What is a Variance?
A variance is an order that varies specific provision(s) of a Zoning By-Law as they apply to a particular property. Variance application(s) can be submitted by anyone who believes that a Zoning By-Law adversely affects their property rights.
For example, if the Zoning By-Law states a structure must be a minimum of 25 feet from the rear property line, you may apply for a Variance to be closer than the required 25 feet.
All Variance requests require the following prior to the land use request being processed:
- Completed Application form with signatures of both the registered owner and applicant (if different)
- Application Fee
- Detailed Site Plan showing existing and proposed development including measurements and setbacks.
- Other plans and documentation may be required, depending on the nature of the request.
The process from the time the completed application and all supporting documentation is submitted to the City until the file is presented at a Council Meeting typically will take 6 – 8 weeks. Complicated land use requests may take longer; also summer months may take longer. All variance requests require a public hearing prior to Council making a decision on the particular application. As per the Planning Act public notices must be sent out to surrounding neighbours and posted on the subject property 14 days prior to any public meeting. Variations expire if not acted on within 12 months of the date of the decision, although this can be extended up to an additional 12 months if an application is received before the initial deadline.
All requests require a public hearing as part of the schedule council meeting. The intent of the public hearing is to allow the surrounding neighbourhood and members of council to comment on the land use application prior to the council decision. Applicants are encouraged to be in attendance to either present details of the proposed application or at the very least be present to answer any questions or comments Council members or members of the public may have regarding the proposed land use request.
What is a Minor Variance?
A Minor Variance is a minor alteration or change to the standard prescribed by the City of Selkirk Zoning By-Law. However, the offense shall not exceed fifteen (15) percent of any height, distance, area, size intensity of use or parking space requirement of the current City of Selkirk Zoning By-Law.
The process from the time the completed application and all supporting documentation is submitted to the City Planning Division for review until the Minor Variance is approved will take on average ten (10) working days. Complicated land use requests may take longer; also summer months may take longer due to the amount of construction taking place. A Minor Variance expires if not acted on within 12 months of the date of the decision.
Decision Making Authority
The approving authority for a Minor Variance request is the Chief Administrative Officer or an employee designated by the Chief Administrative Officer. A Minor Variance may be granted at the discretion of the Chief Administrative Officer, or depending on the request may be referred to Council for a decision.