Where a property owner seeks relief or “relaxation” of some land use bylaw requirements, they may apply for either a Board of Variance (BOV) or Development Variance Permit (DVP). These applications may vary certain zoning provisions (e.g. reduce a setback distance) or servicing bylaw requirements (e.g. required well volume); however, they cannot be used to vary a permitted use (e.g. to have several detached dwellings on a parcel) – that is called a “rezoning.”
Both kinds of variances are regulated by the Local Government Act and neither is the senior or “higher” tribunal. This means that you may apply for one and, if it is not approved, then you may apply for the other kind of variance. But there are differences – BOV rests on a case for hardship and it must be a minor matter; meanwhile a DVP allows a broader scope of relaxation and no case of hardship needs to be argued.
For more details and differences, see the two FAQ Sheets on variances below:
The following links will take you to the application forms: