Zoning Variances

What Is A Zoning Variance?

The Hanover zoning bylaw sets out development regulations dealing with matters such as site area, site width, and minimum setbacks. Where landowners feel these regulations adversely affect them, they can apply to the municipality to vary these regulations

Why Do Zoning Variances Need To Be Approved?

Zoning regulations are put in place to ensure a minimum standard and quality of development and protect the municipality and property owners from unsafe and poorly planned developments. With zoning variances, the municipality is required to hold a public hearing. Landowners in the surrounding area of the proposed development are notified by mail of the public hearing. This provides an opportunity for those people most affected to express any concerns they may have with the zoning variance.

Application Process

This is a general guide that briefly explains zoning variances in RM of Hanover and where you can get more information. As it is general in nature, it is not meant to replace by-laws or other legal documents.

These are the major stages in the zoning variance application process:


Prior to submitting your zoning variance application, you should meet with municipal staff to discuss your proposal and review applicable municipal plans, policies and regulations. Municipal staff can inform you of how council has dealt with similar applications in the past and discuss possible local resident concerns.

Submit An Application

The zoning variance application form can be found at the bottom of this page ("Application for Hearing"). Planning staff can assist you, but be prepared to submit the following information:

  • The property owner’s name and address. (if the applicant is applying on behalf of the property owner, a letter of authorization must be submitted)
  • The address and legal description of the subject property
  • A brief description of the proposed development

Application Fee

All zoning variance applications are subject to a fee of $400.00.

Application Review

Municipal staff will review your application in regard to the Hanover Development Plan, the Hanover Zoning Bylaw and other applicable regulations. A report will be prepared that presents staff findings and a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of the proposed development.

Before consideration by council of the zoning variance application, municipal staff will notify area residents by mail.

Report To Council And Public Hearing

The municipal staff report will be read at the start of the public hearing. Any person who feels they may be affected if zoning variance(s) is/are granted by council, has an opportunity to express their opposition or support in regard to the application. This includes the landowner of the zoning variance application who will also have a chance to present the development details or respond to any questions. When all interested parties have spoken, the reeve will close the public hearing.

Council’s Decision

On completion of the public hearing council can reject the application or approve the application as proposed with or without conditions. For council to approve the application they should feel that the proposed development will not adversely affect the general environment, amenity, value and convenience of adjoining properties or the community as a whole, to ensure that this council can impose conditions to maintain the intent of the Hanover Development Plan and the Zoning Bylaw. In regards to zoning variances, council’s decision is final and cannot be appealed. The applicant and those people who made representation at the public hearing will be notified by mail of council’s decision.


Contact the RM of Hanover Planning Department at 204-346-7126 or Submit a question or request.