Question regarding case of building permit that allows bigger and taller house than committee of adjustment and OMB have granted

I’ve received an interesting question.

The case involves an application that been approved by both the committee of adjustment, and by the OMB on appeal, for variances to allow the owners to enlarge their house.

The owners in question, as I understand, went to the city’s building department with other plans (even larger and taller than the previous ones) and received a permit.

Is there anything that can be done, in such a case?

I have checked with a number of people, who are knowledgeable about such topics.

So far, one response I have received suggests that building more than was permitted by the building permit is not that uncommon. A case on a street in Long Branch is described where that happened and, as I understand, the owner returned to the committee of adjustment and received approval for almost everything that had been built.

However, in this case, the building department, as I understand, has given approval for a larger house than the OMB had allowed.

The suggestion has been made, with regard to the question at hand, that the matter should be verified with the building dept. The suggestion is also made that, if a person is having difficulty getting verification, they should contact their councillor. We can conclude: If a mistake has been made it should be rectified.

If you have information that we can add, regarding this topic, please contact me.

Comment on Facebook

I am pleased to share the following comment (I’ve broken a longer block of text into shorter paragraphs), which has been shared on Facebook:

If someone is building larger than their approvals and larger than the variances that were granted, this would be good reason for Toronto Buildings to inspect immediately or ask for an as-built survey. The onus is typically on the builder to build according to plans but if the city has approved illegal plans (larger than the variances and bylaws) the City is at fault and needs to issue revised permits.

There have been cases where alternate plans have been submitted to the building department with the intent to deceive the city and build a house larger than approved.

There are also cases where the city’s zoning examiners missed variances because of human error. Both are not good and both can have negative impacts if the house continues to be built.

Finally, there are also cases where a house design is changed including window placement, decks, etc. But the variances might not change. Either way, if you suspect, email with pictures recounting the potential “illegal building” and tell them Buildings dept. needs to take action.


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