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CASUAL LEGAL: Endorsement of Subdivision – Now or Never?

February 17, 2021

Endorsement of Subdivision – Now or Never?

By Kelsey Becker Brookes

Reynolds Mirth Richards Farmer LLP

AMSC Casual Legal Service Provider

 

The Municipal Government Act contains a number of key provisions governing endorsement and registration of a plan of subdivision after subdivision approval. Under s. 657, an applicant for subdivision approval must submit the plan of subdivision to the subdivision authority within one year from the latest of (a) the date on which subdivision approval is given; (b) if there is an appeal to the SDAB or the MGB, the date of that board’s decision or the date on which the appeal is discontinued; or (c) if there is an appeal to the Court of Appeal, the date on which the judgment of the Court is entered or the date on which the appeal is discontinued.

Where the subdivision authority is satisfied the plan of subdivision complies with a subdivision approval and any conditions imposed have been met, the subdivision authority must endorse the plan in accordance with the subdivision and development regulations.

However, where the subdivision authority is satisfied that the plan of subdivision complies with a subdivision approval but conditions imposed on the approval have not been met, a subdivision authority may only endorse the plan if the subdivision authority is satisfied that the conditions will be met. What this means in practice will depend significantly on the wording of the condition at issue. If the condition provides that some action will be completed by a certain date, and that date has passed, the subdivision authority will be unable to endorse because it cannot be satisfied the condition will be met. Where, however, the compliance with a particular condition is addressed in a development agreement, which provides for adequate security, the subdivision authority likely can endorse the plan of subdivision one the basis he or she is satisfied the condition will be met.

Section 657 goes on to provide that if:

  1. the plan of subdivision is not submitted to the subdivision authority within the one year period, the subdivision approval is void; and
  2. the plan of subdivision is not registered in a land titles office within one year after the date on which it is endorsed, the subdivision approval and endorsement are void and the plan may not be accepted by a Registrar for registration.

Fortunately, Council may extend either of the one year periods referred to above whether or not the time period under those subsections has expired. The catch? Authorities have confirmed that Council may only extend the one year period to endorse or register once, not repeatedly. After that, the applicant will need to reapply for subdivision approval. Subdivisions can take years to work their way through the various steps. Keeping these procedures and timeframes in mind can help avoid wasted time and resources.


Update, March 2021

We previously published an article entitled “Endorsement of Subdivision – Now or Never?” which concluded that under s. 657 of the Municipal Government Act (“MGA”) a Council could extend the one year period to submit a plan of subdivision or the one year period to endorse a plan of subdivision only once.  After that, the applicant would need to reapply for subdivision approval.  We recognized that, in practice, many municipalities regularly granted more than one extension of subdivision approvals.

In between our article being written and published, the MGA was amended to reflect what was actually occurring.  The issue of whether or not multiple extensions can be granted has now been addressed in the latest Red Tape Reduction Act (Bill 48).  Section 657(6) now reads: The council may grant one or more extensions of (a) the one-year period referred to in subsection (1), or (b) the one-year period referred to in subsection (5), whether or not the time period under those subsections has expired. 


To access AMSC’s Casual Legal Helpline, AUMA members can call toll-free to 1-800-661-7673 or email casuallegal@amsc.ca and reach the municipal legal experts at Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer LLP. For more information on the Casual Legal Service, please contact riskcontrol@auma.ca, or call 310-AUMA (2862) to speak to AUMA’s Risk Management staff. Any Regular or Associate member of the AUMA can access the Casual Legal Service.

DISCLAIMER: This article is meant to provide information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. You should seek the advice of legal counsel to address your specific set of circumstances. Although every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information, changes to the law may cause the information in this article to be outdated.