What is a land severance?
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 (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, but the Land Registry Office requirements must be met.
Most municipalities with an approved Official Plan have specific 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, a plan of subdivision may be more appropriate. It is up to the consent-granting authority in your area 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.
Why do I need approval to sever my land?
The indiscriminate division of land without anyone's approval could have a long-term, negative impact on your community. For example, it could result in compromised well water from too many septic systems, or unsafe road access, etc. Or it might result in damage to the natural environment including lakes, because lots are too small to meet adequate setbacks and sewage disposal systems.
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 your community;
- consideration is given to the effects of the division of land on the site, on the neighbours and on the community as a whole.
Where do I go for a land severance?
The County of Lanark was given approval authority for consents (severances) in June 1973. This task is handled by a Land Division Committee composed of three non-elected persons appointed for a four-year term coinciding with the term of Council. The Land Division Committee meets monthly.
Before you apply for a land severance, consult the Township Planner for necessary supporting materials, to determine if there are any specialized severance requirements set out in the Official Plan, and if other permits and approvals are required. There will be an applicable fee for the review of your application.
How is the severance application evaluated?
In considering each application for land severance, the proposal is evaluated against criteria such as:
- conformity with the Official Plan and compatibility with adjacent uses of land
- compliance with local zoning by-laws
- 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, etc.
The application is reviewed by the County of Lanark Land Division Committee with comments received from the Council of Tay Valley Township, the applicable Conservation Authority and the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office and the public.
What about conditions of severance approval?
A severance approval may have certain conditions attached to it including requirements for road widening, 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 services or facilities. Severance conditions must be met within one year.
When all the conditions have been met by the applicant, a certificate is issued by the County, and the severance goes into effect after it has been registered in the Land Registry Office .
If the transaction originally applied for - sale of property, for example - is not carried out within two years of the date of the certificate, the severance is considered lapsed. An earlier lapsing date can be specified by the consent-granting authority at the time of the severance decision.