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What are Development Variance Permits? 
When should a Development Variance Permit Application be submitted? 
The Development Variance Permit Application process 
Pre-application 
Application submission 
Application review and circulation 
Technical review team meeting 
Preliminary list of requirements and comments letter
Submission of coordinated plan sets
Servicing agreement 
Development Variance Permit Report to Council and notification 
Development Variance Permit issuance 
How long does the Development Variance Permit process take?

What are Development Variance Permits? 

Under Section 922 of the Local Government Act, Council may vary any requirements of a municipal zoning, subdivision or building bylaw except use, density or floodplain requirements.

Approved Development Variance Permits are registered against the title of the property. Development Variance Permits will lapse two years after being issued if the development has not commenced.

When should a Development Variance Permit Application be submitted?

Development Variance Permit application is required if a change is proposed to the requirements of the City's Zoning Bylaw or Subdivision Servicing Bylaw as part of a development proposal.

If rezoning, subdivision or Development Permit applications are required for a project, the Development Variance Permit application may be submitted concurrently with these applications to expedite processing.

The Development Variance Permit Application process

Development Variance Permit application proceeds through a review and approval process that includes the steps summarized in this flow chart. If the proposed variance is minor in nature, the process for a Development Variance Permit may not include all of the steps summarized and follow a shorter review and approval process.

Pre-application

Prior to submitting a Development Variance Permit application, the applicant should first review the City's Zoning Bylaw and the Subdivision Servicing Bylaw to determine the extent of the variance(s) proposed and if the proposal meets all other City requirements and standards. The applicant is urged to prepare a preliminary development proposal and should meet with staff to discuss the proposal.

Application submission

Once a proposal has been prepared, a completed Development Variance Permit application package including the applicable fees is submitted. The applicant may also choose to submit the Development Variance Permit in conjunction with a rezoning, development permit or subdivision application where applicable. Where a development proposal is perceived to have a high impact on the neighbourhood or community, the applicant is advised to hold an information meeting or open house to inform the neighbouring property owners of the proposal.

Application review and circulation

The application is circulated to internal City departments and external agencies as necessary. The applicant may be requested to submit additional information or revise the proposal as a result of the review.

Technical review team meeting

City staff meet as a Technical Review Team to review Development Variance Permit applications, assess the impact of the proposed variance(s) and identify items to be addressed to meet City bylaw requirements.

Preliminary list of requirements and comments letter

A letter is forwarded to the applicant outlining comments received from circulation of the application. The letter also identifies the preliminary list of technical requirements for the development to proceed, which may include infrastructure improvements, and issuance of a tree removal permit. The technical requirements identified in this letter may form the basis for the Servicing Agreement discussed below. (Many of these items need to be addressed if rezoning, development permit or subdivision applications are being processed concurrently.)

Submission of coordinated plan sets* 

If necessary, the applicant submits coordinated sets of architectural, landscape and civil engineering plans to address the Preliminary List of Requirements letter. The plan submission is reviewed by staff. Re-submission of the plans may be requested to address staff comments. Based on the submission and estimates provided by the applicant, security and fee amounts for civil and landscaping works are determined.

Servicing agreement* 

A servicing agreement may be required in support of the civil engineering works. The agreement is attached to the restrictive covenant as a schedule.

Development Variance Permit Report to Council and notification

Once all necessary technical requirements are addressed, and, if required, external agency approvals received, staff prepare a report/recommendation on the proposed Development Variance Permit for Council's consideration. Notification of Council consideration of the application is sent to land owners and residents within 140 metres of the property. Council considers the Development Variance Permit application and either authorizes the Development Variance Permit, requests additional information or rejects. The Development Variance Permit is prepared and attached to a restrictive covenant drafted by the applicant's Solicitor in accordance with the City format.

Development Variance Permit issuance

If necessary, the applicant addresses any technical requirements, finalizes plans and pays all required fees and securities associated with the Development Variance Permit and concurrent associated applications. The covenant with attached Development Variance Permit is to be registered at the Land Title Office prior to building permit issuance.

*Note: This step is required if associated development permit, development authorization, building permit or subdivision applications are submitted concurrently with the Development Variance Permit application. 

How long does the Development Variance Permit process take?

Development Variance Permit application generally takes two to four months to process. If the application is submitted concurrently with other development applications (i.e. rezoning), the processing time may be greater. It should be recognized that the more complex a proposal is, the more time it is likely to require.

To assist with timely processing of the application, an applicant should provide complete application and plan submissions.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Development Services Department at 604.469.4540.

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Development Variance Permit Process Summary
Click to enlarge this flow chart.

Last updated: 16/10/2017 2:58:28 PM