Committee of Adjustment

A Committee of Adjustment is a 'quasi-judicial' body established by Council as permitted by Section 44(1) of the Planning Act. The Municipality of Meaford's Committee of Adjustment is comprised of five appointed members who meet on a monthly basis to hear applications for consent, minor variance, and alterations to legal non-conforming structures and uses.

A Committee of Adjustment meeting agenda is comprised of the following items:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest
  3. Adoption of previous minutes
  4. Business arising from previous minutes
  5. Public Meetings
  6. Other
  7. Motion to Adjourn

In accordance with the Planning Act, notice of a Public Meeting is given at least 14 days prior to meetings related to consent applications, and 10 days prior to a meeting for a minor variance. Each public meeting takes on average 15-30 minutes depending upon the complexity of the application and any agency or public comments that are raised with respect to the file.

 Virtual Meeting Information

As of July 22nd, 2020, Committee of Adjustment will be meeting remotely via Zoom to hear applications for minor variance and consent. All meetings will be broadcast live and on demand on the municipal YouTube channel. Meeting agendas are available on the Council Portal. If you would like to speak on an application, you can do so by providing comments in writing to to be read at the Committee meeting. If you wish to register as an attendee for a virtual public meeting, you must register with the Secretary-Treasurer by emailing no later than noon on the meeting date.

The following virtual meeting guides include information on how to join and participate in a meeting once registered with the Secretary-Treasurer: 


Section 50 of the Planning Act sets out specific circumstances where land can be subdivided or by which an interest in land can be conveyed to another person.

The Consent process, under Section 53 of the Act, is typically used to provide for the creation of a new lot; the enlargement of a lot/alteration to existing lot boundaries; or the creation of a right-of-way or easement that extends beyond 21 years in duration.

The Municipality of Meaford's Committee of Adjustment has been delegated the authority of Council to make decisions on applications for consent. All decisions of the Committee must conform to applicable Official Plans and must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.

Should you be interested in pursuing an application for consent, Staff strongly recommend you participate in a pre-submission consultation. At this meeting, we will review the applicable policy, discuss the procedure and requirements, and help you to determine the costs and timeframes involved with completing your consent transaction.

For additional information on severances, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housings Citizen's Guide # 5 - Land Severances

Consent Application

Minor Variance

A minor variance is a special permission that may be granted to a property owner upon application to the Municipality. A variance, in effect, excuses a land owner from a specific requirement of the Zoning By-law.

Section 45(1) of the Planning Act states that the Committee of Adjustment may authorize a minor variance from the provisions of the Zoning By-law "in respect of the land, building or structure or the use thereof, as in its opinion is desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure, if in the opinion of the committee the general intent and purpose of the by-law and of the official plan, if any, are maintained"

In accordance with the Planning Act, when evaluating an application for minor variance, Staff and the Committee of Adjustment must consider how the proposal meets the 'four tests' of a minor variance. Each test must be met in order for the Committee to approve an application.

Should you be interested in submitting an application for Minor Variance, you are encouraged to pre-consult with planning staff.

Four Tests:

  1. The variance must be minor
  2. The variance must be desirable for the appropriate development or use of the land, building or structure
  3. The general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law must be maintained
  4. The general intent and purpose of the Official Plan must be maintained

Minor Variance Application

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