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Minor Variances

  1. Chiu v. City of Toronto (Committee of Adjustment)

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicants wish to construct a new two-storey dwelling on the subject property. They applied for and received authorization from the Committee of Adjustment. The Committee’s decision was appealed by Carolyn Koziskie and Lucinda Chiu, who are abutting owners to the north and east respectively. The Applicants and the Appellant, Carolyn Koziskie settled their differences and the application was being amended to reflect the agreement reached between them.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part.


    Reasons:

    The Board is satisfied that the variances, individually and cumulatively, meet the four tests. The intent of the Official Plan is met, and the proposed variances will result in a dwelling that respects and reinforces the physical character of the neighbourhood. The intent of the zoning by-law is maintained, and the authorization of these variances will have less of an impact than potential “as of right” development concepts. The variances are minor both by order of magnitude and will not cause any adverse impact on anyone. The Appellants are concerned about impact on their existing view, and it is well settled law that there is no right to the protection of a view in Ontario. Authorization of these variances will allow the construction of a dwelling meeting modern needs of creative design that will maintain the high quality of the neighbourhood.


    Document(s):



  2. Boswell v. Seguin (Township)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    This variance hearing was uncontested. On Lake Joseph, there are many substantial boathouses with upper living quarters. Some are larger than what is permitted by today’s zoning – which was sometimes adopted years after these structures were built. Boswell (Applicant) owned on of those non-complying structures in the Township of Seguin. The Applicant proposed a boatlift apparatus, intended for the boat moored under her awning. Although these devices spend much of their time underwater, By-law 2006-25 treats any “in-water shoreline structure or facility” in much the same way as a building. The Applicant applied for three variances: to reduce the sideyard setback; to allow a corresponding increase in width of the boathouse; and to allow an adjustment in the allowable shoreline frontage. The Committee of Adjustment received letters of opposition and the Committee turned down the variances. The Applicant then appealed to the Board.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    Although there are many instances where concerns would be justified, the Board was not convinced that they apply to the fact situation here. In terms of visual impact, and respect for the water and the shoreline: at present, the view is of a boat at water level, under a cantilevered awning; under this proposal, the only change to that vista would be that the boat would be propped, instead of being at water level. The Board was not persuaded that, in this specific case, the incremental act of propping the boat under the awning would represent a significant visual digression – as viewed from the lake. The Board concludes that the evidence makes the proposed variances minor, for the purposes of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  3. Nizar Fakirani Professional Corp. v. City of Toronto

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicant seeks to permit an existing private school to continue to provide full time English as a second language and high school courses on the main floor of the building. A variance is required from Employment Districts Zoning By-law No. 24982 to permit a 140 square metre private secondary school. The Committee of Adjustment refused to authorize the variance and the Applicant has appealed the decision.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The board finds that the variance is desirable for the appropriate use of the land and building, the general intent and purpose of the By-law and of the Official Plan are maintained and it is minor in impact. The Board further states that there were not neighbours who attended the hearing raising issues with the school; it provides employment in an area designated as an Employment Area; and there was no evidence suggesting any adverse impact.


    Document(s):



  4. Craig Mills v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal to the Board for minor variance to permit height of 26.5 ft. of an accessory structure (garage) whereas the maximum permitted height is 20.0 ft. pursuant to s. 45(12) of the Planning Act.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    A mediation process was held in which both parties agreed that the Applicant would not use the garage as a sleeping cabin or for habitable space. In addition, there were no other negative impacts from the variance and the Township’s Director of Planning concluded that the variance was minor. Therefore, the Board allowed the variance.


    Document(s):



  5. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 938 v. Wei

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Condominium Development, Industrial Development, Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Jane Wei operates the Middlefield Kumon Centre for mathematics and reading in the second floor of an industrial condominium in the City of Toronto. Some years ago, the City advised the applicant to obtain a variance for that use, which she did in 2006 and 2008. She had to reapply again in 2013 as the variance was only valid for two years and upon reapplication, the Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 938 appealed the Committee’s variance decision to the Board, alleging that the centre represented problems for the building management. Two other corporations with factories nearby, appeared to oppose the variance as well: Owens Corning Insulating Systems Canada LP and Trench Canada.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    For the purposes of this appeal, the Board finds no evidence on which to suppose any digression from the four statutory tests at this time. The variance to the applicable Zoning By-law of the City of Toronto is authorized in accordance with the decision of the Committee of Adjustment. The Board found that, if the Motion were granted, the established situation would be compromised primarily on the basis of an apprehension – unproven – that a non-party might have difficulties with MOE at some indeterminate point in the future.


    Document(s):



  6. Durfy v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal an application for a minor variance to increase permitted lot coverage from 10% to 14.1% of the lot and 14.3% of the lot within 200 feet of the high water mark. The subject property is designated “Waterfront” and zoned WR1 in Zoning By-law No. 87-87.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the modest addition to the cottage is far enough removed from the waterfront and buffered by trees to have minimal impact on the views from the lake. The addition meets the general intent of the zoning by-law because it is hidden from view, does not interfere with development of abutting property and is not any more of a precedent than that of the abutting lands.


    Document(s):



  7. Mehlenbacher v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal for two minor variances to expand an existing two storey boathouse by adding a 198 square foot covered deck to the second storey. The variance would allow relief for the cumulative width of 15% whereas the by-law permits 13%.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the addition to the boathouse will have an impact on the views from the lake and the covered deck would fundamentally change the view from the water. The OP sets limits for the development of waterfront structures based upon the size of the lake, the coverage of structures, and the frontage of the lot. The evidence clearly demonstrated that a significant area of natural shoreline would be blocked by the new roof and would increase the dominance of the man-made environment as opposed to the natural environment. Therefore, the Board finds the scale of the variance to be excessive because it transfers the rights of larger lots (over 400 feet) to a much smaller lot.


    Document(s):



  8. Robinson v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The appellants are appealing a decision from the Township of Muskoka for the refusal of a minor variance from Zoning By-law 87-87, which would permit a proposed garage/storage building on the subject property. The variances are relief from s. 7.3.1 of ZBL 87-87; a lot are of 0.4 acres rather than the required 1.0 acres; a lot frontage of 110 ft, rather than required 200 ft; and a maximum height of 20.5 ft, rather than maximum height of 20 ft.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed with conditions


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that there are no matters of Provincial interest affected by this application and that the applications are in conformity with the intent and purpose of the District of Muskoka OP and the Township of Muskoka Lakes OP as amended by OPA No. 40. It is also the determination of the Board that the relief being sought out is minor and will have no adverse impact on any abutting properties, nor will the plans not comply with the standards of the municipality or the Ontario Building Code.


    Document(s):



  9. Savelli v. Elliot

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal to Board for minor variance of construction of two-storey garage, seeking relief in s. 3.1.2.a of By-law 87-87, as amended, being the maximum coverage of buildings on a lot and a variance of the maximum coverage permitted on building from the high water mark of 359 square feet.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed with conditions


    Reasons:

    The land-use planner found that the two-car garage will meet all other zoning by-law requirements except for lot coverage. In addition, the variance is considered minor because the OP regards anything less than 1/10 over the permitted lot coverage as minor. For these reasons, the Board is satisfied that the proposed variances meet the tests in subsection 45(1) of the Planning Act, are in the public interest and represent good planning.


    Document(s):



  10. Trans Canada Pipelines Ltd. V. Israel

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Pursuant to s. 45(12) of the Planning Act, Trans Canada Pipelines Ltd. has appealed a decision of the Town of Oakville, which authorized a variance from the provisions of the Town’s zoning by-law to permit the development of a pool by the applicants with a reduced rear yard setback.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the variance, as amended, meets the four tests set out in s. 45(1) of the Planning Act. There has been regard to matters of provincial interest, as required under S. 2 of the Act, the decision is consistent with applicable policy statements and conforms with provincial plans, as required under ss. 3(5)(a) and (b) of the Act.


    Document(s):



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