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Committee of Adjustment Applications

The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial tribunal appointed by Council and is independent and autonomous from County Administration. Council appoints the Committee Members, who are residents of Haldimand County. The Committee of Adjustment is composed of seven members, and the term of the Committee runs with the term of Council.

It derives its jurisdiction from the Planning Act of Ontario. The Committee’s mandate is to:

  • Consider and make decisions on applications for Minor Variances from the provisions of a Zoning By-law
  • Consider and make decisions on applications for Consent to “sever” a property or for any agreement, mortgage or lease that extends for more than 21 years (under Section 53 of the Planning Act)
  • Consider and make decisions on applications for Permission, which deal with the enlargement or extension of a building or structure that is legally non-conforming, or a change in non-conforming use
  • Consider and make decisions on applications for Validation of Title.
  • Consider variances to Haldimand County’s Sign By-Law

The Committee of Adjustment and its application processes are separate and distinct from other municipal development approval processes. One or more of these processes may occur at the same time.

You can submit your application documents, check for status updates, and pay fees using our online portal (CityView).

Committee of Adjustment Meeting Dates

The Committee of Adjustment is a committee appointed by Haldimand County Council under authority from the Planning Act to consider applications for land severance and minor variance from the provisions of a Zoning By-law. The Committee of Adjustment meets every month according to the  2024 Approved Schedule.

Minor Variance

When considering an Application for Minor Variance from Haldimand County Zoning By-law HC-1 2020 , the Committee must consider the following “four tests” as set out in the Planning Act

  • Whether the variance is minor
  • Whether the variance is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land
  • Whether the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law is maintained
  • Whether the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan is maintained


When considering an Application for Consent, the Committee must have regard to the same matters as in the evaluation of a Plan of Subdivision. The Committee may impose conditions related to the approval of a severance as in its opinion are reasonable.

How do I know if I Need a Consent or a Minor Variance?

If you are considering applying for a consent or a minor variance you should contact Building & Municipal Enforcement Services to confirm that your proposal will conform with the Zoning By-law. For consents, contact the Planning and Development Division to confirm Official Plan designation.

Building & Municipal Enforcement Services
Phone: 905 318-5932 extension 8300

Planning and Development
Phone: 905 318-5932 extension 6220

Applications are processed by staff according to the rules and regulations set out in the governing provincial legislation.

Staff is available to discuss, with the general public, community representatives, lawyers and architects, matters related to application submission requirements as well as details of applications being processed. However, it is not the responsibility or position of staff to assess the merits of an application as this is the role and responsibility of the Committee.

The Committee must review all of the documentation before it, keeping in mind the four basic principles for approval, and render an independent decision.

For any questions regarding Committee of Adjustment or the application process, please contact Jassie Cleaver, Secretary Treasurer at (905) 318-5932 ext. 6220.

Once an application has been filed it will be reviewed for completeness by the Secretary Treasurer, and a hearing date will be established. Notices will be mailed out to all assessed property owners within 60 metres radius of the subject property, and a yellow notice sign will be erected on the property affected by the application. All submission materials on file, including the applications and plans, will be made available to the public for viewing at the Administration Building, as required under Section 1.0.1 of the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990 C.P.13. Personal information on file with the Committee of Adjustment office is collected under the Authority of the Planning Act and will be used to process the application.

The Committee of Adjustment holds regular Public Hearings each month to consider the applications and the meetings are open to the public. Any interested party can appear before the Committee to present their views in support or in opposition to an application.

If you wish to appear at a Committee Hearing to either speak in support or in opposition to an application, there are some procedural matters to be aware of:

  • When you arrive at the Public Hearing take a seat in the hearing room. Wait for the application you are interested in to be called by the Committee Chair and then move to the front of the room and sit at the table provided.
  • The first person to speak is the applicant or their representative, who will briefly explain the proposal and answer any questions posed by the Committee members. The Committee will then hear from any others that wish to speak. Remember to address your concerns to the Chair of the Committee, not the applicant, and do not repeat what others have said but focus on adding new information. For a group, a spokesperson should be appointed to express its views. The applicant will then have an opportunity to respond. The Committee would ask that all presentations be limited to five minutes or less and any exceptions will be at the discretion of the Committee Chair.
  • The Committee may adjourn an application or reserve its decision.
  • After the Hearing, the Committee will issue a written Decision on each application that was heard. A Decision of the Committee can be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) for a fee.

Anyone wishing to receive a copy of a Committee of Adjustment decision must provide the Secretary-Treasurer with a proper mailing address.

The applicant, the Minister or any other person or public body who has an interest in the matter may within 20 days of the making of the decision appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) against the decision of the committee. This would be done by filing with the Secretary Treasurer of the committee a notice of appeal setting out the objection to the decision and the reasons in support of the objection. The appeal submittal must also include the applicable fee payable to the Ontario Minister of Finance. It should be noted that only individuals, corporations and public bodies may appeal decisions to the Tribunal. An unincorporated association or group may not file a Notice of Appeal. However, a notice of appeal may be filed in the name of an individual who is a member of the association or group on its behalf.

Severance (Consent) Application

A severance application is normally required in situations where a new lot is to be created, a surplus farm dwelling is to be severed, a farm is to be split, or lands are to be boundary adjusted to abutting property. Such an application may also be required for the correction/validation of title or the establishment of an easement/right-of-way on a property. A complete application for severance includes a completed Application for Consent / Land Severance, applicable fees, and a detailed drawing. Additional forms (Form 1, Form 3 – MDS Data Sheet, Form 3S, Public Consultation Strategy and/or Form 4) may be applicable to certain severance situations. The approval process requires a number of steps as highlighted in the Consent-Severance Process Flow Chart.

Minor Variance Application

A minor variance application is required in situations where relief from the provisions of a zoning by-law in respect to land use, building or structure is required. A complete application for variance includes a completed Minor Variance Application, applicable fees, a completed Zoning Deficiency Form and a detailed drawing. The approval process requires a number of steps as highlighted in the Minor Variance Process Flow Chart.

Sign Variance Application

Haldimand County’s Sign By-law regulates the type, form, location, size and number of signs to be used on properties. A sign variance application is required in situations where relief from the provisions of the Sign By-law is required. A complete application for a sign variance includes a Sign Variance Application, applicable fees, and a detailed drawing.

Committee of Adjustment Documents