What are variances?
Variances are changes to the Zoning or Subdivision Servicing Bylaws to account for special circumstances. Property owners can apply to the CSRD for these changes, however, they are evaluated on an individual basis and may or may not be granted.
This page has information on the CSRD's three options for variances:
- Development Variance Permit (Board Approved)
- Development Variance Permit (Delegated)
- Board of Variance
Prior to submitting an application to the CSRD, the property owner should discuss details of the application and proposal with Development Services Planning Staff to determine which type of application is best for you.
The cost of variance applications is set out in the Development Services Fee Schedule (PDF)
Development Variance Permit (Board Approved)
A Development Variance Permit (DVP) is a permit issued by the CSRD Board of Directors that modifies regulations of a Zoning Bylaw or Subdivision Servicing Bylaw.
A Development Variance Permit is required when a property owner wishes to vary certain land-use bylaw regulations applicable to the subject property. These regulations include the setbacks, height or dimensions of buildings, parking regulations, screening provisions, sign regulations, frontage requirements, servicing, etc.
Letters are sent to the owners and tenants of properties within 100 meters of the subject property advising of the proposed variance application and allowing them an opportunity to provide written submissions regarding the application. Written submissions are attached to the Board's agenda package and are taken into consideration by the CSRD Board of Directors.
Related Documents & Links
Development Variance Permit (Delegated)
A Delegated Development Variance Permit is a permit issued by the Manager of Development Services that can vary a minor setback regulation in a Zoning Bylaw where, in the opinion of the Manager, there exists an undue hardship.
A setback variance is considered minor when it would reduce a property line setback by 50% or less for a building or structure or by up 100% for a retaining wall.
Examples of minor setback variance:
- Minor setback variance with a 50% reduction would be varying a property line setback from 5 m to 2.5 m for a building such as a house on the subject property.
- Minor setback variance with a 100% reduction for retaining wall would be varying a property line setback from 5 m to 0 m only for a retaining wall on the subject property.
If a variance proposal is considered minor, an undue hardship also needs to apply.
Undue hardships relate to the configuration of land, topography, lot dimensions, property physical limitations, a builder’s error, or property legal restrictions. In order for an applicant to explain if undue hardship exists, a delegated development variance hardship form must be submitted with the application.
If the Manager does not determine there is an undue hardship, the proposed variance application will need to be considered by the CSRD Board of Directors as a Development Variance Permit (Board Approved). An additional fee is required.
Letters are sent to the owners and tenants of properties within 30 m of the subject property advising of the proposed variance application and allowing them an opportunity to provide written submissions regarding the application. If there is any opposition received about the proposed variance, the Manager cannot issue the permit, and the proposal would need to be then considered by the CSRD Board of Directors as a Development Variance Permit (Board Approved).
If you are applying for multiple variances in addition to a minor setback variance as well as height, floor area, etc. The application must be considered by the CSRD Board of Directors as a Development Variance Permit (Board Approved).
Related Documents & Links
- Delegated Development Variance Permit Application Guide (PDF)
- Delegated Development Variance Permit Hardship Form (PDF)
- Application Forms & Guides
Board of Variance
The Board of Variance (BOV) functions independently of the CSRD Board of Directors and consists of three members. A BOV is a method of seeking relief from criteria established in specified bylaws in all Electoral Areas and BOV applications must be based on undue hardship.
Applications typically considered include variances to a bylaw regarding siting, size or dimensions of a building or other structure, although there are other situations under Section 540 of the Local Government Act.
Board of Variance decisions are final.