Minor Variances & Permissions

A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the Zoning By-law that can be considered for approval by the Township's Committee of Adjustment. A minor variance approval allows the property owner to obtain a building permit even though their property or building project does not comply precisely with the zoning by-law.

Under Section 45(1) of the Planning Act there are four tests a minor variance must meet:

  • Does the application conform to the general intent of the Official Plan?
  • Does the application conform to the general intent of the Zoning By-law?
  • Is the application minor?
  • Is the application desirable for the appropriate development of the lands in question?

It is important to note that to consider any application a minor variance it must meet all four tests. 

Permission (Legal Non-Conforming Uses and General Terms) - Under Section 45(2) of the Planning Act the Township's Committee of Adjustment can:

  • permit an enlargement or extension to an existing legal non-conforming building or structure wherein the use of such building or structure does not conform with the provisions of the Zoning By-law but legally has been in continuous existence before and following the date the By-law was passed. 
  • permit a use that is similar to the purpose of the existing legal non-conforming use, or that is more compatible with the uses permitted in the By-law.
  • where uses are defined in general terms, permit the use of any land, building or structure for any purpose that, in its opinion, conforms with the uses permitted in the By-law.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Township’s Development Services/Planning staff prior to submitting a Minor Variance / Permission application. Please contact the Township’s Development Services Coordinator at 519-773-5344 ext. 222.

Further information regarding the process is provided in the Minor Variance / Permission Application Form, which can be accessed from the Planning Applications & Fees page, or obtained at the Township of Malahide office during regular office hours.

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