Committee of Adjustment

A Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body of citizens that are appointed by Council to make decisions on certain development and planning applications made under the Planning Act

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.


The Committee of Adjustment has also been authorized by Council to grant a Consent request.  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.

Permission for Legal Non-Conforming Use

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 permit a similar or more compatible use, subject to certain conditions.

Pre-Consultation Request

At the pre-consultation stage, the applicant presents their development proposals and concept plans to staff for preliminary review and comments regarding the proposal.  Staff work to clarify the application process and fees, as well as identify and confirm the required plans and supporting studies that may be required to start the process of obtaining any development application.

To book your Pre-Consultation Meeting, please submit a complete Pre-Consultation Application and email it to  Alternatively, you can contact the Planning Department for more information.

Committee of Adjustment Meetings 

The Committee of Adjustment generally meets on a monthly basis to hear applications.  Meetings are open to the public, and anyone can speak to the Committee about applications being heard.

Agendas and Minutes are available for viewing online.

Please see our Committee Calendar for scheduled meetings.

For information on Committee of Adjustment please contact the Planning Department at extension 104.

Committee of Adjustment Process

If you have an application being heard at a COA meeting, you or a representative should attend the meeting.  If you don't attend, the Committee may adjourn the hearing or consider the application without your input.

Committee of Adjustment: Application Process and Procedures

Appealing a Decision of Committee of Adjustment

Applicants can appeal a decision of the Committee of Adjustment to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).  Please visit the Ontario Land Tribunal website for information on how to appeal a decision.

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