Minor Variance (MNV)

A Minor Variance (MNV) allows an owner to build or use their land in a way that does not exactly comply with the requirements of the zoning by-law, but follows its general intent. Examples of minor variances include relief for a minor requirement to a height restriction, side yard setback etc. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, as some variances may be considered ‘minor’ in some situations and ‘major’ in others. The Minor Variance application process (180k/2p) may take up to 2 months to complete.

Minor variances must meet all of the following four tests under the Planning Act:

  1. The variance requested must meet the general intent and purpose of the by-law;
  2. The variance requested must meet the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan;
  3. The variance requested must be desirable for the appropriate development of the applicable lands, building or structure; and
  4. The variance requested must be minor in nature.

The Act also gives the Committee of Adjustment (COA) the authority to grant the enlargement or extension of a legal non-conforming use. The COA can impose certain conditions if an application is approved. These conditions must be satisfied before a building permit is issued, unless otherwise specified by the Committee.


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