The indiscriminate division of land, without anyone’s approval could have a long term negative impact on a community. Official approval is required to ensure that:
Land severances are considered within an established community planning framework;
New lots and new land uses do not conflict with the overall future planning goals and policies of the City;
Consideration is given to the effects of the division of land on the site, on the neighbours and on the community as a whole.
Once a severance has been approved, the new land parcels may be sold or resold without further approval, except if the severance approval authority has specified otherwise at the time of granting approval.
What is a land severance?
A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new adjoining properties. This is commonly known as a consent, and is required if you want to sell, mortgage or lease (for more than 21 years) a newly created parcel of land. If the two parts are already naturally split, by a road or railway for example, then consent is not required.
The municipality, in its official plan, has specific policies and requirements for land severance. In addition to the division of land into building lots, right-of-ways, and easements; any change to your existing property boundaries will also require land severance approval.
If several severances are intended in the same area, a plan of subdivision may be more appropriate. It is up to the severance granting authority for the City of Brockville to decide whether a consent is the best approach, or if a plan of subdivision is necessary for the proper and orderly development of your community.
Where do I go for a land severance (consent)?
Please contact the City of Brockville Planning Department for additional information with respect to a proposed consent to sever lands - (613) 342-8772. The following link will provide a downloadable copy of the Application for Consent.
What is the process for a severance application?
Prior to applying for a land severance, you should consult with the Planning Department. They will be able to assist you with the application process, advise you what supporting material you must submit (e.g.: sketches, plans) and discuss with you special land severance requirements set out in the City's official plan and zoning by-law.
In accordance with the Ontario Planning Act, upon receipt of a complete application for consent, the approval authority for the City of Brockville provides notice of receipt of the application to anyone who may be affected by your consent proposal (property owners within 60 metres of the subject property). A public notice is also placed in the Civic News Section of the Recorder and Times newspaper. The approval authority is also required to provide notice to a prescribed list of government and private agencies to give them an opportunity to review the application and to make comments to the approval authority prior to granting a decision on the application.
When the approval authority has granted a decision on your application, it is required to send a Notice of Decision (within 15 days of the date of decision) to the applicant and to anyone else who has asked to be notified.
How is a severance application evaluated?
In considering each application for land severance, the approving body evaluates the merits of each proposal against criteria in Section 53(12) of the Planning Act, such as:
The effects of the proposal on matters of provincial interest, general conformity with the official plan and compatibility with adjacent uses of land;
Compliance with zoning by-law;
Suitability of the land for the proposed purpose, including the size and shape of the lot(s) being created;
Adequacy of vehicular access, water supply, sewage disposal;
The need to ensure protection from potential flooding.
What about conditions of severance approval?
A severance approval may have certain conditions attached to it; these might include requirements for road widenings, parkland dedication, or a rezoning (or minor variance) to allow a new land use. In addition, the property owner may be required to enter into an agreement with the municipality to provide future service or facilities. Severance conditions must be fulfilled within one year.
When all the conditions have been met by the applicant, a certificate is issued by the City Clerk or Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment, and the severance goes into effect.
If the transaction originally applied for (sale of property, transfer of property rights, etc.) is not carried out within two years of the date of the certificate, the severance is considered to have lapsed. An earlier lapsing can be specified by the approval authority at the time of the severance decision.
Who is the approval authority?
All consents, except those involving a minor variance, are dealt with by the Chief Planning Officer for the City of Brockville. Where a minor variance is involved, the consent is dealt with by the Committee of Adjustment.
How is the public involved?
At least fourteen (14) days before a decision upon a consent application is made, notice of the application for a consent must be given under Ont. Regulation 197/96, Section 3.
If a proposed severance comes to your attention and you have a serious concern about its effects on you or your property, you should:
Contact the approval authority in your community to find out as much as possible about the application;
Make your views known by writing to the approval authority;
Request, in writing, notice of the authority’s decision on the severance application. This request will be necessary in that you may want to appeal the decision or conditions thereto later on.
An appeal must be filed within twenty (20) days of the Notice of the decision with the Clerk of the municipality, or to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment. Written reasons supporting your objection and payment of the O.M.B. fee ($125.00) for an appeal must be included.
An appeal to the O.M.B. is a serious matter requiring considerable time, effort and, in some cases, expense on the part of everyone involved. A hearing can be as brief as a couple of hours if it involves few witnesses and only one or two planning issues. In more complex situations involving a number or adversaries, the hearing could stretch out over several days, sometimes even weeks.
How can I find out more about land severance (consent)?
For more information with respect to the severance of land in the City of Brockville, please contact the Planning Department, (613) 342-8772.
What rights of appeal do I have?
As a last resort, a decision on a severance (or any of the conditions) can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (O.M.B.) but only if the objector is the applicant/owner; or a person, who asked, in writing, to receive notice of the decision.