As already mentioned, the Development Officer is responsible for administering Subdivision regulations and By-laws and Land Use By-laws for the Municipality.
The Land Use By-law is a tool for controlling the location of land use in the Municipality and also sets standards regarding lot sizes, yards, heights of buildings etc. All development in the Municipality must conform to the land use by-law and permits are required to ensure compliance as small as an addition to a single family dwelling or something as large as a mixed residential/commercial complex such as Scotia Square in Halifax.
Part of administering the land use by-law, involves the granting or refusing of minor variances to the standars set out in this document, ie., a variance to a side yard or to lot coverage requirements for residential buildings. Authority to grant variances to the land use by-law requirements is provided in the Municipal Government Act (1999).
Similar to development permits, a considerable amount of work is required in researching applications for minor variances, which may include site inspections before a decision can be made. Also, a decision to approve or refuse a minor variance can be appealed to Council, and that decision must be defended by the Development Officer.
In relation to development permits, an appeal is also possible on a refusal, and that appeal is to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board where the Development Officer would have to defend his decision.
Subdivision By-laws and Regulations provide standards for roadways, sewer and water, open space, etc., that subdivision in the Municipality must adhere to. Not only does the Development Officer ensure that the subdivision adhere to these regulations, but each subdivision must also be assessed regarding size, design, layout, adequacy of services and availability of schools and other community facilities.With some of the larger Municipalities this work is done in close liaison with other departments and agencies of the Municipality. However, in some of the smaller Municipalities this work would mainly be done by the Development Officer alone. Subdivisions can range from a simple two lot subdivision to a large subdivision containing hundreds of lots, which would require a full range of community services to be installed.