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A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning bylaw. A minor variance approval is a certificate of permission, because it allows the property owner to obtain a building permit even though their property does not comply precisely with the zoning bylaw. Under Section 45(1) of the Planning Act there are four tests a minor variance must meet:

  1. Is the application minor?
  2. Is the application desirable for the appropriate development of the lands in question?
  3. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Zoning Bylaw?
  4. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Official Plan? It is important to note that to consider any application a minor variance it must meet all four tests.