Development Variance Permits

A Development Variance Permit (DVP) is a tool established through the Local Government Act. It allows Council to vary provisions of the Zoning Bylaw, which regulates land use, and the Sign Bylaw.
As the bylaws cannot anticipate each development scenario in the City, this tool provides the City with some flexibility to consider different design solutions, where appropriate. 
A DVP can be used to vary requirements like building height, building setbacks, number of parking or loading spaces, site coverage, sign size, and number of signs. A DVP cannot vary permitted uses or density. In order to change the land use or density that the Zoning Bylaw allows for a property, a Rezoning or a Heritage Revitalization Agreement may be required.
DVP application which include minor variances are delegated to the Director of Climate Action, Planning and Development for consideration of issuance. Minor variance criteria, evaluation principles and provisions are included in appendices of the Development Approvals Procedure Bylaw. All other DVPs are considered by Council for issuance.
When is a Development Variance Permit Required?
A DVP is required when a proposed building, structure or sign does not conform to the requirements of the Zoning Bylaw or the Sign Bylaw, and the property is not also subject to a Rezoning or Heritage Revitalization Agreement process.
Application Review
Once you’ve submitted an application, Planning staff will coordinate the application review, which may involve other City departments and committees. The application review process is informed by the scope and complexity of the application and on what other associated applications are also needed. A summary of key components of this process is below and Planning Staff should be contacted for further information related to specific sites, inquiries and applications. Additional information may be required through this process and, once feedback is received, changes to the application are expected.
Consultation with neighbours, the community, City committees and stakeholders may be required depending on the scale, impact scope or complexity of the proposed application. Planning staff can provide further feedback through an inquiry review.
Council Consideration
Once the application has completed the necessary consultation and review, and where required, staff would prepare a report to Council for consideration of the application. This report would summarize the application including a project overview, consultation summary, a summary of public benefits, and identify any terms and conditions.
  • Agree to consider the application;
  • Request more information or reports from staff; or,
  • Decline the application.
For applications presented to Council, the City may provide a Request for Public Comment. Any person who thinks their interests may be affected by the development application, has the opportunity to express their opinion to Council in writing by email or written submission. 
After closing of the Request for Public Comment, Council considers the application.
Board of Variance
As an alternative to a Development Variance Permit, property owners may be eligible to apply to the Board of Variance. The Board of Variance considers variances which are, in the opinion of the board, both minor and would cause the applicant hardship if they were required to conform to zoning requirements.
Applicants should contact the Planning Division for more information on the Board of Variance.