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Welcome to Essa Township

Township of Essa Administration Centre

5786 County Road 21 | Utopia, ON L0M 1T0

Phone: 705-424-9917 Fax: 705-424-2367

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Skip Navigation LinksTownship of Essa > Committee of Adjustment

​Committee of Adjustment


The Planning Act grants authority to Municipal Councils to appoint committees to approve a number of minor applications. Section 45 of the Planning Act permits the Committee of Adjustment to make decisions on Minor Variances from the Zoning By-law and to grant permission for altering or changing a lawful non-conforming use of land, buildings or structures. Section 53 of the Planning Act permits the Committee of Adjustment to make decisions on applications for changes to land configuration in the form of Consents.

In general terms, the Committee has the power to grant the following:

  • Minor Variance
    A minor variance is a proposed change to a property which does not conform to the requirements of the Zoning By-law. A minor variance approval allows the property owner to obtain a building permit even though their property does not comply precisely with the Zoning By-law.
  • Permission
    A Legal Non-Conforming Use exists when the zoning for the property does not permit its current use.  Where land, buildings or structures have been lawfully used for a purpose now prohibited by the Zoning By-law, the Committee of Adjustment can grant permission to enlarge the buildings or structures, or may permit a similar or more compatible use, subject to certain conditions.
  • Consent
    The Committee of Adjustment has also been authorized by Council to grant consents.  A consent approval enables certain transactions to occur relating to the subdivision of land. These transactions can include the creation of a new lot; leases over 21-years; mortgage or partial discharge of a mortgage; foreclosure or exercise of power of sale; establishing rights-of-ways and easements over 21-years; adding land to an abutting lot (lot line adjustments, lot additions and lot extensions) and corrections to deeds or property descriptions.


Contact Planning and Development

Committee of Adjustment Meetings and Minutes