Municipal reserves may be used for:
• open space;
• recreation facilities;
• public buildings;
• natural areas;
• horticultural uses; and
• agricultural uses.
The land may be leased for any of the permitted uses or for buildings or facilities owned by charitable corporations. Municipalities and school divisions may negotiate agreements for the joint use and maintenance of municipal reserves.
The location and suitability of land to be dedicated as municipal reserve is subject to the approval of the Director of Community Planning or any council or authority that has been declared an approving authority pursuant to the PDA.
New municipal reserves are to be identified on survey plans as Municipal Reserve MR#. Every subdivision for residential purposes must designate 10 per cent of its gross area as municipal reserve; for other subdivisions the designation is five per cent. The gross area includes all the proposed lots, parcels, streets and lanes and the remainder of the land being subdivided if it cannot be further subdivided.
Exemptions from the municipal reserve requirement are made for:
• single agricultural lots;
• parcels for utilities;
• public use; and
Sometimes dedication may be met by a monetary settlement such as cash-in-lieu or deferred to a future subdivision proposal.
Cash-in-Lieu for Municipal Reserve
A monetary settlement requires the subdivision applicant to pay the municipality in lieu of providing land for municipal reserve. The payment must equal the market value of the required land in a subdivided, unserviced state.
One way the payment for residential land might be calculated:
Average residential lot price in the area ...........$10,000
Minus average per lot servicing costs ............... - 8,000
Un-serviced lot market value............................. $2,000
Municipal reserve requirement........................... x 10%
Requirement (per new lot)................................... $200
Multiplied by number of new lots.......................... x #
Amount paid to Dedicated Lands Account ........ $Total
Other methods may use some form of area calculation. There is no prescribed formula so a subdivision applicant and council may negotiate the final amount. Disputed land values are resolved by an independent appraiser hired by the municipality.
A payment must be made or put in a trust before a subdivision is approved. All payments must be posted to the municipality’s Dedicated Lands Account and used only to develop or maintain dedicated land in accordance with the Regulations.
Deferral of the Municipal Reserve Requirement
The dedication of municipal reserve may be deferred if the subdivision application includes land to be further subdivided. This might be an area to be subdivided in stages or a new parcel to be subdivided into lots later.
Dedication may be deferred until new parcels are sold for a monetary settlement is made.
When dedication is deferred the subdivision approving authority must register an interest on the title to the land from which the reserve will be provided. The interest formerly called a caveat informs future owners of the commitment. It may be withdrawn once the municipal reserve is provided or a monetary settlement is arranged.
An interest can be registered on the title to a parcel being created or on the title to other land to be subdivided.