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Nicole Dwyer

613-283-4124 x1116 / email


P.O. BOX 695, 77 Beckwith St. N.,
Smiths Falls ON K7A 4T6


This content was last updated on
Monday, April 13, 2015

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Consent Applications

What is a Consent?  

The Planning Act stipulates that consent must be granted by the Town prior to the legal division of property.  A consent for severance is granted by the Committee of Adjustment, a board appointed by Town Council, to allow for the purpose:

  • to the division (or severance) of lands for sale;
  • to register a mortgage or discharge a mortgage over part of a parcel of land;
  • to register easements for right-of-way; and
  • to adjust boundaties of existing land parcels to enlarge or decrease the size of a property.

The authority from the Committee of Adjustment provides the Town with the ability to ensure that the creation of lots is consistent with the planning policies of the Official Plan, Zoning by-law and Provincial Policy Statement.

Frequently Asked Questions:


How do I apply for a severance?

  • An application for consent requires the completion of the Application for Consent Form which is available on the Planning Departments website or at Town Hall.
  • The application will be reviewed for completeness by the Planning Department and a Notice of Hearing will be issued no less than 20 days prior to the Committee of Adjustment hearing date.
  • The Planning Department will advise the applicant as to whether additional information is required prior to the issuance of a Notice of Hearing, and if additional approvals may be required (ie. A re-zoning).

The Planning Department recommends pre-consultation prior to the filing of an application in order to facilitate the efficient the through processing of the application.

 What additional information may be required?

  • The Planning Act permits the Planning Department or Committee of Adjustment to request additional information (ie. A supporting study) be completed to determine the full impact of the application of the community.

Examples of potential studies may include: traffic studies, archaeological studies, or environmental impact analyses ect. 

  • The additional information will be reviewed by the planning department and Committee of Adjustment and if necessary a peer review may be required. The applicant should be aware that both the cost of the supporting study and the peer review will be borne by the applicant. Where appropriate, the Town may also consult with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Parks Canada or any other authority having jurisdiction or expertise.

 Is there an application fee?

  • Yes, there is a non-refundable fee of $1000 to be paid at the time the application is filed.

 How long will the application process take?

  • From the date of submission of a complete application form the application process will take approximately 60 to 90 days to the date a provisional decision is made by the Committee of Adjustment.

 How many lots can be severed?

  • Not more than five abutting parcels can be created by an application. If more than 5 parcels are created or a road must be created, a Plan of Subdivision is required.

Example: A property owner has a residential property that exhibits a frontage of 24m and wishes to divide the property into two parcels. The property is large enough to divide into 2 individual building lots and still meet the provisions of the Residential Type 2 (R2) zone.

 Why do I need approval to sever my land?

  • The division of land has the potential to have long-term, possibly negative, impacts on your neighbourhood. This may include an over-extension of municipal services (ie. Sewer and water distribution, or public park usage) or even environmental damages due to development.
  • Official approval by the Committee of the Adjustment ensures that severances are:
    • Considered within the community planning framework;
    • Not in conflict with the uses of the community;
    • Considered in conjunction with the effects the division may have on neighbouring properties.
  • Once approval has been granted and registered on title, the property is free to be sold and re-sold without further approval from the Town.

 What about conditions of approval?

  • The Committee of Adjustment may require conditions of approval of the application. Example: a property owner may be required to provide cash-in-lieu of parkland or sidewalks, or be responsible for the widening of the road
  • The conditions of approval must be met within one year of the decision being issued or a new application may be needed. Once these conditions have been met a certificate will be issued by the approval authority and the severance becomes effective.

 How is it evaluated?

  • The Committee of Adjustment will consider the application by evaluating the proposal against several criteria including, but not limited to:
    • Conformity with the Provincial Policy Statement
    • Conformity with the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw’s
    • Suitability of the land for the proposed use (ie. Size and shape of lot)
    • Adequacy of municipal services for the site
    • Adequate protection against potential flood risks
    • Impacts on natural features

 Is there an opportunity to appeal a decision?

  • Anyone may appeal the decision or conditions imposed by the Committee of Adjustment to the Ontario Municipal Board within 20 days of the issuance of the Notice of Decision.
  • The applicant may appeal to the OMB if no decision has been made by the Committee of Adjustment within 60 days from the date of receipt of the application by the Committee

The OMB is an independent tribunal responsible for investigating appeals to municipal planning decisions based on evidence presented at the hearing. For additional information regarding the OMB please go to http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/english/home.html.

NOTE: This guide has been produced by the Town of Smiths Falls Planning Department and is intended to provide general information to the public. It should not be construed as technical or legal advice for consents or a right for approval if the steps indicated are followed.