The Board of Variance (BOV) consists of five members appointed by Council. Their job is to review applications and consider the relaxation of certain City bylaw requirements. You can appeal to the Board of Variance if you feel that compliance with the bylaw would cause undue hardship.

The Board of Variance is appointed by Council, but acts independently. Learn more about the Port Moody Board of Variance Bylaw.


Review the municipal Zoning Bylaw to determine if following the bylaw will cause you undue hardship. The BOV can grant minor variances on situations where complying with the Zoning Bylaw on the siting, dimensions or size of a building or structure causes a person undue hardship. The Board also considers applications for:

  • relaxation of zoning regulations
  • extension of non-conforming uses
  • relaxation of servicing requirements
  • reconstruction of a non-conforming building
  • relaxation of tree protection requirements

The Board of Variance cannot vary the following:

What is undue hardship?

The Board of Variance only considers undue hardship as something that results from aspects of the site as opposed to those which are personal to the owner. Determining undue hardship depends on whether the hardship is a hardship for everyone.

For example, if bedrock is protruding into your building envelope, complying with siting provisions may be difficult. Through no fault of the property owner, the hardship created is undue. Similar properties without bedrock are not subject to the same challenges.

Submit an application to the Board of Variance

Prior to submitting a Board of Variance application, we recommend that you consult with City planning staff by phone or email to confirm eligibility of the proposed variance. This will help you save time during the application process.

Submit completed application forms and supporting documentation by email to If your files are too large for email, staff will provide an online upload link. If you are unable to digitally submit your application, please call or email to schedule an in person appointment.

 Application form and submission requirements
 Your application submission should include:
  • completed Board of Variance application (PDF) that clearly states the grounds on which the variance is based and the desired outcome of the requested variance
  • site survey certificate prepared by a BC Registered Land Surveyor
  • floor plan drawn to scale to show the proposed addition and setbacks
  • front, rear, and side elevations of the proposed addition drawn to scale
  • letters of consent or objection from adjacent and rear neighbours, if desired
  • application fees – see Fees Bylaw 

Review the Guide to the Board of Variance (PDF) for additional information on the application process and requirements.

Application review      

Staff will review your application and schedule a date for the Board of Variance Hearing. As part of this process we may request that you submit additional information. City departments who were consulted on your application will provide a memo to the Board. The City will notify you, as well as all owners and tenants immediately adjacent to the land that is the subject of the application, of the date, time, and location of the Board of Variance meeting.

You should attend the Board of Variance meeting and be prepared to describe the required variance and to answer any questions that the Board may have. The Board will also hear from any other person(s) who believe their interest in the property is affected by your application.

The Board may approve the variance with or without conditions, or deny the variance, and will share their decision in person at the hearing. You will also receive written notice of the decision by mail.

Due to neighbour notification requirements, it can take up to four weeks to schedule a Board of Variance hearing.