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Building & Planning

The Building Inspection Services Committee (BISC) is responsible for all building matters within the Town of Deseronto.  The BISC governs building permit/standards matters in the communities of Deseronto, Stirling-Rawdon, Tweed, Tyendinaga and Madoc Township.

The Hastings County Planning department provides advice to the town on all aspects of land development and is responsible for processing applications for land transactions which require consent/land severance or plan of subdivision/condominium approval.

Please contact the Clerk or Economic Development Department to initiate planning & development inquiries.  The Town of Deseronto coordinates all necessary planning & development inquiries with the County of Hastings Planning Department.  See below for contact information.

Contacts
Guides
Applications & Forms
Frequently Asked Questions

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Contacts

Building Department/BISC Office
Don Reed, Chief Building Official
Scott Richardson, Building Inspector

Phone: 613-396-2440 during building department hours (see hours below)
613-395-5166
Toll Free: 1-866-414-0088

Building Official Hours:
Tuesdays: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Thursdays: 9:00am - 11:00am

Building Inspection Hours:
Monday & Friday afternoons (by appointment)
To schedule inspections call: 613-395-5166 or 1-866-414-0088

Economic Development Department
Dana Valentyne, Economic Development Officer
dvalentyne@deseronto.ca

Phone: 613-396-2440
Fax: 613-396-3141
Deseronto Town Hall
331 Main St. P.O Box 310
Deseronto, ON K0K 1X0

Hastings County Planning Department
Justin Harrow, Planner
613-966-6712 X: 4006
harrowj@hastingscounty.com

15 Victoria Ave. Box 2, 2nd Floor
Belleville, ON K8N1Z5
613-966-6712
www.hastingscounty.com

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Guides

Building Department Information Brochure
Building Permit Fees
Bizpal - Business Permit & Licence Requirement Search Service

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Applications & Forms

Building Department

Building Permit Application
Building Permit Application Instructions
Road Cut Permit Application
Entrance Permit Application
Occupancy Permit Application
Swimming Pool Permit Application

Planning Department

Official Plan Amendment Form
Consent/Land Severance Application
Consent Application Guidelines
Minor Variance Application
Rezoning Application
Condominium Application
Subdivision Application

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Frequently Asked Questions

Building Permits

What is a building permit?
What projects require a building permit?
What is the process for a building permit?
What happens during construction?
What about demolition?
What if you want to change a building’s use?
What happens if you contravene the Building Code Act, 1992?
What other building approvals may be required?

Rezoning & Zoning By-Laws

What is a committee of adjustment?
What is a zoning by-law amendment?
How is a zoning by-law passed?
How are zoning by-laws evaluated?
What rights of rezoning appeal do you have?
What if you only need a minor change (minor variance)?
What other types of zoning by-laws are there?
What are site plan control by-laws?

Consent Applications

What is a consent?
What is the process for a consent?
How is a severance application evaluated?
What about conditions of approval?
How can you get involved in the consent process?
What rights of severance decision appeal do you have?

Subdivisions  

What is a subdivision?
Who is the approval authority for plans of subdivision?
What is a registered plan of subdivision?
What is the process for subdividing?
How are applications for subdivision evaluated?
What is a draft approval?
How can you get involved in the subdivision process?
What rights of appeal do you have?
When can a subdivision be registered?
When must services be provided?
Are condominiums a form of subdivision?

Ontario Municipal Board

What are the powers of the Ontario Municipal Board and Local Appeal Body?

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Building Permits

What is a building permit?

Building permits allow your municipality to protect the interests of both individuals and the community as a whole. By reviewing and approving building plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with:

  • the Building Code, which sets standards for the design and construction of buildings to meet objectives such as health, safety, fire protection, accessibility and resource conservation
  • the local zoning by-law and other planning controls on buildings
  • other applicable legislation, including conservation authority approvals and certain requirements under the Environmental Protection Act.

What projects require a building permit?

BISC Brochure

What is the process for a building permit?

Deseronto Building Department staff will review your application to confirm that the proposed work complies with the Building Code and other laws set out in the Building Code, such as local zoning by-laws. They may send your application to other local/municipal officials for comments.  For information regarding fees, please refer to the Building Permit Fee document, included under the Guides section above.

Building permit applications can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.

Applications for a simple alteration or addition can be processed fairly quickly, but more complex proposals may take longer. The Building Code requires that a municipality review a permit application within a certain timeframe where the application meets the criteria set out in the Code. For example, the timeframe on a permit application for a house is 10 days.  For a more complex building, such as a hospital, the timeframe is 30 days. Within this timeframe, a municipality must either issue the permit or refuse it with full reasons for denial.

In order to be issued a permit, the proposed construction must comply with the Building Code and with the applicable laws set out in the Building Code. If you need a zoning change or a minor variance from the zoning by-law (municipal zoning is considered applicable law), or if the proposed construction does not comply with the Building Code, a permit will not be issued until the zoning change or minor variance has been obtained, or the proposed construction complies with the Building Code.

If your property is covered by a site plan control by-law, you will not get a building permit until the plans and drawings have been approved by the municipality.

If your municipality refuses your application, you will be told why. If you can’t resolve the problems with the municipality, you have a few options for appealing their decision.

  • If the problem relates to technical requirements set out in the Building Code, you may apply to the Building Code Commission. The Building Code Commission is an independent adjudicative tribunal of the provincial government whose mandate is to hear disputes related to compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code. If you wish to apply to the Building Code Commission for a hearing, you can find their address at the end of this guide. You can also find the Building Code Commission’s application forms and their Guidelines, Policies and Procedures on the Building Code website (www.ontario.ca/buildingcode) under “Appeals and Approvals”.

  • If the problem relates to compliance with other applicable laws, such as interpretation of the zoning by-law, you can appeal to a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, who will review the zoning and decide whether your application complies with the zoning by-law. You may want to talk to a lawyer first.

What happens during construction?

The Building Code sets out the stages of construction at which different types of buildings/sewage systems require inspections. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to contact the Building Department for an inspection when the project is at the stages of construction set out in the Building Code. The Deseronto building official is required to carry out the inspection within two working days of being notified. For construction of a sewage system, the inspector has five working days to conduct the inspection. During the inspection, a building inspector will inspect the work to determine if it is carried out in accordance with the Building Code, your permit and the approved plans.

You will also be required to:

  • show your permit in a window or other place where it can be easily seen
  • keep copies of the plans on the site
  • tell the town about any changes to the proposed construction, which will also have to be approved by the municipality.

The inspector must always be able to see the work. If it’s different from the work that was approved and, unless you get permission for a revision to your plans, you will be told to correct it. If you don’t, the municipality can take enforcement action, such as issuing orders authorized under the Building Code Act, 1992.

What about demolition?

Before you take down all or part of a building, you will have to apply to the Building Department for a demolition permit. The process is much the same as for a building permit, but some special situations may affect your application.

The building/demolition permit application can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.

In a demolition control area, for example, you will not be able to demolish a residential property until you have received a demolition permit issued by the municipal council.

Or, because of the building’s historic or architectural importance, it may be designated, or be intended for designation, as a heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act. In that case, demolition will require council’s approval and there may have to be negotiations over how some of the unique character of the building can be preserved.

What if you want to change a building’s use?

If you want to change the way you use all or part of the building, you may need a change of use permit, even if you’re not planning any construction. A building evaluation may have to be done to make sure that the existing building can support the proposed use. Different uses have different Building Code requirements.

Contact the Deseronto Building Department to find out whether you will need a change of use permit.

What happens if you contravene the Building Code Act, 1992?

An individual who is charged and found guilty of an offence under the Building Code Act, 1992, such as building without a permit, can be fined up to $50,000 for a first offence and up to $100,000 for subsequent offences. For a corporation, a first offence could result in a maximum fine of $100,000 and $200,000 for subsequent infractions.

Failure to comply with an order from the municipal building department is also an offence under the Building Code Act, 1992.

What other building approvals may be required?

In addition to the planning approvals and building permit which are required for a building project, other permits and approvals may be required in particular circumstances, e.g., Conservation Authority and Ministry of Transportation approvals. These approvals are considered applicable law. The applicable laws, which are set out in the Building Code, must be complied with for the building permit to be issued.

Rezoning & Zoning By-Laws

What is a committee of adjustment?

The Planning Act allows a municipal council to appoint a Committee of Adjustment to consider minor variances from zoning by-laws, permit changes to legal non-conforming uses, and to interpret generalized by-laws. The consent approval authority has been delegated to the Committee of Adjustment. This allows the Committee of Adjustment to consider consent applications, which include land severances. The Town of Deseronto Committee of Adjustment is made up of three members appointed by Council from the community. The Committee of Adjustment meets on an as needed basis to review applications.

What is a zoning by-law amendment?

If you want to use or develop your property in a way that is not allowed by the zoning by-law, you may apply for a zoning change, also known as a zoning by-law amendment or a rezoning. But council can consider a change only if the new use is allowed by the official plan.

The rezoning application can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.  The fee for processing Re-Zoning Applications is $600.00.

Before you apply for rezoning, you should talk to the municipal staff for advice and information. You must complete an application form which requires information identified by the Minister and the municipality.

The process for dealing with zoning by-law amendments is the same as for a zoning by-law. If local council refuses your zoning application, or if it does not make a decision within 120 days of the receipt of your application containing the prescribed information, you may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The Ontario Municipal Board is an independent administrative tribunal that is responsible for hearing appeals and that decides on a variety of contentious municipal matters.

How is a zoning by-law passed?

When council decides to pass a zoning by-law, it must first give as much information as possible to the public. There must also be at least one public meeting before a by-law is passed and everyone who attends the meeting must have a chance to speak. Notice of this meeting is given at least 20 days in advance, either through local newspapers or by mail and posted notice. An open house information session is also required for a by-law being brought into conformity with an official plan which has been updated as part of the official plan’s five-year review update. The municipality is required to update its zoning by-law no less than three years after the approval of an official plan five-year review.

The Planning Act encourages early involvement and the use of mediation techniques to resolve any conflicts. Make sure you make your views known early in the planning process by making an oral submission at the public meeting or a written submission to council before it passes the by-law. If you don’t, you are not entitled to appeal a by-law after it is passed.

Council may also consult with interested agencies before it makes a decision. After hearing everyone’s concerns, council may decide to pass, change or reject the proposed by-law. If it decides to make some changes, it may also decide to hold another public meeting.

Once council has passed the by-law, it must give notice of the by-law’s passing within 15 days. Any person or public body that meets certain requirements may, not later than 20 days after the notice of the passing of the by-law is given, appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board by filing a notice of appeal with the municipal clerk. The appeal should set out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections. The fee required by the Ontario Municipal Board must be paid at the same time.

How are zoning by-laws evaluated?

When it considers a zoning by-law, council evaluates it against criteria such as:

  • conformity with the official plan and compatibility with adjacent uses of land
  • 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 risk of flooding.

When council considers a zoning by-law, its decision shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement issued under the Planning Act. The Provincial Policy Statement contains clear, overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. The “shall be consistent with” rule means that council is obliged to ensure that the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement are applied as an essential part of the land use planning decision-making process. It is expected that the council will implement the Provincial Policy Statement in the context of other planning objectives and local circumstances.

What rights of rezoning appeal do you have?

A person or a public body who makes oral submissions at a public meeting or submits written submissions prior to the passing of a zoning by-law or amendment may appeal council’s decision, with some exceptions (see below).

Appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board can be made in two different ways:

1.The applicant, the Minister and any person or public body who made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions before the by-law was passed, may appeal council’s passage of a zoning by-law to the Ontario Municipal Board within 20 days from the date the notice of the passage of the by-law is given. The notice of appeal should be filed with the municipal clerk.

2.The applicant and the Minister may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board if the council refuses or fails to act on such a request within 120 days of the receipt of the prescribed information. The notice of appeal should be filed with the municipal clerk.

Your appeal must be accompanied by written reasons and the fee required by the Ontario Municipal Board.

Generally, appeals are not permitted in the following three circumstances:

1. proposed amendments that would implement an alteration to the boundary of an “area of settlement” or the establishment of a new “area of settlement”

2. proposed amendments that would remove land from “an area of employment”

3. by-laws passed to permit a second unit residential dwelling.

What if you only need a minor change (minor variance)?

If your proposed change doesn’t conform exactly to the zoning by-law, but follows its general intent, you can apply for a minor variance. For example, you might want to locate something on your property but the shape of your lot won’t let you meet the minimum setback requirements.

The minor variance application can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.  The fee for processing Minor Variance Applications is $300.00.

A minor variance does not change a zoning by-law. It simply excuses you from a specific requirement of the by-law and allows you to obtain a building permit.

Under Section 45(1) of the Planning Act there are four tests a minor variance must meet:

  1. Is the application minor?
  2. Is the application desirable for the appropriate development of the lands in question?
  3. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Zoning By-law?
  4. Does the application conform to the general intent of the Official Plan? It is important to note that to consider any application a minor variance it must meet all four tests.

PROCEDURES FOR PROCESSING OF A MINOR VARIANCE APPLICATION

(The Planning Act, R.S.O., 1990, Section 45; Ontario Regulation 200/96)

STEP 1: The applicant preconsults with the Town Clerk to determine application requirements and related issues and concerns. This preconsultation may require involvement of other municipal departments and local agencies.

STEP 2: The Town receives the complete application and required fee of $300. The Town Clerk will determine if the application is deemed complete.

STEP 3: The Town Clerk arranges a Committee of Adjustment hearing date with the members and applicant. The Committee of Adjustment consists of three (3) non-elected members. They are a quasi-judicial body which renders decisions on applications, with or without conditions.

STEP 4: The public hearing is required under the Planning Act and the municipality requires a minimum ten (10) day notice period. Notices are circulated according to Ontario Regulation 200/96, to required agencies and to all assessed landowners within 60 metres (200 feet) of the lands affected by the application. The ten (10) day notice period begins the day the notices are mailed.

STEP 5: The Committee of Adjustment holds the public hearing. The Committee will review the purpose of the application, review staff comments, agency comments and correspondence and allow the public an opportunity to make comment or question the application. Based on the outcome of the hearing, a decision will be made to grant, refuse or hold the application in abeyance until further information is received. Conditions may apply to the granting of a minor variance.

STEP 6: The Planning Act requires a twenty (20) day appeal period which begins the day the decision is made. Notices under Ontario Regulation 200/96 are circulated by first-class mail to those requesting notice of decision. When the appeal period lapses without appeal, the decision is considered to be final.

NOTE: The municipality, applicant or any other person or public body who has requested a copy of the Committee’s decision may appeal the decision of the Committee of Adjustment within the twenty (20) day period by filing an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board for a fee.

TIME FRAME: The preconsultation process (STEP 1) varies depending upon the complexity of the application. The process from receipt of the complete application to final approval typically takes forty-five (45) days. Appeals or concerns raised at the public hearing may delay the process.

What other types of zoning by-laws are there?

There are several types of special by-laws that can be used to control land use:

Holding by-laws allow future uses for land or buildings but delay development until, for example, local services, such as roads, are in place. The municipality cannot use these by-laws unless it has holding policies in its official plan.

Interim control by-laws put a temporary freeze on some land uses while the municipality is studying or reviewing its policies. The freeze can be imposed for only a year, with a maximum extension of another year. The Planning Act provides that an interim control by-law would remain in effect past the two-year period if the new zoning by-law which replaces the interim control by-law is appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The new by-law does not become law until the Ontario Municipal Board hears the appeal and makes a decision.

Temporary use by-laws zone land or buildings for specific uses for a maximum period of three years at a time, with more extensions possible. When the temporary use of a garden suite (i.e. a one-unit detached residential structure containing bathroom and kitchen facilities that is ancillary to an existing structure and that is designed to be portable) is authorized, the temporary by-law may allow it for a period not exceeding 10 years, with more extensions possible.

Increased height and density by-laws allow buildings to exceed permitted standards, but only if the developer provides certain services to your community in return, such as parkland. The municipality cannot use these by-laws unless its official plan includes policies allowing increases in height and density.

What are site plan control by-laws?

Site plan control by-laws are not zoning by-laws. They are used to establish areas where site plan control will be applied over and above those set out in the zoning by-laws. These areas must be described in the official plan.

Site plan controls are used to ensure that:

  • developments are built and maintained in the way that council approved
  • new developments meet certain standards of quality and appearance
  • there is safe and easy access for pedestrians and vehicles
  • the appearance and design features of buildings, and their sustainable design, are satisfactory
  • there is adequate landscaping, parking and drainage
  • nearby properties are protected from incompatible development.

As a condition of site plan approval, municipalities may require the owner to provide land for road widening and public transit rights-of-way. Before municipalities can exercise this power, the road widening and public transit rights-of-way must be shown or described in the official plan.

Consent Applications

What is a consent & when is it required?

“Consent” is a term used in provincial planning legislation (Ontario Planning Act) to describe the approval required to subdivide land without the requirement of a plan of subdivision. It is most commonly used to sever an existing lot or parcel into more than one lot. The consent process follows the rules and regulations of the Planning Act.


If the two parts are already naturally split, by a road or railway for example, then consent is not required.The municipality, in its official plan, has specific policies and requirements for land severance. In addition to the division of land into building lots, right-of-ways, and easements; any change to your existing property boundaries will 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 severance granting authority for the Town of Deseronto 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 land and overall community.

Reasons to Apply for Consent

  • To divide (sever) land to create a new building lot. You may not be able to sever more than two new lots from an original parcel or without a Plan of Subdivision and in certain areas no consent may be available if two consents have already been granted from the original parcel - discuss this with a Planner.
  • To register a mortgage or to discharge a mortgage on a part of a parcel of land.
  • To register a lease for a term of 21 years or more including renewal options.
  • To register an easement or a right-of-way.
  • To add land from your parcel as a lot addition to an abutting parcel of land. The lot addition must merge in title.
  • To adjust a lot boundary in an existing Plan of Subdivision. This does not create a new building lot.
  • To Validate Title to a parcel of land conveyed without Planning Act approval - Section 57 of the Planning Act. This requires a separate application form and will only be used where the original parties are not available to sign an application for Consent to the lot.
  • For an action under a Power of Sale for a part of a lot - Section 50(18) of the Planning Act. This requires a separate application form.

What is the process for a consent?

Prior to applying for a consent you should consult with the Deseronto Economic Development or Clerk’s department to initiate the process on your behalf with the Hastings County Planning Department.  The Hastings County Planning department is responsible for processing applications for land transactions which require consent/land severance or plan of subdivision/condominium approval.  Hastings County Planning will then assist with the application process, advise what supporting materials must be submitted (e.g.: sketches, plans) and discuss special land severance requirements set out in the County official plan and Deseronto zoning by-law.

Consent applications are made to the Hastings County Planning department. The fee for processing consent applications is $800.00.

The consent application can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.

In accordance with the Ontario Planning Act, upon receipt of a complete application for consent, the approval authority for the Town of Deseronto provides notice of receipt of the application to anyone who may be affected by your consent proposal (property owners within 60 metres of the subject property). A public notice is also advertised using local media outlets.  The approval authority is also required to provide notice to a prescribed list of government and private agencies to give them an opportunity to review the application and to make comments to the approval authority prior to granting a decision on the application.

When the approval authority has granted a decision on your application, it is required to send a Notice of Decision (within 15 days of the date of decision) to the applicant and to anyone else who has asked to be notified.

How is a severance application evaluated?

In considering each application for land severance, the approving body evaluates the merits of each proposal against criteria in Section 53(12) of the Planning Act, such 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-law;
  • 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.

In considering a consent application, the consent-granting authority’s decision shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.

The Provincial Policy Statement contains clear, overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. The “shall be consistent with” rule means that a council is obliged to ensure that the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement are applied as an essential part of the land use planning decision-making process. It is expected that the consent-granting authority will implement the Provincial Policy Statement in the context of other planning objectives and local circumstances.

What about conditions of severance approval?

A severance approval may have certain conditions attached to it including 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 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 authority, 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.

Provide consent application feedback?

If you are concerned about a severance application that may affect you, you should:

  • find out as much as possible about the application
  • discuss your concerns with the consent-granting authority
  • write the consent-granting authority.

If you have any concerns, you should make sure that you let council know about them early in the process. The consent-granting authority will then have time to think about what you said and may make changes before the land severance is approved.

What rights of severance decision appeal do you have?

Appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board, or a Local Appeal Body if established by the municipality, can be made in three different ways:

  1. Any person or public body may appeal a consent-granting authority’s decision and any condition within 20 days of the notice of decision.
  2. The applicant may appeal if no decision is made by the consent-granting authority within 90 days from the date of receipt of the application containing the prescribed information.
  3. Any person or public body may appeal any changed conditions imposed by the consent-granting authority within 20 days after the notice of changed conditions has been given.

Appeals must be filed with the consent-granting authority, accompanied by reasons for the appeal and the fee required by the Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body.

Subdivisions

What is a subdivision?

When you divide a piece of land into two or more parcels and offer one or more for sale, you are subdividing property, and the provisions of the Planning Act come into play.

If your proposal involves creating only a lot or two, you may seek approval for a “consent/land severance”.

The other means of subdividing land is to obtain approval of a plan of subdivision from the approval authority. This could be the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing or a municipality. The authority to approve plans of subdivision can also be delegated to planning boards, municipal planning authorities, committees of council or appointed officers.

Subdivision approval ensures that:

  • the land is suitable for its proposed new use
  • the proposal conforms to the official plan and zoning in your community, as well as to provincial legislation and policies
  • you, your neighbours and your community are protected from developments which are inappropriate or may put an undue strain on community facilities, services or finances.

Problems can result when large tracts of land are split into building lots without the benefit of a formal approval process. People have found out, usually too late, that the lots they have purchased are not on a registered plan. It may be that the water supply is unusable or the access road is not plowed or maintained. Other purchasers have found out that the ownership or title to their property is doubtful, making it difficult to sell.

Who is the approval authority for plans of subdivision?

The Hastings County Planning department is responsible for processing applications for land transactions which require consent/land severance or plan of subdivision/condominium approval.

What is a registered plan of subdivision?

A registered plan of subdivision is a legal document that shows:

  • the exact surveyed boundaries and dimensions of lots on which houses or buildings are to be built
  • the location, width and names of streets
  • the sites of any schools or parks.

The plan does not show specific building locations; the rules for locating buildings are set out in the zoning by-law and shown on plans as part of site plan approval.

The plan of subdivision must be:

  • surveyed by an Ontario land surveyor
  • in general conformity with the Hastings County official plan as well as provincial policies
  • approved by the proper authority
  • registered in the local land registry system.

A registered plan of subdivision creates new, separate parcels of land and can be legally used for the sale of lots. It should not be confused with “compiled plans” or “reference plans” which are used simply to describe parcels of land.

What is the process for subdividing?

If you are thinking about subdividing your property, you should consult with the Economic Development or Clerk’s department to correspond with the Hastings County Planning Department. The Hastings County Planning department is responsible for processing applications for land transactions which require consent/land severance or plan of subdivision/condominium approval. County Planning can tell you what information, including any special studies, you will need to provide and whether the local official plan and/or zoning by-law provide for your subdivision to be allowed or if further review as to its suitability is necessary.

Subdivision applications are made to the Hastings County Planning department. The fee for processing subdivision/condominium applications ranges from $3,000 - $6,000 (dependent on number).

The subdivision application can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.

A typical application form contains both the information identified by Minister’s regulation as well as other information required by the municipality. The more information provided, the less likely delays will occur in the review.

The approval authority may refuse to accept an incomplete application. If an approval authority confirms that an application is incomplete and you, the applicant, disagree with the decision, you have 30 days to make a motion to the Ontario Municipal Board for a determination on the matter. The Board’s decision is final.

You should be aware that if you do not provide all the information identified by Minister’s regulation and the County official plan, the approval authority may refuse to accept or consider your application. The 180-day time frame for making a decision also does not start. When all the identified and, if applicable, additional information is received, then the 180-day time frame begins. You are encouraged to contact the appropriate approval authority if you need help in assessing what information is required.

The approval authority, or in some cases the municipality in which the proposal is located, must give notice of the application and hold a public meeting before a decision is made. Notice of the public meeting is given at least 14 days in advance, either through local newspapers or by mail and posted notice. Anyone present at the meeting has a right to speak about the proposal.

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

How are applications for subdivision evaluated?

In considering a plan of subdivision, the approval authority evaluates the merits of the proposal 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.

In deciding on the application, the approval authority shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.

The Provincial Policy Statement contains clear, overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. The “shall be consistent with” rule means that a council is obliged to ensure that the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement are applied as an essential part of the land use planning decision-making process. It is expected that the approval authority will implement the Provincial Policy Statement in the context of other planning objectives and local circumstances.

What is a draft approval?

Having considered your application, the approval authority may either “draft approve” or refuse your subdivision proposal.

The approval authority must provide a written notice of its decision within 15 days of its decision to the applicant and each person or public body that requested to be notified. When a notice of decision is given, a 20-day appeal period follows.

If your application is draft approved, you will be advised of the conditions that need to be met to obtain final approval and registration. Conditions of draft approval may include: road widenings, the naming of streets, parkland requirements, rezoning of the area to reflect the new uses in the subdivision, and any other municipal requirements. In addition, the draft approval may also establish a time frame within which the conditions must be satisfied or the draft approval lapses.

In most cases, the developer may be required to sign a subdivision agreement with the municipality or planning board to ensure that certain services such as sidewalks and roads are provided after the plan has been registered.

Draft approval amounts to a commitment to go ahead with the subdivision, once all the conditions of draft approval have been met. Lots may be offered for sale after draft approval, but can be sold only after the plan of subdivision has been registered.

How can you get involved in the subdivision process?

If you are concerned about a draft plan of subdivision that may affect you:

  • find out as much as possible about the draft plan
  • go to the public meeting and give your opinions
  • discuss your concerns with the approval authority
  • write the approval authority.

Your opinions should be clearly expressed to the approval authority by making an oral submission at the public meeting and/or a written submission to the approval authority before a draft plan of subdivision is approved. Failure to make a submission means that you do not qualify to appeal the draft subdivision plan approval. In addition, you should also make a written request if you want to be notified of any change to the conditions attached to a draft approval and to protect your appeal rights.

If you have any concerns, you should make sure that you let the approval authority know about them early in the process. The approval authority will then have time to think about what you said and may make changes before the draft plan of subdivision is approved.

What rights of appeal do you have?

Appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board can be made in four different ways:

1.The applicant may appeal if no decision is made within 180 days from the date of receipt by the approval authority of the application containing the prescribed information and, if applicable, any additional information required by the municipality under its official plan.

2.The applicant, the Minister, the municipality or planning board in which the proposed subdivision is located and any person or public body that meets certain requirements, may appeal an approval authority’s decision, or any of the conditions of the draft approval or the lapsing provision within 20 days of the notice of decision.

3.The applicant, the Minister, the municipality or planning board in which the proposed subdivision is located, and any public body that meets certain requirements, may appeal conditions of approval at any time before final approval is granted.

4.The applicant, the Minister, the municipality or planning board in which the proposed subdivision is located and any person or public body that meets certain requirements, may appeal any changed conditions imposed by the approval authority.

Appeals must be filed with the approval authority accompanied by reasons for the appeal and the fee required by the Ontario Municipal Board. Contact the approval authority for more information.

The Ontario Municipal Board is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for hearing appeals and deciding on a variety of contentious municipal matters.

When can a subdivision be registered?

When all conditions of the draft approval have been met, final approval is given and the plan of subdivision is registered in the provincial land titles or registry system. The developer may then go ahead with the sale of lots in the subdivision.

You should be aware that considerable time may pass between draft approval and actual registration of the plan. However, the approval authority has the power to provide that draft approval will lapse after three years. It also has the power to give a further extension of draft approval.

When must services be provided?

Although many services for new subdivisions are not provided until well after registration, most municipalities insist that they be in place before occupants move into their new home. The applicant may be required to sign a detailed subdivision agreement, which is sometimes registered on the title of the property and legally binds future owners to its conditions.

Are condominiums a form of subdivision?

Yes. Condominiums are a form of property ownership in which title to a unit, such as an individual apartment in a high-rise building, is held by an individual together with a share of the rest of the property, which is common to all of the owners.

Condominiums can involve a brand new development, or an existing rental project which is converted to condominium ownership. They can apply to any type of residential building as well as commercial and industrial areas.

A condominium plan is like a plan of subdivision in that it is a way of dividing property. Similarly, plans of condominium must be approved, or in some cases granted an exemption from approval, by an approval authority.

Some applications for approval of condominium descriptions are not subject to the requirements of giving notice of application and holding a public meeting. Vacant land or common elements condominium are subject to notification requirements. Regardless of the type of condominium proposed, the approval authority is still required to give a notice of a decision to approve a condominium description. The 20-day appeal period following the notice of decision applies.

Condominium applications are made to the Hastings County Planning department. The fee for processing subdivision/condominium applications ranges from $3,000 - $6,000.

The condominium application can be found under the Applications & Forms section above.

Ontario Municipal Board

What are the powers of the Ontario Municipal Board and Local Appeal Body?

When a decision is appealed, the Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body will hold a hearing where you will have the chance to present your case. They can make any decision that the consent-granting authority could have made on the application.

The Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body also has the power to dismiss an appeal without holding a hearing.

Appealing a planning decision is a serious matter. It can take considerable time, effort and in some cases, money, for everyone involved. A hearing may last only a few hours if the matter is quite simple, but for more complicated matters, a hearing can last for several days or even weeks.

The Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body must have regard to the local decision and make a decision based on the facts presented at a hearing. The facts should generally be limited to the information and material that were before the municipal council whose decision is being appealed. New information and material can be introduced at a hearing. However, the Ontario Municipal Board may, on its own initiative, or by motion of the municipality or any of the parties, give the council 60 days to reconsider its decision and make a written submission to the Board if the new information could have materially affected the council’s decision.

At least 30 days before a hearing is held, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing can declare that an official plan matter before the Ontario Municipal Board may adversely affect a provincial interest. When such action occurs, after the hearing is held and the Board renders a decision, the Lieutenant Governor in Council (the Cabinet) may confirm, vary or rescind the Board’s decision on the matter.

The Ontario Municipal Board also has the discretion to dismiss an appeal if it constitutes an abuse of process, such as repeating the submission of an application that has recently been dealt with by the municipality and/or the Ontario Municipal Board. An appeal can also be dismissed by the Ontario Municipal Board if the application before it is substantially different from that which was before a council at the time of its decision.