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Minor Variance to Zoning

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What is a Minor Variance?

A Minor Variance is a small change to the Zoning By-law, most often obtained for an individual property. You may use this process to recognize an existing situation or to permit the construction of new building(s) or structure(s). You may not use it to introduce a new use to a property.

The applicant must first demonstrate that the variance is necessary and why there are practical difficulties in carrying out the strict regulations of the Zoning By-law. The application must conform to the Official Plan and the intent of the Zoning By-law.

How do I apply?

You can find minor variance application forms at the Planning Services Department. Your completed application form must be accompanied with a site plan showing the property boundary and dimensions, the location of all building(s) and structure(s), well, septic, fences/hedges and driveway. Building elevation drawings may also be required.

What happens next?

The Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment (located in the Planning Services Department) will circulate your application to other departments and agencies for comments.

These comments and the Planning Services Department's recommendation will be compiled into a report that will be given to the applicant, agent and all Committee members for review.

At the Public Meeting, which all applicants must attend or send representation to, opportunity is given to the applicant as well as any interested party to speak. Committee may ask questions for clarification.

The decision of the Committee of Adjustment will be made at the Meeting and is then subject to a 20 day appeal period. If no appeal is filed the applicant and all who expressed an interest in the application will receive a letter advising that the decision is final and binding.

What are the fees?

Please refer to the Fee Schedule (PDF) for the current fee for this application, commissioning fee, tabling fee and re-circulation fee.

All applications must be signed before a Commissioner of Oaths. The Municipality of Clarington provides this service.

Are there other fees?

If the building or structure is on a private well or private sanitary system, Durham Region Health Department requires a fee to review the application. In addition, if the building or structure is located within an Environmental Protection Zone, a review fee for the applicable Conservation Authority is required.

How long does it take?

The minor variance process is relatively short--a maximum of 50 days. Within 30 days of receiving a complete minor variance application a meeting will be held and a decision will be made. The appeal period following a Committee decision is 20 days.

Can the decision be appealed?

The decision of the Committee of Adjustment may be appealed by the applicant, an interested party, an agency, or the Municipality of Clarington to the Ontario Municipal Board. An appeal must be in written form describing the reasons for the appeal and must be accompanied by a cheque made out to the Director of Finance (refer to the current fee schedule for fee information). All appeals are submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment located in the Planning Services Department.

Are there other permits or approvals required?

The granting of a minor variance does not preclude an applicant from other approvals or permits required. A building permit, Conservation Authority permit, Health Unit permit, may be required for the construction.

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