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Committee of Adjustment - CONSENT Application/Process

 

 


 

October 2011

What is a Consent (Land Severance)?

A Consent is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new adjoining properties. This 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 needed.

The Official Plan has 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. You should consult this matter with the City's Integrated Services - Planning Division for direction on whether a consent is the best approach, or if a plan of subdivision is necessary for the proper and orderly development of your community.

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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 a community. It could, for example, result in overextension of municipal services, such as piped water and sewers, snow plowing, school busing and garbage collection. Or it might result in damage to natural environment, due to lots that are too small to accommodate adequate 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 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. The only exception is if the severance approval authority has specified otherwise at the time of approval.

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WHERE DO I GO FOR A CONSENT?

Severance approval is now the responsibility of and the applications are made directly to the City of Welland Committee of Adjustment.  Prior to any application, you should consult with the City's Integrated Services - Planning Division Staff.  They will provide you with information on special land severance requirements set out in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

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WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR A CONSENT APPLICATION?

Once you have applied, the Committee of Adjustment may give advance notice and information to anyone affected by your consent proposal. Conferring with certain agencies is a requirement and a copy of your application will be sent to certain government agencies including the City's Integrated Services - Planning Division to give them an opportunity to review and make their comments before a decision is made. It is also the policy of the Committee of Adjustment to conduct a public hearing on each application.

When the Committee of Adjustment has decided on your application, it is required to send a notice of decision granting or refusing the consent to the applicant and to anyone else who has requested, in writing, to be notified.

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HOW IS A CONSENT APPLICATION EVALUATED?

In considering each application for land severance, the Committee of Adjustment evaluates the merits of each proposal against such criteria 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-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.

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WHAT ABOUT CONDITIONS OF CONSENT APPROVAL?

A consent 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 services, proper drainage or facilities. Consent conditions must be fulfilled within one year.

When all the conditions have been met by the applicant, a certificate is issued by the Committee of Adjustment, and the consent 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 consent is considered lapsed. An earlier lapsing can be specified by the approval authority at the time of the consent decision.

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HOW IS THE PUBLIC INVOLVED?

Because all consent proposals are reviewed against local planning policies and regulations, no advance public notice is required. However, the Committee of Adjustment provides an opportunity for those concerned to express their views by holding a public meeting prior to making a decision. A notice is placed in the Welland Tribune (Civic Corner) and every property owner within 60 metres is mailed a Notice of Hearing.

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 Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment to find out as much as possible about the application;
  • make your views known by writing to the Committee of Adjustment prior to the public meeting and/or attending the public meeting;
  • consult with the City's Integrated Services - Planning Division prior to the public meeting;
  • request, in writing, notice of the Committee of Adjustment's decision on the consent application.  This request will be necessary in the event that you may want to appeal the decision later on.

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WHAT RIGHTS OF APPEAL DO I HAVE?

As a last resort, a decision on a consent (or any of the conditions) can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (O.M.B.) but only if the objector is:

  • the applicant; or
  • a person who asked, in writing, to receive notice of the decision.

Your appeal must be filed within 20 days of the date of mailing of decision with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment. Written reasons supporting your objection and payment of the O.M.B. fee 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. But in more complex situations involving a number of adversaries, the hearing could stretch out over several days, sometimes even weeks.

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        PLANNING DIVISION
        CONTACT NUMBERS

    905-735-1700
                  Ext. 2251 or 2257

or email: devserv@welland.ca