Consent for Severance

The division of land into parcels or lots, to be able to sell or mortgage part of it is called severance or a consent. The process is also used for additions to a parcel or to create a right-of-way or easement. South Coast Consulting, Land Use Planning and Development Project Management takes into consideration the many important aspects including: compatibility between proposed and existing uses; woodland and wetland conservation; and road access; in addition to: provincial; regional; municipal; and conservation authority policies. South Coast will submit your application and, if necessary, also submit minor variance applications. The Committee of Adjustment has the authority to consent to convey land if it implements the policies of an official plan. Factors which must be taken into account include, among other matters:

  • Health, safety, convenience, accessibility for persons with disabilities, and welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the municipality.
  • The effect of development of the proposed severance on matters of provincial interest.
  • Whether the proposed severance is premature or in the public interest.
  • Whether the severance conforms to the official plan and adjacent plans of subdivision or severances, if any.
  • The suitability of the land for the purposes for which it is to be severed.
  • The number, width, location and proposed grades and elevations of highways, and the adequacy of them, and the highways linking the highways in the proposed severance with the established highway system in the vicinity and the adequacy of them.
  • The dimensions and shapes of the proposed lots.
  • The restrictions or proposed restrictions, if any, on the land proposed to be severed or the buildings and structures proposed to be erected on it and the restrictions, if any, on adjoining land.
  • Conservation of natural resources and flood control.
  • The adequacy of utilities and municipal services.
  • The adequacy of school sites.
  • The area of land, if any, within the proposed severance that, exclusive of highways, is to be conveyed or dedicated for public purposes.
  • The extent to which the severance’s design optimizes the available supply, means of supplying, efficient use and conservation of energy.
  • The interrelationship between the design of the proposed severance and site plan control matters relating to any development on the land, if the land is also located within a designated site plan control area.

The Committee of Adjustment has the authority to impose conditions to the approval of a consent, including a requirement:

  • Land be dedicated or other requirements such as cash-in-lieu are met for park or other public recreational purposes.
  • Highways, including pedestrian pathways, bicycle pathways, and public transit rights of way, are dedicated.
  • Land is dedicated for commuter parking lots, transit stations, and related infrastructure for the use of the general public using highways.
  • When the proposed consent abuts on an existing highway, that sufficient land, other than land occupied by buildings or structures, is dedicated to provide for the widening of the highway; and
  • The owner of the land proposed to be severed enter into one or more agreements with a municipality.

Agreements may be imposed as a condition to the approval of a consent that may be registered against the land. The provisions may be enforced against the owner and, subject to the Registry Act and the Land Titles Act, any and all subsequent owners of the land.

Minor Variance

A minor variance is a minor exception to a specific zoning by-law provision. South Coast Consulting, Land Use Planning and Development Project Management can help you obtain minor variance application approvals. South Coast can complete the application forms and arrange for sketches and required studies, and represent you at municipal meetings.

Zoning By-law Amendments

Zoning by-laws are passed by a council for a number of purposes including prohibiting the use of land, except for the purposes set out in the by-law or if the land was lawfully used for that purpose on the day the by-law was passed, so long as it continues to be used for that purpose. A by-law may be amended to permit the extension or enlargement of any land or building used for any purpose prohibited by the by-law if the land or building continues to be used in the same manner and for the same purpose it was used on the day the by-law was passed. If a person applies for an amendment to a by-law he or she shall provide the prescribed information and material to Council.

Official Plan Amendments

An official plan contains goals, objectives and policies established to manage and direct physical change and the effects on the social, economic, and natural environment of the municipality or part of it. It may also contain a description of the measures and procedures to attain the plan’s objectives and a description of the measures and procedures for informing and obtaining the views of the public on a proposed amendment to either an official or zoning by-law. Where an official plan is in effect, no by-law may be passed that does not conform to the official plan. When considering an amendment to an official plan a Council must consider matters of provincial interest such as the:

  • Orderly development of safe and healthy communities.
  • Adequate provision of employment opportunities.
  • Appropriate location of growth and development.

Decisions of Council must be consistent with the policy statements issued by the Minister and with the provincial plans such as the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Niagara Escarpment Plan, in effect.

Plan of Subdivision / Condominium

A plan of subdivision is the authorized division of a piece of land to form new lots or new parcels of land. A plan of subdivision or in some cases a consent is required to create and sell a portion of a property. A municipality has the authority to approve a plan of subdivision if it implements the policies of the official plan. An owner of land may apply to the municipality for approval of a plan of subdivision of the land. The applicant must prescribed information and material and as many copies of documents and drawings as required. The drawings of the proposed subdivision must be drawn to scale and show:

  • The boundaries of the land proposed to be subdivided, certified by an Ontario land surveyor.
  • The locations, widths, and names of the proposed highways within the proposed subdivision and of existing highways on which the proposed subdivision abuts.
  • On a small key plan, on a scale of not less than one centimetre to 100 metres, all of the land adjacent to the proposed subdivision that is owned by the applicant or in which the applicant has an interest, every subdivision adjacent to the proposed subdivision and the relationship of the boundaries of the land to be subdivided to the boundaries of the township lot or other original grant of which the land forms the whole or part.
  • The purpose for which the proposed lots are to be used.
  • The existing uses of all adjoining lands.
  • The approximate dimensions and layout of the proposed lots.
  • If any affordable housing units are being proposed, the shape and dimensions of each proposed affordable housing unit and the approximate location of each proposed affordable housing unit in relation to other proposed residential units.
  • Natural and artificial features such as buildings or other structures or installations, railways, highways, watercourses, drainage ditches, wetlands, and wooded areas within or adjacent to the land proposed to be subdivided.
  • The availability and nature of domestic water supplies.
  • The nature and porosity of the soil.
  • Existing contours or elevations as may be required to determine the grade of the highways and the drainage of the land proposed to be subdivided.
  • The municipal services available or to be available to the land proposed to be subdivided.
  • The nature and extent of any restrictions affecting the land proposed to be subdivided, including restrictive covenants or easements.

The municipality may require an applicant to provide any other information or material the municipality considers it may need, but only if the official plan contains provisions relating to requirements under this subsection.

Conceptual and Final Site Plans

Municipalities use site plans to manage the overall layout of a development. It is used to regulate a variety of features of a building project, such as the location of the buildings, driveways, fences, landscaping, utilities, public or private services, etc. Site Plan approval requires drawings that are accurate and to scale. They form part of a site plan agreement between the land owner / developer and a municipality.