The Committee of Adjustment is a body which council can appoint to consider minor variances from the zoning by-law, land division (consent to sever) and consider alterations to legal non-conforming uses.
Applications to the Committee of Adjustment are processed in accordance with the requirements of Section 45 and 53 of the Planning Act, applicable regulations (O.Reg. 2900/96 and 197/96 as amended), and applicable municipal policies.
The Committee of Adjustment is authorized by the Planning Act to consider applications for:
- Minor variances from provisions of the Planning Act
- Extensions, enlargements or variations of existing legal non-conforming uses under the zoning by-law
- Land division (severing a new lot from an existing lot, adding land to an existing lot)
- Determining whether a particular use conforms with the provisions of the zoning by-law where the uses of land, buildings or structures permitted in the by-law are defined in general terms
The zoning by-law regulates how land and buildings are used and where buildings and structures can be located. The zoning by-law also specifies lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights, and other provisions necessary to ensure proper and orderly development. When a proposal does not comply with the provisions of the zoning by-law, an owner may make application to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance. A minor variance provides relief from specific zoning law requirements, excusing a property owner from meeting the exact requirements of the by-law.
The Committee of Adjustment must ensure the variances, if approved, satisfy the following:
- Is considered to be a “minor” change from the zoning requirements
- Is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure
- Generally maintains the intent and purpose of the official plan
- Generally maintains the intent and purpose of the zoning by-law
Severances or Consents
If a property owner wishes to create only one or two new parcels of land, an application may be made for a land severance, or consent. Severance approval is required for rights-of-way, easements and changes to existing property boundaries. A severance may be granted when the Committee of Adjustment is satisfied that a plan of subdivision is not required for proper and orderly development.
Site Control By-Law
The Municipality of Wawa uses a site control by-law to control land development. It is used to complement and redefine the existing zoning. Site plan control agreement will show that the new development meets a number quality control conditions that may be of concern. For example, matters that could be covered include road widenings, parking areas, grades, elevations, landscaping, building plans, drainage and municipal services. The agreements are registered on title and are enforceable against the owner and subsequent owners of the land. The site plan control agreements provides council with a detailed approach to development than is possible through the zoning by-law.