Proposed changes to certain land division provisions in the Planning Act

ERO number
019-3495
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
April 15, 2021 - May 25, 2021 (40 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
April 15, 2021
to May 25, 2021

Decision summary

Changes have been made to the Planning Act related to control of the division of land (subdivision control, plans of subdivision, consents and validations), as well as other housekeeping and consequential changes to the Act.

Decision details

Bill 276, the Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021 was introduced on April 15, 2021 and received Royal Assent on June 3, 2021.

Schedule 24 of the Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021 amends the Planning Act to:

Subdivision and Part Lot Control

  • Prevent lots from merging where lands were previously owned by, or abutted land previously owned by, joint tenants and where the ownership would have otherwise merged as a result of the death of one of the joint tenants.
  • Permit additional types of abutting land (other than whole lots or blocks within registered plans of subdivision) to be retained without violating subdivision control.
  • Allow interests in land acquired for the purpose of an energy line to be disposed of to owners of abutting land.
  • Permit agreements, like leases, that involve part of a building and the use of lands ancillary to the use of the building, and clarify that these agreements can have a duration equal to the lifetime of an individual.
  • Remove unique rules under the Act for foreclosures or exercises of powers of sale, including removing a unique process for foreclosures or exercises of powers of sale over part of the lands subject to a mortgage, so that these transactions could only occur if the same lands could be conveyed without offending subdivision control. These activities would follow the same process as conveyances and would need to obtain a regular consent.
  • Provide that any lawyer, for any purpose related to confirming compliance with section 50 of the Planning Act, only needs to investigate title since the time of the last deed or transfer if at that time a lawyer had provided a statement confirming that there had been no contravention of subdivision control.

Plans of Subdivision

  • Align the requirements for public notice, information and public meetings for plans of subdivision with other instruments under the Act and for the approval authority to forward to the Ontario Land Tribunal (Tribunal) information as required.

Consents

  • Permit a purchaser of land or the purchaser’s agent to apply for a consent.
  • Permit an application for a consent to be amended by an applicant prior to a decision about the consent being made by the consent-granting authority. If an application is amended, the consent-granting authority can impose terms related to the amended application as it considers appropriate.
  • Provide that a regulation requiring a public meeting for a consent application could specify other requirements related to the public meeting. In addition, after a notice of appeal is received, the clerk of a municipality or the Minister may be required by the Tribunal to provide information and materials as specified by the Tribunal.
  • Provide a standard two-year period during which the conditions of a consent must be satisfied.
  • Require a municipality or the Minister, to issue a certificate to a consent applicant for the retained land in addition to the requirement to provide a certificate for the lands that are subject to the consent application. This requirement would be subject to the applicant, as part of the application for a consent, providing a legal description for the retained land which can be registered.
  • Allow owners, chargees (for example, mortgage holders), purchasers or their agents to apply to the municipality or the Minister for a certificate of cancellation in respect of land previously conveyed with a consent that, if approved and registered, would remove the application of specified exceptions from subdivision control in relation to the land (and thereby potentially merging the lots involved).

Validations

  • Require that a decision regarding a validation must conform with the same criteria which are applicable to consents.

The changes to the Planning Act will come into force on a date to be named by proclamation.

Comments received

Through the registry

8

By email

4

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

The government received 12 unique written comments related to the consultation. This included 8 comments submitted directly through the ERO notice and 4 comments submitted by email.

Submissions were made by municipalities, and a range of interested stakeholders, including development, agricultural and professional sectors, and conservation authorities.

Summary of Comments

Overall, the majority of submissions were supportive of Bill 276, Schedule 24. Those submissions in support of the proposed changes applauded efforts to reduce red tape, to expedite land division processes for the benefit of the public and to clarify certain processes to ensure consistency across the province. Specifically, the two measures that received the most support were: 1) ending automatic mergers resulting from the death of a joint tenant, and 2) the extension of the timeframe to fulfill the conditions of approval for a consent. With regards to the latter, multiple stakeholders requested that instead of authorizing an applicant to be permitted to request an extension of up to  1-year beyond the current 1-year period for meeting conditions for a consent, that the default period should be extended to two years total.

Submissions from agricultural and conservation authority stakeholders noted the importance of ensuring the proposed changes don’t negatively impact planning policy objectives related to agricultural lands, natural heritage features and natural hazards.

Certain municipal stakeholders raised concerns regarding potential implications of the new manner of dealing with and considering retained lands. Other concerns focused on operational procedures and implementation, including the need for definitional clarity, the need for adequate time to implement the changes, and requests for municipal guidance from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Effects of the Consultation on this Decision

In developing and finalizing the legislation consideration was given to all comments received. As a result of the consultation, the government moved a motion during clause-by-clause consideration to amend Schedule 24 of the Bill to provide a standard two-year period for fulfilling the conditions of approval for consents.

This change provides a standard two-year period of time for fulfilling the conditions of approval for consents rather than a discretionary extension of up to one additional year, and is responsive to stakeholder feedback from the development and municipal sectors asking to simplify the administrative review of requests to extend the timeframe.

In response to requests from some stakeholders for greater clarity/certainty and from municipalities for assistance on implementation, the ministry will consider developing technical supports for implementors and will continue to engage with key stakeholders on the development of regulatory amendments.

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-3495
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Proposal posted

Comment period

April 15, 2021 - May 25, 2021 (40 days)

Proposal details

Subdivision Control (Section 50)

Subdivision control is a set of rules established under the Planning Act that aims to prevent the indiscriminate subdivision of land. Subdivision control ensures that before most interests in land are created, they are evaluated by some level of government, in keeping with land use planning principles to ensure that any long-term impacts related to the creation of the parcel or other interest are addressed.

Plans of Subdivision (Section 51)

A registered plan of subdivision creates new, separate parcels of land that can be legally transferred or sold on their own. Often a plan of subdivision is used for creating multiple lots, blocks and streets that result in the creation of a residential community, but it can be used for other land uses. Once the plan is approved by the planning authority and registered further subdivision of the lots is controlled by the process known as part lot control. Plans of subdivision are approved by municipalities, planning boards, the minister or a delegate.

Consents (Section 53)

If a landowner wishes to transfer an interest in part of their holdings, a consent provides for a simpler mechanism than the subdivision process. It allows for a landowner to obtain consent, usually from the local municipality, to transfer a part of the interest in their holdings. Consents are the process by which an owner typically obtains a severance. Consents are approved by municipalities, planning boards, the minister or a delegate (i.e., consent granting authorities).

Validations (Section 57)

Provides for the legalization of title for lands where requirements of subdivision control were not followed (e.g., through fraudulent activity, technical error or naivety of persons selling/buying). In certain situations, can be used as a cure or remedy to address a problem with property title as a simpler alternative to obtaining a consent. Validations are approved by consent granting authorities.

The Schedule proposes to amend the Planning Act through the principal amendments described below.

Subdivision Control and Part Lot Control

Amendments would be made to subdivision control and part lot control to:

  • Prevent lots from merging where lands were previously owned by, or abutted land previously owned by, joint tenants and where the ownership would have otherwise merged as a result of the death of one of the joint tenants;
  • Permit additional types of abutting land (other than whole lots or blocks within registered plans of subdivision) to be retained without violating subdivision control;
  • Allow interests in land acquired for the purpose of an energy line to be disposed of to owners of abutting land;
  • Permit agreements, like leases, that involve part of a building and the use of lands ancillary to the use of the building, and clarify that these agreements can have a duration equal to the lifetime of an individual.

The amendments would also remove unique rules under the Act for foreclosures or exercises of powers of sale, including removing a unique process for foreclosures or exercises of powers of sale over part of the lands subject to a mortgage, so that these transactions could only occur if the same lands could be conveyed without offending subdivision control. These activities would follow the same process as conveyances and would need to obtain a regular consent.

An amendment would provide that any lawyer, for any purpose related to confirming compliance with section 50 of the Planning Act, only needs to investigate title since the time of the last deed or transfer if at that time a lawyer had provided a statement confirming that there had been no contravention of subdivision control.

Plans of Subdivision

Various amendments would be made to align the requirements for public notice, information and public meetings for plans of subdivision with other instruments under the Act and for the approval authority to forward to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) information as required.

Consents

Currently, an owner, chargee or their agent is permitted to apply for a consent. The amendments would permit a purchaser of land or the purchaser’s agent to apply for a consent.

Amendments would permit an application for a consent to be amended by an applicant prior to a decision about the consent being made by the consent-granting authority. If an application is amended, the consent-granting authority can impose terms related to the amended application as it considers appropriate.

Amendments would be made to provide that a regulation requiring a public meeting for a consent application could specify other requirements related to the public meeting. In addition, after a notice of appeal is received, the clerk of a municipality or the Minister may be required by the Tribunal to provide information and materials as specified by the Tribunal.

An amendment would be made to provide a municipality or the Minister (at their sole discretion) with the authority to extend, by up to one additional year, the one-year period during which the conditions of a consent must be satisfied.

An amendment would be made to require a municipality or the Minister, to issue a certificate to a consent applicant for the retained land in addition to the requirement to provide a certificate for the lands that are subject to the consent application. This requirement would be subject to the applicant, as part of the application for a consent, providing a legal description for the retained land which can be registered.

An amendment would allow owners, chargees (e.g., mortgage holders), purchasers or their agents to apply to the municipality or the Minister for a certificate of cancellation in respect of land previously conveyed with a consent that, if approved and registered, would remove the application of specified exceptions from subdivision control in relation to the land (and thereby potentially merging the lots involved).

Validations

An amendment would be made to require that a decision regarding a validation must conform with the same criteria which are applicable to consents.

The proposed Planning Act amendments summarized in this notice, if approved, would not affect environmental, agricultural or other land use planning policies, plans and objectives, and would not affect Greenbelt protections.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from April 15, 2021
to May 25, 2021

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