Minor Variance Applications to Zoning By-laws

If you wish to change the permitted use of your property, that is, alter or develop it in such a way that is restricted by zoning by-laws, your ZanderPlan land planning consultant will advise you on how to obtain a building permit, and will submit a Minor Variance application to the relevant Committee of Adjustment on your behalf, as part of the planning permission process.

What is a zoning by-law?

Zoning by-laws are regulations, which define the permitted uses and associated property development parameters on lands within a municipality. These by-laws pertain to all uses including residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial, and institutional and help to determine various things such as building heights, number of parking spaces and how far a building has to be set back from a property line.

What is a minor variance?

A minor variance is a minor exception to a particular zoning by-law provision. Larger deviations from zoning standards are dealt with through zoning by-law amendments.

ZanderPlan assists property developers and landowners with obtaining minor variance application approvals—from the completion of variance applications, to municipal meeting representation. Applications for minor variances are submitted to the various municipal departments and relevant agencies for comment, the Town Planner then forwards a final report to the Committee of Adjustment. This stage can require complex meetings and contributions from multiple interested parties and agencies, so you’ll be glad your ZanderPlan land use planning representative is there to support and lead the way.

ZanderPlan assists property developers and landowners with obtaining minor variance application approvals — from the completion of variance applications, to municipal meeting representation.


Representation on a minor variance appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB):
“We utilized Tracy’s services to represent us at an OMB minor variance hearing. From the get go Tracy hit the ground running. She promptly set up a site visit. She asked us all the appropriate questions and was quick with her responses to our many, many queries and emails. Dealing with Tracy was like talking with an old friend. She knows her stuff for sure. She wowed us at the appeal hearing and was very professional too. Tracy is worth her weight in gold. We wouldn’t hesitate at all to recommend Tracy. If you need a pinch hitter and a down to earth person please choose her. Oh, and by the way she won our appeal for us!”

L.B. & A.F., Lanark Highlands

Project involving rural land severances and minor variances:
“Tracy, you and the team at ZanderPlan were a pleasure to work with on our recent severance and minor variance applications. Our family was impressed with your knowledge, attention to detail and the depth of your contacts at the county and city level. Your ability to describe in layman’s terms what is a complex process and get the job done in a timely manner is why we highly recommend you and ZanderPlan to any of our friends.
Thanks again for great service and helping our family sort through the planning jungle.”

R.L., Mississippi Mills

Waterfront redevelopment project dealing with minor variances, the local conservation authority and Parks Canada approvals:
“Tracy took a knowledgeable, common sense approach towards obtaining approval of the minor variance we needed to expand our building. It was a great time saver. She kept the process on track with the township and was always available to provide timely advice to help us deal with requirements under discussion. All responses to emails and telephone calls were timely and thorough, as was her help with document preparation. She was a very effective communicator with us and others when we needed her help the most.
 We highly recommend Tracy and ZanderPlan.”

— C.B., Drummond-North Elmsley

Complex site plan for the redevelopment of a waterfront lot involving the protection of the property owners’ legal, non-conforming rights. Required approvals from the township and the local conservation authority
“Tracy, it has been a pleasure to do business with you! We were very impressed with your thorough, professional approach and patience with us. Your calming influence eased us through a complex process. We appreciated your attention to detail and timely action when needed. We would certainly recommend your services to others. Please use our name as a reference anytime.”

— J.& R.H., Drummond

Rural land severance
“I understand that we have received a minor variance that will enable us to get a Building Permit. I would like to offer my congratulations on your efforts and guidance on this matter… to arrive at this point is deeply satisfying… 
To achieve this end, required an in-depth knowledge of the people and processes involved, as well as an ability to touch the right people at the right time. In all these things you have demonstrated a natural ability and a comforting confidence in our success.”

— M.R., Beckwith