On November 25, 2021, Bill 26, being the provincial Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021, received Royal Assent and came into effect.
Amongst other things, this Bill amended the Local Government Act to provide local governments, including the Regional District, with the authority to delegate, by bylaw, the issuance of a “minor” development variance permit.
In delegating the issuance of a DVP, a local government must include criteria for determining whether a proposed variance is “minor” and guidelines the delegate must consider in deciding whether to issue a DVP.
Criteria for determining whether a proposed variance is "minor"
Under Section 498.1(2)(a) of the Local Government Act, a bylaw delegating the power to issue a development variance permit under this section must include "criteria for determining whether a proposed variance is minor ..."
The Regional District is proposing to amend the Chief Administrative Officer Delegation Bylaw No. 3033, 2023, in order to include the following criteria:
The CAO or his designate shall ... be delegated authority to issue a development variance permit under Section 498.1 of the Local Government Act if, in the opinion of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), or their delegate, the development to be authorized by the variance would, relative to development in accordance with the bylaw, be minor and would have no significant negative impact on the use of immediately adjacent or nearby properties. In making this determination the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), or their delegate, may have regard to the:
- degree or scope of the variance relative to the regulation from which a variance is sought;
- proximity of the building or structure to neighbouring properties; and
- character of development in the vicinity of the subject property.
Guidelines to be considered when deciding whether to issue a development variance permit
Under Section 498.1(2)(b) of the Local Government Act, a bylaw delegating the power to issue a development variance permit under this section must include "guidelines the delegate must consider in deciding whether to issue a development variance permit."
The Regional District is proposing to amend the Chief Administrative Officer Delegation Bylaw No. 2793, 2018, in order to include the following guidelines:
in deciding whether to issue a development variance permit delegated under sub-section 3.49, [the CAO or his designate shall] consider the following guidelines:
- 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.
Proposed notification of Delegated DVPs
While the Local Government Act does not require a delegated DVP to be notified to surrounding residents and property owners, the Regional District is proposing that the notification of delegated DVPs occur in the following forms:
- written notice to property owners and tenants of land within a radius of 60.0 metres of the boundaries of the subject property; and
- posting of application materials on the Regional District’s web-site.
A period of 15 working days from the date of the letter to property owners and tenants would be provided for comments from the public to be submitted electronically or in-person to the Regional District. (NOTE: submission of comments on delegated DVPs through postal delivery would not be accepted.
Reconsideration of a delegated decision by the Board
It is being proposed that any delegated DVP that is either refused or is the subject of a negative representation from the public be automatically reconsidered by the Regional District Board at a subsequent meeting.
Amendment Bylaw Status
|Regional District Board Consideration
Draft Amendment Bylaws:
(version - 2022-05-19)
Planning & Development Committee:
Bylaw Introduction (1st, 2nd & 3rd reading):