings or structures on the property and sufficient information to clearly identify the variance required. If you are acting as an agent for the purposes of the application, a letter of authorization is required from the registered owner of the property.
Applications are also available at the Municipal Office.
How Much will it Cost?
The application fee is outlined on the application form, payable at the time an application is submitted. Fees may be paid by cash, cheque or debit. If the fee is being paid by cheque, the cheque must be made payable to: “Township of Lanark Highlands”.
What Happens Once the Application is Submitted?
The application is circulated to other Township Departments and various agencies for their comments. Notice of all Committee of Adjustment applications is also sent, by mail, to all property owners within 60.0 meters (200 ft.) of the subject property. Following the circulation period, all correspondence will be reviewed and the Township Planner will determine if the proposal meets all requirements and prepare a report for the Committee of Adjustment. The Committee of Adjustment will then decide to approve, approve with conditions, or not approve the application.
What Happens at the Meeting?
At the hearing the Township Planner or Planning Assistant will present the Report to the Committee. Presentations may also be made by any other interested parties in support of or in objection to your application. The Committee considers all presentations for and against your proposal and renders a verbal decision in the presence of all interested parties at the time of the Public Meeting. An approval of your application may be subject to such conditions and/or restrictions as the Committee deems appropriate. If an individual wishes to receive a copy of a Committee decision their request must be in writing.
What Happens After the Meeting?
A written decision from the Committee will be sent to the applicant, agent and all persons that requested a copy of the decision by Certified Mail within ten days from the date of the hearing. At the end of the twenty day appeal period, if there has been no appeal filed, the decision will become final and binding.
The decision of the Committee of Adjustment is subject to appeal within twenty days from the date that the decision is signed. During the appeal period any person having an interest in the application may file an appeal of the Committee’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. The notice of appeal is filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment. The notice of appeal must be in writing and outline the reasons for the objection. A cheque in the amount of $125.00 payable to “The Minister of Finance” must be included with a notice of appeal. The notice of appeal, the fee and all required documents will be forwarded by The Secretary-Treasurer to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Stacey Blair, Planning Administrator/Deputy Clerk
613-259-2398 ext. 231