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Board of Variance

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In Rossland, the BOV consists of three members of the public selected in accordance with the Local Government Act. The Board of Variance cannot vary the permitted uses or densities under the Zoning Bylaw nor can it deal with major variations that should be the subject of a Development Variance Permit. Adjacent property owners and tenants in occupation will be notified about the application and any person who believes their interest in property is affected will be heard by the Board of Variance.

When do I need a Board of Variance Application?

Applications will be forwarded to the Board only if it appears from the application that:

  1. it falls within the jurisdiction of the Board of Variance as defined in the Local Government Act;
  2. the applicant is seeking relief from regulations that impose an undue hardship on them and there is no overriding public interest; and,
  3. the variance applied for is minor in nature; or,
  4. the applicant is appealing the extent of damage preventing reconstruction of a non-conforming building, as provided for under Section 902 of the Local Government Act.

Definition of a Minor Variance

The guidelines to be used in screening applications for minor variances shall include the following thresholds:

  1. those cases of new construction where an existing building is involved, such as an addition of less than 20% of the size of an existing house, or construction of an ancillary building such as a garage, workshop, or garden shed where:
    1. the new addition or ancillary building would be consistent with the existing side yards or set backs of the existing building;
    2. the variances would be consistent with the existing character of the neighbourhood;
    3. conformance to current zoning provisions such as side yard or setback requirements would be unreasonably onerous or frustrate the ability of the applicant to proceed; and,
    4. there is no obvious impact on the adjoining properties.
  2. those cases where minor problems beyond the control of the applicant occur, such as when early surveys on existing homes are found to have minor errors.

Variances not to be Considered Under the Definition of Hardship

“Hardship” is defined as those cases in which an individual suffers “undue hardship”, which is to say, a hardship which is not generally in common with others.

Therefore, “undue hardship” will not be considered as a rationale for referring an application to the Board of Variance for new construction, major additions beyond 20% of the existing building area, or applications that, in the opinion of the City, do not appear to be minor, may have a significant impact on the adjoining properties and/or neighbourhood, or the public interest is otherwise involved. These applications will be directed by Staff to Council for consideration.