Board of Variance Committee

Need specific information on the Board of Variance? Please click on one of the following selections to jump there immediately:

What is the Board of Variance?

The Board of Variance is an independent appeal body, appointed by City Council, that considers requests for minor variances as relating to the size, siting, and physical dimensions of buildings and structures as regulated by the White Rock Zoning Bylaw, 2012, No. 2000 and other rulings as set out in the Local Government Act.

The variance must be justified by the presence of “undue hardship”. Undue hardship limits the Board to considering only hardships that result from characteristics specific to a site, as opposed to those generated by - or personal to - the property owner. Financial hardship or loss of an amenity is unlikely to be considered a sufficient reason on its own. For more information on the Board of Variance, readers may wish to refer to relevant sections of the Local Government Act itself.

Prior to making a decision, a notice will be sent to adjacent property owners who have the right to support or oppose the appeal. In considering its decision, the Board of Variance must consider (among other considerations) whether the requested variance(s) or exemption(s) would do any of the following:

  • result in inappropriate development of the site;
  • adversely affect the natural environment;
  • substantially affect the use and enjoyment of adjacent land;
  • vary permitted uses and densities under the applicable bylaw; or
  • defeat the intent of the Bylaw.

A decision of the Board is final. Please note that a ruling from the Board of Variance will expire if not acted upon in accordance with the Local Government Act.

How do I apply?

Before you apply to the Board of Variance, please contact the Planning and Development Services Department directly to determine if a variance is required to accommodate your proposal. You can call us directly at either 604-541-2136, or send us an e-mail directly at

If you wish to proceed with a Board of Variance application, you will required to submit a completed Board of Variance application form, the associated documentation (outlined on the Board of Variance application form), and a fee of $550. You can find this documentation in the Board of Variance - Resources section below.

Staff will only accept a complete and full application, so be sure to confirm your requirements with staff prior to submission.

All Board of Variance applications are processed pursuant to the White Rock Planning Procedures Bylaw, 2017, No. 2234, and the White Rock Board of Variance Bylaw, 2004, No. 1753.


Note: Prospective applicants should be aware that the Board of Variance can only vary a limited set of zoning regulations relating to the size, shape, and physical dimensions of buildings and structures (e.g. setbacks, lot coverage, and height). If further variance to other land use bylaws is required (e.g. off-street parking requirements), or if the requested variances are not based on "undue hardship", then an applicant should proceed with application for a Development Variance Permit.

With certain exceptions empowered under the Local Government Act, changes to use and density are not possible under either the Board of Variance or through a Development Variance Permit. In these circumstances, a zoning amendment may be required. Contact the Planning and Development Services Department if you have any questions or concerns regarding a Board of Variance Application. 

When does the Board of Variance meet?

You can find an electronic copy of the 2018 Board of Variance (BOV) Meeting Schedule here.

Please note that two types of dates are provided on the schedule. Each application must be submitted approximately five-to-six weeks prior to a Board of Variance meeting to ensure that appropriate internal circulation and public notification can occur.

Board of Variance - Resources (Application Form and Applicable Bylaws)

Please click on one of the following items if you require any of the following documents.

Board of Variance - Agendas & Minutes

Please see the following links for a compilation of all approved Board of Variance agenda and minutes from 2010 to 2018.

If you require information on variances prior to 2010, please do not hesitate to contact the Planning and Development Services Department.