Development Variance Permit (DVP)

Development Variance Permits (DVP) may be required prior to subdivision approval or the issuance of a building permit (if the structure does not meet zoning requirements such as setbacks or height limitations established in the zoning bylaw). A DVP may also be needed when existing conditions on a property pose difficulties for the siting of new structures. Importantly, a DVP cannot be used to vary the permitted uses or density of the zoning.

DVP applications require the submission of an application fee, completed application form and supporting documentation (i.e. site plan and elevations).  DVP applications are referred to adjacent property owners and occupants and may be referred to the local Advisory Planning Commission (APC) at the direction of, and prior to a decision by the Regional District Board.

Under Section 498.1 of the Local Government Act, the Regional District Board of Directors has delegated authority to staff to approve applications seeking “minor” variances which would have no significant negative impact on the use of nearby properties.

In determining whether a proposed variance is “minor” in nature, staff may consider:

  • The degree or scope of the variance relative to the regulation from which the variance is sought;
  • The proximity of the building or structure to neighbouring properties; and
  • The character of development in the vicinity of the subject property.

In deciding whether to issue a DVP for a “minor” variance, staff will next consider:

  • If the proposed variance is consistent with the general purpose and intent of the zone;
  • If the proposed variance addresses a physical or legal constraint associated with the site (e.g., unusual parcel shape, topographical feature, statutory right-of-way, etc.);
  • If strict compliance with the zoning regulation would be unreasonable or un-necessary; and,
  • If the proposed variance would unduly impact the character of the streetscape or surrounding neighbourhood.

NOTE: if negative feedback is received in response to a DVP application that has been deemed to be "minor", staff will refuse the variance request under delegation and it will automatically be reconsidered by the RDOS Board of Directors at a forthcoming meeting.

Applications to the Board of Variance

Alternatively, applicants who are of the opinion that compliance with the zoning regulations constitutes an “undue hardship” may also wish to give consideration to applying to the Board of Variance.


For more general information, view our Development Variance Permit Brochure.

To complete an application, please fill out the Development Variance Permit Application Form.