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Township of Severn

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Committee of Adjustment​

  • The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body which makes decisions on certain applications under the Planning Act and consists of five citizens appointed by Council for the term of Council. 
  • Minor Variances  – Zoning by-laws regulate the use of land and buildings, location of structures, density, height of structures and parking, etc.  They implement Official Plan policies and ensure orderly development with limited environmental impacts.  However, it may not always be possible or appropriate to meet all the applicable requirements of the zoning bylaw, for example, because of terrain constraints or pre-existing development. In such cases, a minor variance can be applied for.
  • Under Section 45(1) of the Planning Act there are four tests a minor variance must meet:

1. Is the application minor?

2. Is the application desirable and appropriate development?

3. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Zoning By-Law?

4. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Official Plan?

  • Severance / Consent  –Certain conveyances of land require Committee of Adjustment approval.  These may include the creation of a new lot, an addition to an existing lot, or the granting of a right-of-way (or easement) over a property in favour of another property.
  • The Committee meets at 7pm in the Council Chambers on the 3rd Tuesday of the month to hear applications. For an application to be heard, complete applications must be received at least three weeks days prior to a Hearing date, provided that Hearing date is not full. These meetings are open to the public and anyone may speak to Committee about an application during the public portion of the Hearing about that application. The applicant and / or agent is to attend the Hearing. In the event a representative does not attend, the Committee may adjourn the hearing or consider the application without input from the applicant or agent. The Committee members listen to submissions  from the public and interpretation of applicable policy from the Planning Department, and make their decision based on the evidence  presented at each Hearing.  The Committee may also adjourn a Hearing (defer the application) to require further clarification or information.
  • For more information on these processes,  please contact the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment. Applicants are encouraged to pre-consult with the Planning Department prior to submitting a complete application for the Committee's consideration.