Land Severances

What is a land severance (Consent)?

A land severance (also known as a Consent) is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new adjoining properties.  It is required if you want to sell, mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement for (at least 21 years) a portion of your land. If the two parts are split already, by a road or railway for example, consent is not needed.

Official plans have specific policies and requirements for land severance. In addition to the division of land, rights-of-way, easements and/or any change to and existing property boundary 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 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 over-extension of municipal services, such as snow plowing, school busing and garbage collection. Or it might result in damage to the natural environment, because lots 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; and
  • Consideration is given to the effects of the division of land on the, site, neighbourhood and 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 consent-granting authority has specified otherwise at the time of approval.



What is the process for a severance application?

Before you apply for a land severance, you should consult with municipal staff and any other applicable agencies (i.e. Regional Municipality of Niagara, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority).

When applying for a land severance, you may be charged a fee for processing the application. To determine the most up to date processing fee in your area, please contact the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment.

You are required to fill out a consent application form provided by the Committee of Adjustment.

A typical application form contains both the information, which is prescribed by minister's regulation, as well as additional information, which the Committee may require. The more information provided, the less likely delays will occur in the review.  Part of the application requirement is the inclusion of a detailed sketch of the entire property and the proposed severance prepared by a qualified Ontario Land Surveyor.

The Committee must give notice of application before a decision is made. Notice of application is given at least 14 days in advance of a decision by the consent-granting authority, usually through local newspapers or by mail. Any person or public body may submit his or her views to the Committee.

The Committee may consult with agencies, boards, authorities or commissions before making a decision.

When the Committee has decided on your application, it is required to send a notice of decision approving or refusing the application within 15 days of the decision being made, to any person or public body requesting to be notified. When a notice of decision is given, a 20-day appeal period follows.

The application for consent approval can be found by clicking on the following link, or at City Hall, 2nd Floor, Planning and Development Department.

Application for Consent



What is the process for 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 the applicant has met all the conditions, the Secretary-Treasurer issues a certificate, and the severance goes into effect.

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. The City of Port Colborne can specify an earlier lapsing date at the time of the severance decision.


More Information

For more information regarding consents, or to make a consent application to the Committee of Adjustment please contact:

David Schulz, BURPI
Planner, City of Port Colborne   
Ph. 905-835-2901 ext 202
Fax:  (905) 835-2939