Cradled between hills and rivers

Minor exemptions

The minor exemption is a procedure used by exception, which is established by municipal by-law pursuant to which Council may authorize the projected work or regularize the work that is completed or in progress, that do not meet all of the provisions of the zoning or subdivision by-laws.

The main use of the minor exemption remains in the fact that it applies an important technique that offers practical solutions to problems which cannot be detected in advance in a planning by-law.

In determining what a minor exemption is, it constitutes the foundation of the tool itself.  This determination cannot be done through a by-law or directives, but is rather evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Thus, the acceptable margin for exemption cannot be set in advance.  What is minor in one given situation may be considered major in another.

For example, does an exemption of 1.5 metres over 12 (12.5%) constitute a minor or a major variance to the front setback?  Does this variance cause prejudice to any of the neighbours?  These are factual questions in which the observation and assessment in their specific context, falls under the discretionary powers of the municipal Council.

In other words, a minor variance is most certainly not:

- An incentive to avoid compliance to regulations;
- A way of getting around regulations;
- A means to legalize an error that occurred during construction.

Source:  Minister of Municipal Affairs


To access the application form on-line, click here.