Board of Variance

The role of the Board of Variance is to consider applications for variances to the District’s Zoning Bylaw where compliance with applicable bylaws or legislation would cause hardship. The Board functions independently from Council and operates under the authority of the Local Government Act. Learn more about the Board’s functions in the Bylaw

To learn more about the different types of District committees and commissions, attending committee meetings and becoming a volunteer member, click here.

Who We Are

The Board of Variance is made up of three members of the public appointed by Tofino Council.

To view the current membership list click here.

The District Planner serves as staff liaison.

How it Works

A local government that has adopted a zoning bylaw must establish a board of variance to allow people to request relief from provisions of that bylaw.

As an alternative to applying for a Development Variance Permit from Council, a person may apply to the Board of Variance if they feel that compliance with the zoning bylaw would cause them hardship. For example, if an outcrop in a person's yard prevented them from siting the house in conformity with the normal setbacks, that person could apply for a variance.

The Board may grant a variance if they find that compliance with a regulatory bylaw would cause undue hardship and have considered the following factors and are of the opinion that the variance does not:

  • 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
  • Defeat the intent of the bylaw


The Board meets at the call of the Chair on an as needed basis.

How do I apply?

Before applying to the Board of Variance, you should review your plans and drawings with the District’s Community Sustainability Department to determine if a variance is required for building permit approval.

The application fee and process is outlined in the Board of Variance Bylaw No. 1010, 2005

Board of Variance Appeals

A decision of the board of variance is final. 

Contact Us

Peter Thicke, Planner

(T) 250-725-3229