Board of Variance
A local government that has adopted a zoning bylaw must establish
one or more Boards of Variance (BOV). A person may apply to the BOV
for a minor variance if they feel compliance with the bylaw would
cause them a hardship. For example, if a big rock in their yard made
it a hardship to site the house in conformity with the normal
setbacks- a person could apply for a minor variance.
In a municipality, a BOV will consist of three or five persons, depending upon the
population size of the municipality. In a regional district there may be several BOV’s,
one for each rural land use or zoning bylaw area and each one will have three members.
Each member is appointed for a three-year term by the municipal council or regional board
but members of an Advisory Planning Commission or an officer or employee of the local
government are prohibited from being appointed to a BOV. An appointment can be rescinded
at any time.
Meetings of a BOV must be open to the public.
The BOV may grant a variance if they have considered the following factors and are of the opinion that the variance does not:
The BOV focuses primarily on hardship relating to matters such as
siting, dimensions and size of buildings. They cannot conflict with
other matters such as Land Title Act covenants, permits or land use
contracts or floodplain bylaw specifications.
A decision of the BOV is final. However, there may be an appeal to
the Supreme Court in the specific case where a person alleges that
there has been an error by the building inspector in the
determination of the amount of damage to a non-conforming building
above its foundation (75% or more of its value).
A decision by a tribunal like a BOV may be assessed by the Courts under the
Review Procedure Act if it alleged that proper procedure was not followed.