Committee of Adjustment
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Disclaimer* - Please be aware that the applications are placed on the website to help facilitate the application process. However, we strongly urge the applicant to discuss and direct any questions you may have pertaining to the application to staff.
The Committee of Adjustment is under the delegated authority of City Council. It is formed by three lay members of the community, and functions like an informal court or council.
If you wish to construct a new building, make additions or alterations to an existing building, your proposal must comply with the City of Cornwall Zoning By-law. The same can be said for the erection of signs, or fences, in relation to their applicable By-laws. If it doesn't, you must apply for a minor variance. Typical requests for variances include: lot dimensions, building setbacks, parking requirements, sign size or height, fence height, minor changes in legal non conforming uses, etc.
The Committee also approves severances/consents under the Planning Act, to create new lots, additions to existing lots, allow easements/rights-of-way (such as municipal services, utility services, shared driveways, etc.) and long-term leases (for more than 21 years).
The owner or his/her agent must make an application to the Secretary-Treasurer and include sketches or plans with their submissions, indicating the reasons for applying. All assessed owners of property within 60 metres (200 feet) are sent a copy of the application notice, and a sign is posted on the property until the time of the hearing; various City Departments and if necessary, agencies/ministries which could have an interest in the application, are also sent notices concerning each application. The Committee will receive a recommendation report from municipal staff.
At the public meeting, the Committee will hear any additional information from the applicant, they will listen to the municipal staff report, and allow interested parties to speak on the proposal. Typically, a decision is made that same day, or at a subsequent meeting if further information is necessary. Each application is judged on its own merit, and is not precedent setting. In other words, a decision made on one property doesn't necessarily mean the same decision will be made on another. Within 10 days (minor variances) or 15 days (severances) the Committee must notify in writing the applicant/owner and anyone else who has asked to be notified of their decision.
The applicant or someone who requested notice of the decision can appeal a decision, or its conditions, within 20 days of the decision date (minor variances) or of the date written notice is sent (severances/consents). Appeals are sent to Committee's Secretary-Treasurer, who forwards the file contents to the Ontario Municipal Board.