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Land Severance

What is Land Severance?

A land severance, also referred to as a consent, is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new properties. Consent to sever is required if a portion of land is to be sold, mortgaged, charged or is to form part of an agreement lasting more than 21 years. In addition to the division of land, consents include the registration of rights-of-way, easements and any changes to existing property boundaries.

Land severance approval is required to ensure that:

  • consents are considered within an established community planning framework,
  • new lots and new land uses do not conflict with the overall planning goals and policies of existing communities, and
  • consideration is given to the effect of the division of land on the site, on the neighbours, and on the community as a whole.

Evaluation of a Land Severance application

Approval of a land severance is required by the Planning Act. The authority to approve severances has been granted to the Region of Durham but delegated to the Durham Region Land Division Committee. In reviewing land severance applications, the Land Division Committee and commenting agencies have regard for the merits of the application relative to the health, safety, convenience and welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the community and such other matters as:

  • effects of the proposal on matters of provincial interest,
  • conformity with official plans and compatibility with adjacent land uses,
  • 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, and sewage disposal, and
  • protection from potential flooding.

What is the process for a Land Severance application?

Specific information relating to application costs, information requirements and statutory time requirements is available from the Durham Region Land Division Committee. The process for submitting an application to the Land Division Committee is generally as follows:

Step 1 - Submission of application

An application, along with required supporting documentation and processing fees for the Region and the City, is submitted to the Durham Region Land Division Committee. The Region will review the application to ensure it is complete. An incomplete application cannot be accepted or processed.

Step 2 - Scheduling of public hearing

The Land Division Committee schedules a public hearing date (generally within 30 days of submitting the application) and provides a minimum of 14 days notice for the hearing.

Step 3 - Agency circulation

The Land Division Committee requests comments from local agencies, boards and authorities prior to making a decision.

Step 4 - Public hearing

A public hearing is held by the Land Division Committee to consider the application, the comments received and any input from the applicant and members of the public. The Committee then makes a decision on the application. Following the decision, a notice of decision approving or refusing the application is sent, within 15 days, to any person or public body requesting to be notified. The Land Division Committee regularly imposes conditions on the approval of applications.

Step 5 - Appeal period

There is a 20 day appeal period to the Ontario Municipal Board following the notice of decision of the Land Division Committee.

Step 6 - Clearance of conditions

Prior to the Land Division Committee releasing consent for land severance for registration at the registry office (e.g. stamp deeds, easements, etc.), the Committee requires that the applicant satisfy the conditions imposed in the approving decision and requires a written clearance from agencies such as the City of Oshawa. Applicants are advised that, when conditions of approval requiring clearance by the City of Oshawa are required, adequate time to enable consideration and processing of the clearance should be provided.

Making an application for Land Severance

Applications for Land Severance are made to the Land Division Committee in the Region of Durham. The offices of the Committee are located at the Regional Headquarters, 605 Rossland Road East, Whitby. The telephone number is (905) 668-7711.

Pre-consultation with the City of Oshawa prior to applying for a land severance in Oshawa is strongly encouraged. This provides the opportunity to discuss municipal requirements and possible conditions of approval with appropriate City staff. It also provides an opportunity to determine if the proposal can be considered through the removal of part lot control process. The City will review the application to ensure it complies with the applicable zoning regulations. In some instances, non-compliance can be addressed through the granting of a minor variance by the Committee of Adjustment. Representatives of the Planning Services Branch of the Development Services Department may be reached at (905) 436-3853 if such a pre-consultation is requested.

Location: Planning Services
8th Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 3Z7
Toll Free:
Regional Planning Department
Location: Regional Planning Department
605 Rossland Road East
Whitby, Ontario L1N 1A3
Toll Free: