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Board of Variance Application

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Board of Variance

Section 536 of the Local Government Act requires that a Board of Variance be established by any BC municipality that has adopted a Zoning Bylaw. For municipalities with a population of 25,000 or less, the Board is to consist of three members who have been appointed by Council. The Board of Variance is an independent body; members of Council, Staff, or Commissions are not permitted to sit on the Board, nor can they comment on the probability of an application’s approval.

The Board of Variance has the power to grant minor variances in situations where compliance with the Zoning Bylaw respecting the siting, dimension, or size of a building or structure would cause a person undue hardship. The Board of Variance does not have the power to grant variances regarding land use(s) or density.

In addition, the Board may grant minor variances to:

  • The prohibition of a structural alteration or addition under Section 531of the Local Government Act (Restrictions on alteration or addition to a building or other structure);
  • A subdivision servicing requirement under Section 506 (1) (c) of the Local Government Act (provision of water, sewer, and other systems in an area zoned for agricultural or industrial use); or
  • The provisions of the District’s Tree Protection Bylaw (within certain limitations).

For the Board of Variance to approve a variance request, the Board must find that both:

  1. Compliance with the existing regulation causes undue hardship; and
  2. The requested variance would not:
  • Adversely affect the natural environment;
  • Result in inappropriate development of the site;
  • Substantially affect the use and enjoyment of adjacent land;
  • Vary permitted uses and densities under the Zoning Bylaw; or
  • Defeat the intent of the Zoning Bylaw.

Where an applicant wishes to seek a variance without establishing a case of undue hardship, they may make application through the Development Variance Permit (DVP) process. DVP Applications are considered by Council, who has the authority to either approve or deny the proposal at their discretion. When reviewing a DVP Application, Council does not need to contemplate whether the applicant suffers from undue hardship, and may consider either minor or major variances to siting regulations. More information about this process can be found on the District’s Development Variance Permit page.

Application Requirements

The following components are required as part of a Board of Variance Application:

The District does not accept incomplete applications. Therefore, to ensure that all the application requirements are being met, applicants are encouraged to speak with a member of the District’s Planning staff prior to submission. Planning Staff can be contacted by emailing Board of Variance Applications will only be processed once all application requirements have been submitted and the application fee has been paid.

Application Process

Complete Board of Variance Applications are accepted on a continuous basis at the District Office, either in-person or by mail. Please be aware that processing times are not guaranteed; applications may require 4-6 weeks to process and are heard by the Board in the order that they were received.

2023/2024 Board of Variance Application Intake Dates

Application Submission Deadline*Board of Variance Meeting
October 18, 2023November 16, 2023
November 22, 2023December 21, 2023
December 11, 2023January 18, 2024
January 17, 2024February 15, 2024
February 21, 2024March 21, 2023
March 20, 2023April 18, 2024
April 17, 2024May 16, 2024
May 22, 2024June 20, 2024
June 18, 2024July 18, 2024
July 17, 2024August 15, 2024
August 20, 2024September 19, 2024
September 18, 2024October 17, 2024
October 23, 2024November 21, 2024
November 20, 2024December 19, 2024

The Board of Variance typically meets every third Thursday of the month, subject to quorum. In the event that the Board cannot achieve quorum or is otherwise cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled, pending applications will be deferred to the next available meeting.


 Fee Schedule

* Complete applications must be submitted on or before the listed deadline to be considered for the following month’s meeting. Please note that even where a submission deadline is met, the District cannot guarantee that the application will be heard by the Board at the corresponding Board of Variance Meeting.

Please note that the District accepts payment of the application fee through cash, cheque, or Debit Interac but does not accept payment by credit card or e-transfer.

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