Hamlets form part of, and are governed by, a rural municipality (RM). A hamlet must contain at least five homes and 10 subdivided lots each of which have an area under one acre (0.4047 ha) in size. Hamlets have no formal boundaries and are not recognized as municipal entities.
Organized hamlets (OH) are designated by Minister's order, have a legal boundary and are also governed by a RM. The residents of an OH elect a three-person advisory board to represent the community to the RM council. The RM is the legal governing body.
Legislation and Regulations
Section 50 of The Municipalities Act provides the authority for a hamlet to apply to become an OH. If a hamlet is located adjacent to another OH, village or resort village, it may not qualify to be a separate OH.
The minimum criteria are set out in Section 6.01 of The Municipalities Regulations. They include:
- A permanent population of at least 80;
- 40 separate dwelling units or business premises;
- A taxable assessment of $4 million; and
- Meeting or exceeding all other criteria that may be considered appropriate by the Minister.
OH status is the first step to becoming incorporated as a village or resort village. A successful application for designation will include recent evidence of growth and the preparedness and ability to support municipal services to its residents.