What is the Committee of Adjustment?

The Committee of Adjustment is a five-member committee appointed by Town of Ajax Council in accordance with the Planning Act to make decisions on Minor Variance and Consent Applications. The operation of the Committee of Adjustment follows the Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure.

Minor Variance Applications

The Committee of Adjustment is responsible for considering Minor Variance Applications which seek to authorize the following:

  • minor variances from the provisions of the Town of Ajax Zoning By-law to any land, building or structure;
  • extensions, enlargements or variations of the legal non-conforming use of any land, building or structure; or
  • permit the use of any land, building or structure for any purpose that, in the opinion of the Committee, conforms with the provisions of the Zoning By-law, where the uses of land, buildings or structures permitted in the Zoning By-law are defined in general terms.

When considering Minor Variance Applications, the Committee of Adjustment must adhere to the criteria (four tests), as outlined in the Planning Act:

  • Is the request minor in nature?
  • Is the request desirable for the appropriate development and/or use of the lands?
  • Does the request maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan?
  • Does the request maintain the general intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law?

Consent Applications

Consent is the term used in the Planning Act when referring to the creation of new lots (i.e. severances), lot line adjustments, easements and rights-of-way, and permission for mortgaging or leasing parts of lots for more than 21 years. The term ‘consent’ is also commonly interchanged with the term ‘land division’.

The Committee of Adjustment is responsible for considering Consent Applications which seek to authorize the following:

  • consent to sever land (i.e. severing a new lot from an existing lot);
  • consent to alter the existing boundaries of a property (i.e. add land to an existing lot/lot line adjustments);
  • consent to register rights-of-way and easements over land;
  • consent to sell, mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement for more than 21 years for a portion of a property; and
  • validation of land title when there has been an error in the description of land.

When considering Consent Applications, the Committee of Adjustment must ensure proposals conform to the Region of Durham and Town of Ajax Official Plans and have regard to the matters outlined under Section 51(24) of the Planning Act.

In all scenarios (Minor Variance and Consent Applications), the Committee must ensure consistency with the in-effect provincial policy statements, conformity with the in-effect provincial plans, and be aware of corporate initiatives and priorities (i.e. Council’s strategic plan). 

Making an Application to the Committee and Meeting Details

Meeting Schedule and Application Deadlines

Meeting Month

Application Deadline (Friday)

Notice Deadline (Wednesday)




December 29, 2023 

January 17, 2024

January 31, 2024


January 26, 2024

February 14, 2024

February 28, 2024

MARCH 2024

February 23, 2024

March 13, 2024

March 27, 2024

APRIL 2024

March 22, 2024

April 10, 2024

April 24, 2024

MAY 2024

April 26, 2024

May 15, 2024

May 29, 2024

JUNE 2024

May 24, 2024 June 12, 2024 June 26, 2024

JULY 2024

June 28, 2024

July 17, 2024

July 31, 2024


July 26, 2024

August 14, 2024

August 28, 2024


August 23, 2024

September 11, 2024

September 25, 2024


September 27, 2024

October 16, 2024

October 30, 2024


October 25, 2024

November 13, 2024

November 27, 2024


November 8, 2024

November 27, 2024

December 11, 2024

Make an Application to the Committee or Appeal a Decision

If you would like to submit a Minor Variance and/or Consent Application to the Committee of Adjustment, you can access the application forms below.

Minor Variance Application   

Consent Application

Prior to submitting an application, please consult with Town of Ajax Planning staff to obtain feedback on the proposal, understand potential requirements/conditions, and confirm any specific submission details and requirements.

Your property might be in a regulated area; please reach out to Town Planning staff, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), or the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) to determine your property’s status and seek appropriate conservation authority review.

Committee of Adjustment decisions may only be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) by the applicant or a specified person or public body, as outlined in the Planning Act. If you are eligible to appeal, you must submit a completed Appellant Form and the required fees. Please visit the OLT website for more information.

You can find the most up-to-date application fees on the Common By-laws page by searching ‘User Fees’. Please note that if you are appealing a Committee of Adjustment decision to the OLT, there is a Town fee and an OLT fee. 

What Happens After I Apply?

After you apply, Town Planning staff review the application(s) for completeness and request any additional information they need to make a fair assessment of the application. The application will be reviewed internally (Town staff) and externally (external agencies).

At least two weeks before the scheduled Committee of Adjustment meeting, a notice with the details of the application(s) will be sent to neighbouring properties advising them of the ability to provide comments for the Committee’s consideration and to attend the meeting. A notice sign will be created by Town staff, which you will be required to post on the subject property. Neighbouring property owners and the general public will be able to send written comments pertaining to the application(s) to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment in advance of the meeting.

You or the person applying on your behalf will be required to attend the meeting. You/they will be required to speak to the submitted application(s) to which the Committee will then proceed to ask questions (to you/the applicant or staff) and make comments pertaining to the application(s). Any members of the public in attendance will be provided with the opportunity to provide comments/ask questions pertaining to the application(s). The Committee will then make a decision on the application(s). You will know during the meeting whether the application is approved, refused, or deferred (tabled until another meeting).

The Committee’s decision is subject to a 20-day appeal period before it becomes final and binding. The Committee’s decision may only be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) by the applicant or a specified person or public body, as outlined in the Planning Act. Third party appeals (i.e. an appeal by a member of the public (neighbouring property owner)) are not permitted. If there are no appeals during the 20-day period, then the decision becomes final and binding. Building permits may be applied for during the appeal period; however, no permits will be issued until the appeal period has expired.  

After the decision becomes final and binding, you will be responsible to satisfy any conditions of the approval that are outlined in the Committee’s decision (i.e. obtaining building permits, approvals/permits from external agencies, etc.). 
Frequently Asked Questions
I got a letter in the mail, what does it mean?

When someone submits a Minor Variance or Consent Application, the Town is required to send notice to all property owners within 60 metres of the subject property/lands (i.e. the property/lands to which the application(s) applies to). The notice will outline:

  • the submitted application(s);
  • the Committee of Adjustment meeting date/time at which the application(s) will be considered by the Committee;
  • and the process for members of the public to provide comments, ask questions, and/or attend the meeting.

Some common applications include Minor Variance Applications requesting to permit uncovered steps to be located in the side yard of a property (i.e. steps leading to a basement/a below grade entrance) or to permit an increase in area for platforms (decks).

If you would like to provide comments and/or attend the meeting, please follow the instructions on the notice. 

I want to apply for a minor variance. How supportable is it? How likely is the Committee to approve it?

No two applications are the same and some application types are more common than others. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your proposal with staff before applying. Staff can provide you useful information on what has been supported in the past and which applications meet the criteria for minor variances (like the four tests). It is important to know that Committee members are free to make their own assessments when deciding on each application. 

What is the role of the public?

Any member of the public can attend a meeting and speak in support or opposition to an application. The Committee makes decisions after carefully considering the staff recommendation report, all oral and written submissions from the public, and the discussion during the meeting.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak to their neighbours before submitting their application, as upfront consultation can go a long way to alleviate concerns. 

Additional Information
For more information, please contact us at planningservices@ajax.ca or 905-619-2529, ext. 3631