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Land use planning is an important element in Ontario. It is the management of your land and resources to help you grow and develop in the future. On a larger scale, it helps decide where in our communities homes and factories should be built. Where parks and schools should be places; and where roads and other utilities should be provided.
Although we do not realize the importance of land planning, it has a bigger role to play in our daily lives. One major aspect of this land planning is land severances. So, what exactly is it?
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What is Land Severance?
A land severance is nothing but an authorized separation of a piece of land. Typically, it is separated to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. It is commonly referred to as consent. If you want to sell, mortgage, charge, or enter into any agreement, land severance is inevitable. However, if the land is already split into two parts, with a railway line or road, for example, land severance is not required.
Most municipalities with an approved official plan have their specified policies and requirements for land severance. In addition to the division of land, rights-of-way, easements and any change to your existing property boundaries also require land severance approval. If several severances are intended in the same area, then a plan of subdivision is more appropriate.
The indiscriminate division of land without anyone’s approval can haunt you long-term, causing negative impacts on your community. For instance, it can result in over-extension of municipal services, such as snow plowing, garbage collection, and school busing. It might result in damage to the natural environment as the sewage disposal cannot be managed adequately.
Here are a few reasons land severance approval is needed:
- Land severances are within an established community planning framework
- The future planning goals and policies of the community are not affected
- Effects of the division of land on the site, on the neighbors, and on the community are considered before severance
Once severance is approved, the new land parcels can be sold and resold without further approval. However, if the consent granting authority specifies that selling and reselling cannot be done. You need the complainant is necessary until further approval.
Once you know why land severance is and why you need it, it is time to discuss where you should go for the land severance.
Where Should I Go for Land Severance?
The approval of severances is dependent on a number of different governing bodies. Depending on the area, consent granting can be carried out by an upper-tier or single-tier municipal council. An upper-tier may then delegate the function to a committee of council or an appointed officer.
If not, it can delegate the authority to a lower-tier municipality, municipal planning authority, and a land division committee. A lower-tier municipality may use the law to delegate its approval functions to a committee of council, an appointed officer, or to a committee of adjustment.
In the case of Ontario, planning approval is assigned or delegated to a municipality or planning board and is approved by Miniter of Municipal Affairs and Housing grants.
Process For A Severance Application
Before applying for a land severance, you must consult a municipal staff or the consent granting authority in your area. Only they can tell you how to apply, what supporting material you need, special land severance requirements (if any), and what other permits and approvals may be required.
The consent granting authority can reject your application if it fails to provide the information or material prescribed by the Minister’s regulation. If the consent granting authority confirms the application is incomplete, the applicant will need to submit a motion to the Ontario Municipal Board for a determination of the matter. If it still does not work, look for a mutually acceptable solution with the consent granting authority before making a motion to the Ontario Municipal Board.
It is important to mention here that you will be charged a small processing fee for the application. The fee is determined by the consent granting authority.
You will have to fill out a consent application form provided by the consent granting authority. This application form will contain both the information which is prescribed by Minister’s regulation as well as additional information which the consent granting authority may require.
Once you submit an application, the consent granting authority decides on your application and sends a notice of the decision within 15 days of the decision being made. After notice, a 20 day period is given for the appeal to follow.
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Conditions of Severance Approval
A severance approval may have certain conditions attached to it. For instance, requirements for road widenings, parkland dedications, or rezoning to allow a new land use. In addition, the property owner may be required to enter into an agreement with the municipality. This is to provide future services. It is important to note here that severance conditions must be met within one year.
When you fulfill all the conditions, a certificate is issued by the authority. After this, severance goes into effect after it has been registered. Know that if the transaction originally applied for is not carried out within two years of the date of the certificate.
If you need more information about land use planning and land severance, you can contact your municipal clerk or planning department. For more information about land use planning in Ontario, please visit our website.
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