What is a Severance (Consent)?
A century ago, landowners were free to divide their property—an act called “severing” —in almost any way they wished. Times have changed and severances are now highly regulated and require government approval.
The Ontario Planning Act requires that permission (consent) be granted before a parcel of land can be divided (severed) to create a new lot. This applies to single lots and subdivisions. The Ontario Planning Act offers this definition: “A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. This is commonly known as a consent. It is required if you want to sell, mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement (for at least 21 years) for a portion of your land. If the two parts are split already, by a road or railway for example, consent is not needed.”
It is important to consult your municipality or city as they will have an approved official plan with specific policies and requirements for land severance. We can help you start this process and explain to you how this will look like for your project: www.inengineering.ca
Municipalities must carefully consider the impact of land severances on the environment and municipal services to ensure that lot sizes and land use do not conflict with municipal planning or create a negative impact on communities.
Why do you require a severance (consent)?
A consent is required if you intend to sever, mortgage or enter into a property agreement for at least 21 years. A consent is also needed to create and register new rights of ways/utility easements or undertake a land swap with a neighbour (called a boundary adjustment). As mentioned previously, a consent is not required if the property is already divided by a road, railway or navigable watercourse. Obtaining a consent requires applying to your local municipality’s Land Division Committee. We can help you obtain your consent, we can act as your agent in the process: www.inengineering.ca
Some helpful tips:
- Before officially applying for a consent, review your concept sketch with the municipality’s planning department staff. They will help you determine if your plan meets planning criteria and conforms to the zoning requirements for the creation of a newly severed parcel. You need help preparing a sketch, or need a professional to review it? Reach out to our office even before you approach the planning department: www.inengineering.ca
- Having a recent survey plan will help them visualize your proposal and use the dimensions shown thereon to analyze its viability. Did you know that IN Engineering has a surveying department called IN Surveying? Contact us and we can produce a survey and concept sketch: www.insurveying.ca
Consents have conditions that must be fulfilled within a given time period, including a requirement to retain an Ontario Land Surveyor to prepare a Reference Plan (R-Plan) that shows the new limits of what you are creating. Once deposited at the Land Registry office, the plan is assigned a sequential identification number that identifies the severed portion of your property as one or more numbered “Parts”. Easements, buffers and other title features will also be illustrated and identified by parts shown on the Reference Plan. The new deed will refer to the “Part” numbers shown on the Reference Plan. Your surveyor will also set survey monuments on the property so the precise location of the new “Parts” can be visibly recognized. www.insurveying.ca
Summary of the land severance process
- before an application is submitted, the applicant should consult with municipal staff or the consent-granting authority
- following the pre-consultation, a complete application is submitted to the consent-granting authority
- the consent-granting authority gives notice of the application and a public meeting may be held
- the consent-granting authority will make its decision to give either provisional consent or to refuse the application
- notice of decision is sent to the applicant and those requesting notification
- any person or public body may appeal to the LPAT or local appeal body if one is established
- if no appeal is made, when the conditions of provisional consent are satisfied, a certificate is issued and lots can be transferred
- if an appeal is made, the LPAT may dismiss the appeal without holding a hearing or will hold a hearing and make a decision
IN Engineering + Surveying will guide you through this process; from concept sketch, survey and through the severance application.