Minor Variance

The Committee of Adjustment is a committee, made up of Hamilton residents chosen by City Council that deals with consents and minor variances.

All development proposals must meet the terms of the City's Zoning By-law. Whenever changes are made to a particular site and any of the regulations are not complied with, you will need a minor variance or amendment to the by-law to legalize the situation. The variance can relate to the land, building or structure or its use.

Examples of minor variance applications may include, but are not limited to:

  • New buildings or additions to existing buildings
  • Porch enclosure or new deck
  • New accessory buildings such as garages and sheds
  • Enlargement, extension or change of use of any legal non-conforming building
  • Parking spaces required for new or expanded businesses
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Submit an application for Minor Variance

Prior to submitting an application, it is strongly recommended that you contact the planner responsible for your particular area in order to determine the feasibility of your proposal.

"EAST" Area
Wards 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext. 2799
Email: Development Clerk East

"WEST" Area
Wards 1, 2, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext. 1355
Email: Development Clerk West

The approximate total processing time for an application without an appeal is about 7-9 weeks.

You will need to complete the Minor Variance application form (PDF, 149 KB) | Minor Variance application form (DOC, 608 KB)

Important tips you will need to know when completing the form:

Nature and extent of relief applied for (Item 6) 

This item is important as it outlines the reason for the application. We will determine the Notice of Hearing for the application and the decision from this item. It is important that you clearly show all of the variances being applied for in exact mathematical terms with proposed figures.

If you have any doubt as to why a variance application is necessary or as to the detail of the nature of the variances then you should contact the Building department at 905-546-2720 or Secretary for the Committee of Adjustment at 905-546-2424 Ext.4221 for help.

The staff processing the minor variance application cannot look beyond the information you provide in Item 6 and must process your application on the basis of information in this item. Make sure you know the details of exactly why you have to apply to the Committee of Adjustment.

Any errors or omissions in Item 6 could result in discovery at the hearing that there is need for additional variances or a change requiring recirculation of your application. This could result in further delay and in some cases the need for submission of an additional application with a further application fee.

Present Official Plan or Secondary Plan provisions applying to the land (Item 19)

This item refers to the City’s Official Plan land use designation of the subject property. 

Present Restricted Area By-law (Zoning By-law) provisions applying to the land (Item 20)

This item asks for the zoning of the subject property. Reference the City's Zoning By-laws.

Is the subject property the subject of a current application for consent under Section 53 of the Planning Act? (Item 22)

An application for consent can also be referred to as a severance.

You will have to pay the application fee when you submit your application. Applications fees are non-refundable whether the application is approved or denied.  

Fees can be paid by cash, cheque or credit card. Cheques must be made payable to the City of Hamilton.

Application type Fee
Routine (Singles, semis, duplexes not including conversions to other uses or proposed additional units) $1,160
Standard  $1,525
After the fact (construction has already taken place) $1,840
Recirculation fee $220

Conservation Authority plan review fee

The Conservation Authorities within the City of Hamilton charge fees for their review of Planning Act applications.

Once you submit your application, City staff will advise you if your application requires Conservation Authority review, and if so, which Conservation Authority your project falls within:

The fee is to be made payable to the appropriate Conservation Authority and you will have to pay the fee to the City upon request. We will forward the fee along with the application to the Conservation Authority.

Combined applications will only be charged at the highest rate. The Conservation Authority reserves the right to request additional fees should the review require a substantially greater level of effort.

You will need to submit the following:

  • Two (2) copies of the completed application form
  • Application fee
  • Survey plan or sketch
  • Authorization from owner if applicant is not the owner

If a survey plan of the subject property is not available, you can submit a sketch map with the minor variance application to provide clarification of the variance you are applying for.

You must provide the following details with your sketch map:

  • The true dimensions of the property for which the application is being made
  • The location and dimensions of all existing buildings, structures or uses on the subject property
  • The setback measurements from the lot lines to the existing or proposed building on the subject property such as front yard, rear yard and side yard setbacks. If applicable, the distance of building on neighbouring lots
  • Clearly demonstrate the difference between the existing building and the proposed addition (if applicable)
  • The location and name of the street should be shown
  • The location must be drawn to scale utilizing good drafting techniques
  • A scale and north arrow should be shown on the sketch
  • The committee reserves the right to reject sketches for insufficient or poorly presented information
  • The size has to be a minimum of 8.5“x 11” and a maximum of 11” x 17”

The application cannot be processed until it is considered to be complete. An application is considered to be complete when all of the above have been provided and the requisite sign has been posted on the subject lands and that all signage requirements have been satisfied.

You can submit the application, supporting documents and fee in person to: 

City of Hamilton
71 Main Street West, 5th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4Y5
Attention: Committee of Adjustment Secretary-Treasurer

Once you apply for a Committee of Adjustment you are required to post a sign on the property.

Signage requirements

The City of Hamilton will:

  • Provide a cardboard sign to the applicant when you submit the application or we will contact you to pick up a sign for the subject property
  • Once we process the application we will send you a copy of the notice. You must insert the notice into the sleeve on the sign.

You will need to:

  • Post a sign on the subject land
  • Post the sign on the property so that it is visible to the public
  • Leave the sign on the property until the appeal period has been completed

Once you submit your application, a public hearing will be set within 30 days of the date of submission.

Contact us

Committee of Adjustment
71 Main Street West, 5th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4Y5
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext. 4221
Email: Barb.Ofield@hamilton.ca