SAHRA receives emails for each Committee of Adjustment (CofA) hearing which lists all applications for that hearing for North York wards. We review the applications for properties within the SAHRA boundaries. Residents within a 60m radius should receive a Notice via Canada Post mail two weeks prior to the Hearing which gives a listing of the variance requests. You may be concerned about issues such as lot coverage, height, length, side/front or rear setbacks, driveway width, overhangs, deck size or upper floor balconies.
If you are an adjacent neighbour, you may also be concerned about issues that are not considered by the CofA — drainage, waterproofing, grading, HVAC placement, window positioning, landscaping, fencing, privacy fencing, driveway use and repair, window protection, scaffolding placement, damages to your property, site access as well as chimney/water heater/fireplace issues caused by the height and closeness of the new home.
Information is provided on this Page on how to access CofA information/documents, how to deal with CofA applications, and resources you can seek out to help you through the CofA process and/or monitoring during construction.
Go to the Committee of Adjustment Page for Guides on the CofA Process.
Go to the Tips for dealing with the Developer on the Construction of a New House Page for a list of all the issues you might need to address.
Go to the Chimney Issues Page if you have gas appliances feeding through your chimney, even if you are a two-storey home.
Schedule for the North York Committee of Adjustment
The Committee of Adjustment (CofA) North York Panel sets a Schedule of Hearings at the beginning of each Calendar Year. This is published on the City’s website. By Provincial Legislation, the CofA is required by law to give Notice of a hearing to adjacent property owners 10 days before the hearing date but the City has mandated that the four panels should issue the Notices 20 calendar days in advance. The Panel is to update the website with the Decisions within 7 calendar days after the Hearing.
Application Information Centre
The Notice provided in the Notice will only include one or two drawings – you need to access the Application Information Centre to view/download/print ALL of the documents. The most important document will be the one labelled ‘Plans’ – it will show all floors/all measurements/placement of the driveway/HVAC location/deck and walk-out measurements, etc.
Instructions on how to work with the AIC application:
- Click on the Application Information Centre blue box.
- Deselect the Community Planning and Toronto Local Appeal Body selections such that only Committee of Adjustment is selected.
- Enter the Number and Street Name for the Address you wish to review; click on the Search blue box.
- The requested address will be displayed on a map along with a box giving information on the application; click on the Application Details link.
- Information on the application is displayed; click on ‘Supporting Documentation’ in the lower third of the screen.
- Now scroll down the screen and all the documents currently on file for this application will be listed.
- To open a document, click on the Action ‘Download’; at the bottom of the screen it will give you options to Save or Cancel; click on Save.
- At the bottom of the screen it will now give you an option to Open, Open Folder or View download; click on Open.
- The document is now displayed; follow your normal routine to Print and/or Save As the document to your computer.
- Go back to the Supporting Documentation list and repeat the process for all documents you wish to view/print/save.
Please review the AIC (Application Information Centre) Screen Prints document for visual assistance in understanding how to work with this application.
AIC Screen Prints
Note: The CofA staff are constantly updating documents to this application on the AIC before and after the CofA Hearing. Keep checking the AIC for NEW files.
The time to state your concerns about the variances is before/at the CofA Hearing. The developer may be willing to meet with you to review the Plans and perhaps to make some modifications to eliminate your objections being submitted to the CofA. You may decide to call on experienced resources to assist you with these negotiations – an OMB lawyer, planner or CofA expert. The time to negotiate any side agreements with the developer is before the CofA hearing — this is when they are willing to discuss issues with you! But you also have to get any agreements in writing or they may never come about.
If you decide to submit a letter to the CofA, it should be submitted the week prior to the hearing so that it is distributed to the Panel Members for review before the hearing. It is also essential that you or your representative attend the hearing to state your concerns directly to the Panel Members. If your neighbours are also concerned, they should also attend showing that there is community concern about the proposal. Also, contact your Councillor – the Councillor needs to know that the neighburs have concerns – ask the Councillor to submit a supporting letter to the CofA. You will be allowed to speak for 5 minutes at the CofA hearing to outline your concerns so you need to prepare the key issues you wish to address. Experts may be able to help prepare and/or present your concerns.
Who can help you?
- SAHRA can help you understand the variances and their impacts
- Lawyers who deal with CofA issues
- Planners who deal with CofA issues
- CofA ‘agents’ can help by reviewing the variances; assisting in the preparation of your letter to the CofA; and/or acting as your representative a the CofA hearing
- ‘Agreement’ experts can help by reviewing the potential problems and discussing these with the developer to negotiate agreements; and, if desired, provide a monitoring service to ensure compliance.
Send an email to [email protected] and we can provide you with information on Resources you could contact.
Review of CofA Appeals by Approval and OMB Disposition Type (2009 to 2011)
We found this spreadsheet on the City website. Some very interesting statistics!
– only 9% of applications were refused by the CofA during 2009-2011
– for these, 72% of the time the OMB upheld the CofA decisions re these applications
– of the under 10% that were refused by the CofA, just over half were referred to the OMB
– only 9% of the time the OMB overturned the CofA decision.
C of A Appeals by Approval and OMB Disposition Type