When you divide a piece of land into two or more parcels in order to sell one or more, you are subdividing property, and the provisions of the Planning Act come into play. To subdivide land, you need approval of a plan of subdivision from the Oxford County Council (OCC).
Subdivision approval ensures that:
- the land is suitable for its proposed new use
- the proposal conforms to the official plan 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.
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
What is the process for subdividing?
If you are thinking about subdividing your property, discuss your proposal first with County Planning staff. They can tell you what information you will need to provide and whether the OCOP and/or zoning by-law will have to be amended before your subdivision can be allowed.
Subdivision applications are made to the County of Oxford. You will be charged a fee for processing the application. To find out what the processing fee is, contact the County of Oxford Office of Community and Strategic Planning.
The County must give notice of application and hold a public meeting before a decision is made. Notice of the public meeting is given at least 14 days in advance, usually through local newspapers or by mail. Anyone present at the meeting has a right to speak about the proposal. The County may consult with agencies, boards, authorities or commissions before making a decision.
In considering a plan of subdivision, OCC evaluates the merits of the proposal against criteria such as:
- conformity with the official plan and compatibility with adjacent uses of land
- compliance with the Township's 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
Having considered your application, OCC may either "draft approve" or refuse your subdivision proposal. The County must provide a written notice of its decision to the applicant and each person or public body requesting to be notified of a decision within 15 days of its decision. When a notice of decision is given, a 20-day appeal period follows. If your application is draft approved, you will be advised of any conditions to be met in order 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
- any other municipal requirements
In addition, draft approval may also include a lapsing provision which establishes a time frame within which the conditions must be met or the draft approval will lapse. In most cases, the developer may be required to sign a subdivision agreement with the Township and/or County to ensure that certain services such as sidewalks and roads are provided after the plan has been registered.
For any inquiries regarding draft plans of subdivision, please contact the Township Planner at 519-485-2490 ext 7237.