Development Variance Permits

What is a Development Variance Permit, and when do I need one?

A Development Variance Permit is a permit to vary certain provisions in zoning, land use, or subdivision bylaws. It is required when a proposed development does not conform with a bylaw provision contained in a zoning, land use, or subdivision bylaw.

Council may grant a Development Variance Permit when requested variances appear to be reasonable and maintain the intent of the bylaw. For minor variances to relieve undue hardship, some bylaw provisions may be varied by the Board of Variance.

Floodplain requirements and use or density of a property cannot be varied. Proposed changes to land use or density require a rezoning application.

If you are unsure about whether or not you require a Development Variance Permit, please contact the District at 250-845-2238.

Development Variance Permit Process

  • Pre-application meeting with planning staff (not required, but recommended)
  • and fee submitted
  • Notification issued to neighbours
  • Staff review and recommendation to Council
  • Application considered by council approved, referred, tabled, or denied
  • Council makes decision on application
  • Applicant notified of council ruling
  • If Development Variance is granted, permit will be issued and Notice of Permit registered on property title.

Additional Permits and licenses

Please remember that a Development Variance Permit is not a Building Permit. During the application process District staff will work with the applicant to obtain all necessary permits. Other permits that may be required include a demolition permit, building permit, sign permit, business license.

It is recommended that you arrange a meeting with Houston staff to discuss your proposal prior to submitting your Development Variance Application. Please contact the District Office at 250-845-2238 or by email to arrange an appointment.

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