Simple division: How to sever property
Property owners who wish to divide their property for the purpose of selling it, registering or discharging a mortgage, or leasing it for a period over 21 years, must apply for a severance. In municipal legislative terms, it means obtaining a "consent to sever" from the London Consent Authority.
What is a consent?
The Planning Act stipulates that consent must be granted before a parcel of land can be divided to create an additional lot/s. This process is referred to as land severance and the type of consent given in this instance is a severance. Controlling the division of land through "severance" gives the Municipality a mechanism for ensuring that the creation of lots is consistent with the planning policies of the municipality as set out in its
Official Plan and in its Land Severance Guidelines Policy.
Under what conditions is a consent required?
- to divide land (or sever it) for the purpose of sale;
- to register a mortgage or discharge a mortgage over part of a parcel of land;
- to register a lease over part of a parcel of land when the term of the lease is 21 years or more (inclusive of renewal options);
- to register easements for rights-of-way; and
- to adjust boundaries of existing land parcels to enlarge or decrease the size of a property.
How many lots can be severed and sold?
No more than five abutting parcels can be created if no public road is being created. Any application creating more than 5 parcels or requires a public road to be created or extended requires approval as a "plan of subdivision". As an example, an existing property that under the zoning by-law is large enough to be divided to create another and separate parcel of land for a building lot. The existing lot has a 30 metre frontage, and the area is zoned R1-6 (allowing single detached residential dwelling units) in
Zoning By-law No. Z.-1. The applicant wants to divide the existing lot into 2 individual building lots, each with a frontage of 15 metres, the minimum frontage required for a building lot in the R1-6 zone.
How do I make a Consent Application?
Consult with the Development Planning Staff: Before you fill out an application, discuss your plans with the
Development Planning Division of DABU (6th floor, City Hall, 519 930-3500). In London, consents are dealt with by an appointed official, not by the Committee of Adjustment or Land Division Committee. Copies of the application form are available
on-line or on the 6th floor,
Development Planning Division.|
Consult Other City Departments: The Zoning Division (7th floor, Room 706, City Hall, 519-661-4660) must complete a Zoning Referral Record form that is part of the application prior to submitting the application to the
Development Planning Division for processing and the Engineering Review Division (9th Floor, Room 909, City Hall, 519 661-2500 ext. 4905). Ask to speak with the staff member in each
Division who deals with
These steps are necessary to determine:
- the need for consent;
- the type of consent involved;
- whether or not a minor variance application to the London Committee of Adjustment is necessary;
- whether or not there might be servicing requirements/ limitations or land dedications involved with a given proposal; or
- whether or not the proposal is beyond the scope of the consent process and is, for example, a subdivision situation.
Submit complete application package. In addition to completing the application form, you must also submit:
- two copies of a survey drawing of the proposal, dimensioned and drawn to scale; showing all of the information and features that are prescribed (in application form);
- a cheque made payable to the City Treasurer to cover the $1,100.00 application fee;
- if you are using an agent or solicitor, your written authorization (with dated, original signature) identifying by name the individual who will be your agent or solicitor;
- In some cases additional information could be helpful in assessing an application; you are encouraged to submit a Zoning Referral Record, photographs or other relevant documentation. To avoid delays, please ensure that your application is complete, that all drawings are neat and legible and that all dimensions are accurate.
Circulation of Application: After your application has been received, and at least 14 days before a decision is made,
staff will send notice of the application to every person assessed within 60 metres of the subject property and to every person and public body that has provided a written request for such notice. Anyone wanting to be notified of the decision must make a written request. Copies of your application will also be circulated to prescribed agencies and to City Departments for the purpose of obtaining written comments and/or advice for consideration when making the decision on the application.|
Decision Making Process: The Consent Authority will carefully consider all aspects of your application in light of the requirements of the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement, the policies in the Official Plan, comments from municipal departments, agency comments and input from the public. When dealing with an application to sever land, the Consent Authority must consider:
- what the effect will be on the health, safety, convenience and welfare of the present and future inhabitants;
- the impact on Provincial interests as identified in Section 2 of the Planning Act;
- whether the application is in the public interest or is premature;
- if the lands suit the proposal;
- if the size and shape of the lots and the overall plan are suitable;
- whether the layout addresses energy conservation of natural resources and flood control;
- whether utilities, road systems, municipal services and schools are adequate;
- if the area of land being dedicated for public purposes is suitable;
- whether the application conforms to the Official Plan and is generally compatible with adjacent land uses.
If your application is
provisionally approved, the Consent Authority may impose conditions as part of the decision. Conditions could include things such as a requirement for
Site Plan Approval, the entering into of a
consent agreement with the City, or approval of a lot grading plan. There is no hearing associated with a decision of the Consent Authority. Copies of departmental comments and comments from the public are available a week prior to the decision being made.
Notice of Decision: Within 15 days of the date on which the Consent Authority makes a
Provisional Decision, one copy of the Decision will be mailed to the applicant, anyone who filed a written request for notice of the
Provisional Decision, everyone who provided written comments or written
submissions, and to anyone else prescribed by regulation.|
A Final and Binding Decision: If no appeal is made by the end of the 20-day appeal period, the decision is final and binding. You will be notified by mail if the application has been
Where a Provisional Decision is in effect, the applicant has 1
year clear to the satisfaction of the Consent Authority all or any
condition issued as part of the Provisional Decision. Failure to clear
all conditions within (1) year of the Provisional Decision date; the
consent is deemed to be refused and a new application would be required.|
Once all conditions have been cleared and a draft of the
electronic transfer document has been accepted, a certificate is issued
by the Consent Authority. The owner has six (6) months to complete the
transaction from the date of the certificate.|
NOTE: Section 53 of the Planning Act provides that:
- where a consent is granted without conditions
a certificate is required and the certificate is valid for 6 months from the date on the "certification stamp" provided the transaction has been completed;
- where a consent is granted with conditions, the conditions must be fulfilled within one year of the "final decision date" or the consent is deemed to be "refused"; and,
- where a conditional consent has been certified as to the fulfillment of the conditions, the consent itself is then valid for six months from the date of the certificate provided the transaction has been completed. (Note: Initial certification stamping fee is $100.00 and $200.00 for additional certificates).
How long does the process take?
Approximately 60 to 90 days from the time an application is filed with the
Development Planning Division to the point where a
Provisional Decision of the Consent Authority is final.
Can anyone appeal the decision?
Anyone may appeal a
Provisional Decision of the London Consent Authority to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) within 20 days of the date of the Notice of the
Provisional Decision of the Consent Authority by personally delivering or sending a Notice of Appeal to the Consent Authority. The appeal must set out the reasons for objecting to the decision, and must include a cheque in the amount of $125.00, made payable to the Minister of Finance of Ontario. The Consent Authority will then prepare an appeal package and forward it to the OMB. The OMB will schedule a hearing and give written notice of the time and date in advance of the hearing.
Ontario Municipal Board Hearing
On an appeal, the City Solicitor's office
may be in attendance at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing to support the decision of the Consent Authority. A City Planner will also be in attendance to provide evidence at the hearing. Persons appealing a decision of the Consent Authority may represent themselves or they may retain the services of an agent (lawyer, planner, engineer, etc.) to present their position before the Ontario Municipal Board. The Ontario Municipal Board operates as a quasi-judicial tribunal.
Need further information?
The London Consent Authority
Development Approvals Business Unit
Development Planning Division
6th floor, Room 609, City Hall
300 Dufferin Avenue, PO Box 5035, N6A 4L9
Telephone Number: (519) 930-3500
Fax Number: (519) 930-3501.