Lambton County

Caring, Growing, Innovative
Text Size: A A A
Print

 Subdivisions Condominium 

Plans for Subdivisions/Condominium

The County of Lambton is the approval authority for Plans of Subdivisions/Condominiums for all areas except the City of Sarnia and the municipality of Lambton Shores.  Public meetings for these applications are held by the County of Lambton at the Council of the local municipality. 

 Subdivision Condominium Application Form

 Subdivision Condominium Approval Procedures - Applicant's Guide 

Frequently Asked Questions

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?
Concerned about a proposed plan of subdivision?
What rights of appeal do you have?
When can a subdivision be registered?
Are condominiums a form of subdivision?


What is a subdivision?
To subdivide land, approval of a plan of subdivision must be obtained from the County of Lambton, the City of Sarnia or the Municipality of Lambton Shores.

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

 

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 has been in doubt, making it difficult to sell.

If your proposal involves creating only a lot or two, you may seek approval for a "land severance" instead.

Who is the approval authority for plans of subdivision?
The County of Lambton is the approval authority for all municipalities except the City of Sarnia and the Municipality of Lambton Shores.

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

 

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?
Discuss your proposal first with local municipal and County Planning staff. They can tell you what information you will need to provide and whether the local official plan and/or zoning by-law will have to be amended before your subdivision can be allowed.

Fill out a subdivision application form provided by The Corporation of the County of Lambton, Planning & Development Services Department.

Be aware that if you do not provide all the information prescribed by minister's regulation, the approval authority may refuse to accept or to further consider your application and the 180-day time frame for making a decision does not begin until all the prescribed information is received. You are encouraged to contact the appropriate approval authority if you need help in assessing what information is required.

The approval authority 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, by mail, as well as by a sign posted on the property. 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
  • Impacts on natural heritage features

 

The County of Lambton shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement when making a decision.

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 the approval authority is obliged to consider the application of a specific policy statement when carrying out its planning responsibility. It is required 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 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, and 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 and the process must start again.

The developer will be required to sign a subdivision agreement with the municipality 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.

Concerned about a proposed plan of subdivision?
Anyone concerned about a draft plan of subdivision affecting them should: Find out as much as possible about the draft plan Go to the public meeting and give their opinions Discuss your concerns with the County of Lambton Write the County of Lambton If the County of Lambton knows about concerns early in the process, it can try to take them into account before making a decision on the draft plan of subdivision.

What rights of appeal do you have?
Appeals to the OntarioMunicipal Board (OMB) can be made in four different ways:

  1. Any person or public body may appeal an approval authority's decision, conditions and/or lapsing provision within 20 days of the notice of decision being given
  2. The applicant or any public body may appeal conditions of approval at any time before final approval of the plan of subdivision
  3. 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
  4. Any person or public body may appeal any changed conditions imposed by the approval authority within 20 days after the notice of changed conditions has been given

 

Appeals must be filed with the County of Lambton, accompanied by reasons for the appeal and the fee required by the OMB (the OMB can confirm the amount).

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.

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. Vacant land is not eligible.

A condominium plan is similar to a plan of subdivision, in that it is a way of dividing property and therefore plans of condominium must be approved by the County of Lambton.

The approval authority 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 by mail as well as by a sign posted on the property.  Anyone present at the meeting has a right to speak about the proposal.

Condominium conversions in a number of municipalities are governed by official plan policies dealing with the local rental vacancy rate, as well as other matters.