Amendments and Variances

If your plans conflict with the City’s land use bylaws there are opportunities to have Council consider amending or varying the policy as below.

As each process is quite different, you are highly encouraged to discuss your proposed variance by contacting the City Planner at 250-922-2111 prior to submitting an application. 

Zoning Amendments

Zoning amendments are required when the use or density of a property is desired to be changed.  This is considered to be a significant change and must be done by Council through a bylaw.  Zoning amendments require a process of review and consideration by Council and the public, including a public hearing at which the public provides its feedback on the final proposal.  Ultimately it’s Council’s role to hear all information and views on the proposed change and vote on the proposed amendments.

Amendment Process
  1. Pre-Application Meeting

  2. Zoning Amendment Application Submission - If does not comply with Official Community Plan (OCP) also requires OCP amendment.

  3. Report to Council requesting authorizing draft amendments

  4. Council authorizes (proceed to #5) or Council rejects (Do NOT proceed)

  5. Application referred to internal departments and external agencies for review and comment

  6. Report to Council introducing draft amendments and obtaining consultation requirements

  7. 1st reading of amendment bylaw

  8. 2nd reading of amendment bylaw

  9. Public Consultation

  10. Public Hearing - After the Public Hearing Council may not hear any new discussion before making a decision.

  11. 3rd reading of amendment bylaw

  12. Additional Signatures required obtained (i.e. Transportation)

  13. Final reading of bylaw

Variance options

A variance is a relaxation from certain regulations (excluding use or density) in a City bylaw.  During a development application (ie building permit, subdivision, sign bylaw, or zoning amendment) there are regulations within city bylaws that may not be able to be met or are preferable to be relaxed. 

There are two ways through which a variance (relaxation) to a city bylaw may be requested:

Development Variance Permit (DVP)
  1. Pre-Application Meeting

  2. Development Variance Application Submission

  3. Application Referred to internal departments and external agencies for review and comment

  4. Notice of Council date in which hearing will be heard is issued.

  5. Report to Council with recommendation on variance.  Decision typically made at that meeting but Council is able to ask for additional information. 

Board of Variance (BOV)

A board of variance must declare that the requested variance is minor and a hardship to the property owner.  Note: hardship is not limited to financial and may also be considered in terms of such things as lot constraints. 

  1. Pre-Application Meeting

  2. Board of Variance Application Submission

  3. Application Referred to internal departments and external agencies for review and comment

  4. Application provided to BOV Chair

  5. BOV Chair prescribes notice requirements and date of Hearing

  6. Notice Issued 

  7. BOV Hearing

  8. BOV will provide decision within 30 days

The Board may request additional information or other material deemed necessary for proper understanding of the nature of the Application from the Applicant (either prior to, during or upon adjournment of the hearing).  Such a request may be verbal or in writing.

Board of Variance Overview Handout

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