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Realty Services

Realty Services

Realty Services administers the acquisition and disposition of land, expropriation, easements, encroachments, rights-of-way, stop up and closure of road allowances, and the sale of shoreline road allowances for the City.

In addition Realty Services also administers:

  • Negotiations to sell land to the City;
  • Negotiations from the City to purchase from private (or other public) interests;
  • Negotiations from the City to sell land (lot expansions; road allowances; development land; building lots; surplus facilities);
  • Third Party inquiries to purchase or occupy land from the City;
  • Third Party inquiries to lease/license land from the City;

Realty Services is unable to assist with:

  • by-law enforcement on municipal land;
  • disputes between private landowners involving land (civil disagreements);
  • inquiries involving privately owned property;
  • maintenance of vacant municipally owned properties

Appointments with Staff

You may make an appointment to meet with Realty Services staff.  You can do so by calling 705-324-9411 extension 1261 or 2116 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

Land Management Committee

The Manager, Realty Services is the Chair of the Land Management Committee. The Land Management Committee is a staff Committee made up of representatives from various City departments. The Committee reviews inquiries and/or requests that are submitted to Realty Services relating to municipally owned land.

If you have an inquiry about a piece of municipally owned property that falls under the jurisdiction of Realty Services please complete the applicable application form and submit it to the Realty Services division.

City of Kawartha Lakes

Realty Services

12 Peel Street, P.O. Box 9000

Lindsay, Ontario K9V 5R8

Fax: 705-324-2982
E-Mail Realty Services

Dock Policy - City Lands Encroachment By-law 2018-17

In response to Council’s request for a policy to address docks on municipal land, Realty Services brought forward a presentation in November of 2017. At the Council Meeting on February 13, 2018, City of Kawartha Lakes Council adopted a licensing program within the City Lands Encroachment By Law 2018-017 to permit docks on municipal property. This is considered progressive as many municipalities are prohibiting docks on municipal property due to liability and insurance costs. The intention is to allow property owners to apply for a license for dock use and to enable the City to enforce the policy in the case of complaints or when municipal access or third party agency access is required.

The Dock Encroachments Policy CP2018-001 was adopted on February 13, 2018 to permit individuals to have docks and protect their investment in the docks, while ensuring liability and insurance are the responsibility of dock owners.

The enforcement of the policy will be rolled out over several years on an as-needed basis through the Realty Services division. We are already in discussions with various cottage associations to implement the program proactively with them. We will also pursue legitimate complaints involving existing docks that are in conflict with municipal road improvements. There are no identified conflicts with our 2018 road program.


Below are a few common questions and answers along with links to our website. We are creating an online application form to allow for residents to easily apply and pay online for a license. Watch for updates in the coming weeks as we roll this out.

For more information, or to discuss with a staff member, please contact 705-324-9411 extension 1261/2116 or e-mail Realty Services.

Docking Policy Questions and Answers

Why do we need a Dock Policy?
The City of Kawartha Lakes is balancing the City’s risk and liability with residents’ investment in docks and desired access to waterfront.

What is the Dock Policy?
It is found within the City Lands Encroachment By Law 2018-017, section 3.

I have an existing dock on City property.  What should I do?
Nothing at this time. Your dock may remain in its current location until the City advises otherwise. The City will contact you with respect to your dock and licensing within the next couple of years.

I would like to put a new dock on City property.  Can I do so and, if so, how is this done?
You may be allowed to place a new dock on City property if you obtain a license to do so from the City first.  To do so, please make an application to the Land Management Committee, a Committee of Staff, via application to the Realty Services Division. Please call 705-324-9411 extension 1261 or e-mail realty services.  

I have an existing dock on City property.  What actions could the City decide to take with my dock?

The City may decide that your dock may no longer remain on City property if:

1) you are unable to provide insurance coverage for activities on your dock;

2) The Trent Severn Waterway / Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry refuse to issue a permit for the dock;

3) A Conservation Authority having jurisdiction refuses to issue a permit for the dock;

4) Your dock is likely to cause erosion and destabilization of an adjacent travelled roadway;

5) Your dock is likely to result in overcrowding of the area;

6) Your dock is falling into disrepair;

7) Your dock will reduce the ability of the public to use shoreline in the immediate area; or

8) Your dock is likely to reduce the natural aesthetics of the area.

What are the costs of the license?

A: It costs $125 to make an application to the Land Management Committee.  A license costs $150 per year, which is increased annually by the cost of living index.

Realty Services Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process to buy, encroach, or obtain a right-of-way to City land?
The City of Kawartha Lakes has adopted a property disposition by-law in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001. It has also passed a Land Management Policy, creating a cross-departmental staff team called the "Land Management Committee".  The current Chair of the Committee is Robyn Carlson, City Solicitor/Acting Manager Realty Services.  A non-refundable fee of $125.00 must accompany each request that is submitted to the Realty Services division, the fee can be submitted by cash, cheque, or bank draft.  Please note a fee of $35.00 will be applied to any N.S.F cheques.

 

All requests from interested persons to buy, encroach, or obtain a right-of-way to City land are processed first through the Land Management Committee. If the Committee sees no immediate or future need for the municipal property, a Report is presented to Council to recommend that the property be declared surplus to municipal needs. It is then available for sale.

 

If the Committee determines there is a municipal need for the property, the person making the enquiry is advised by letter. Of course, decisions as to sell or not to sell property are decisions of the municipal council; not the staff. If the prospective purchaser still wishes to pursue a purchase of the land, the Realty Services division will forward that person's request to Council, with a Report outlining the Committee's reasons to recommend retention of the land.

 

Where Council is inclined to sell a parcel of land, the declaration that the land is surplus must be advertised prior to any sale. In addition, the municipality is required in most cases to obtain an appraisal of the land value before selling.

 

The manner in which a property is to be sold will be part of the Land Management Committee's recommendation to Council in each case. Often, there is only one "logical" buyer for land, and in those cases, it is likely that a direct sale will be recommended.

 What will Council do?

No staff person or Committee can guarantee what Council will do with a recommendation to either sell or not sell a particular parcel of land. Council may or may not concur with the Committee recommendation and the Council decision is final.

 

The sale of municipal property is handled at a meeting open to the public, and interested persons may attend and/or make representations about their interests, provided Council's rules are followed. The City's Clerk's office can provide assistance with respect to rules for making deputations at Council or Committee meetings.

 

Please note that Council may choose, as landowner, to assert its right to force any occupier of municipal property to remove any structures on the land and have the occupier cease using the land.

What types of properties might be sold?

There are three fairly common circumstances where persons approach the City, seeking to purchase municipally owned property:

 

Municipal Land

 

Excess Land

Municipalities acquire land for many purposes: parks, walkways, trails, roads, landfill attenuation, natural areas, works depots, municipal buildings, etc. Occasionally, more land than is actually needed for the purpose is obtained, either due to the vendor's wishes, or due to a change in plans during development of the property for its intended purpose. In other cases, a change in plans may result in a project being re-located or discontinued altogether.

 

In those situations, there may be extra portions of land which are surplus to municipal needs, but which are not road allowances.

 

Properties that May Have Become Surplus Due to Amalgamation

The Land Management Committee is starting to receive enquiries about offices and depot buildings that had been used by the former municipalities, but are not currently in use by the administration of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

 

Properties that Are Not Surplus

It is conceivable that the Land Management Committee may review, and Council may approve, a request to purchase land that was not considered surplus to municipal needs at the time the enquiry was made.

 

For example, assume the City is holding a parcel of land for development of a future park. However, the land is not centrally located to the community that it is eventually intended to serve. The land is not surplus; because the park is needed; and the plans are proceeding to develop it. If a property owner of land more centrally located to the park community had a development proposal more suited to the City parcel, that owner might approach the City to explore a land exchange. Before the City could complete the exchange, the municipal parcel would have to be declared surplus. It would not have been considered to be surplus if the replacement property had not been available.

 

Road Allowances

There are many situations where roads were originally laid out so that they lead directly into water. Often the last several feet (or several hundred feet) of those road allowance properties were never developed as travelable roads, and they remain "unopened" and in public ownership. These unopened roads sometime create what appear to be "lots" between two homes or cottages. Others are within a forested or natural area, and are "invisible" to all but property surveyors. Some of them may have been developed as public boat launches. In many cases neighbouring owners have, over the years, encroached onto the road allowances with structures, landscaping, septic beds or wells, etc. Sometimes neighbours have come together and jointly build docks or benches or stairs, etc. (either with or without municipal permission) for mutual enjoyment and/or public use.

 

Please note that in the fall of 2001, City Council resolved not to sell any road allowances that lead to water. Requests to occupy these types of road allowances (or parts of them) should be forwarded to the Land Management Committee. Basedon Council's resolution, however, those requests will be denied by the Land Management Committee. The request can be forwarded to Council if the person enquiring still wishes to pursue the matter.

 

Unopened road allowance parcels which are not adjacent to water are also prevalent throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes. These may be unopened road allowances between existing farms or other properties. They may be in circumstances of partial or seasonal use (for example, used as snowmobile trails or for farm vehicle access routes only) or they may be in a state where the neighbouring property owner has occupied them, including circumstances where someone may have actually fenced the land. Again, there are often circumstances where neighbouring owners have, over the years, encroached onto the road allowances with structures, landscaping, septic beds or wells, etc.

 

Under the Limitations Act, it is not possible for persons to obtain a prescriptive or "squatter's right" against road allowances; even those that are unopened. Accordingly, the unauthorized "trespass" takes place. People have bought and sold properties with these title problems for years - they are either taking the risk that the municipality will never officially open or construct a road, or they are unaware of the title problem.

 

The private property owner can deal with the trespass in one of three ways:

 

  1. Purchase the land from the municipality;
  2. Lease the land from the municipality; or
  3. Obtain a License Agreement with the municipality for the encroachment.

 

While it may appear that unopened road allowances, especially those that have been largely occupied by private landowners, have no municipal purposes, there may be indirect or invisible uses (such as underground services or overhead wires) or potential future uses (such as walking or bicycle trails, linear parks, or public access to water that is otherwise entirely in private ownership).

 

There are other individual circumstances that might apply. For example, it might be more palatable for staff to recommend the disposition of an entire length of road allowance at a given time, rather than recommend piece-meal purchases that might create small pockets of "public" land which is land-locked or accessible only by water.

 

Shoreline Road Allowances

Shoreline road allowances exist on many lakes within Ontario. Crown surveyors reserved a 66 foot wide road allowances around the edges of most Ontario lakes. Although many of these allowances were never opened as public municipal roads, they remain public property. Recreational and residential property owners of "lakefront" property often do not own their lots right up to the water's edge. In many circumstances, the private owner has encroached onto this space and utilized it as a lot addition, without anyone being the wiser (until title searches are conducted). There are numerous circumstances where entire cottages, parts of cottages, boathouses, garages, etc. are actually physically located on property that is not owned by the private property owner.

What is the cost?

By-Law 2018-020, as amended, is a by-law to regulate the disposition of municipal real property in and for the Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes. According to this by-law prior to the disposition of any real property by the City of Kawartha Lakes, as least one appraisal must be obtained to determine the fair market value of the land.

 

Exemptions:

Schedule "C" of By-Law 2018-020, as amended, sets the price for road allowances and landlocked lot additions, as follows:

 

Road Allowances by Shorelines or Interior Road Allowances

  1. $15.00 per linear foot of interior road allowances (where the linear foot has an average width of 66 feet); $20.00 per linear foot of water frontage for shoreline road allowances adjacent to rivers (where the linear foot has an average width of 66 feet); or $23.00 per linear foot of water frontage for shoreline road allowances adjacent to lakes (where the linear foot has an average width of 66 feet);
  2. A fee of $1,500.00 to cover the City's staff time expenses; plus
  3. All costs of the land transaction including the cost of all required notices and surveys, documents required to be registered in the Land Registry Office, all legal fees incurred by the municipality in connection to the sale and any other costs associated with the transaction. The purchaser will be required to make a non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 in advance of the road closing to cover the said costs.

 

Landlocked Lot Additions

  1. Where the parcel is in addition to a farm, a price of $1,500.00 per acres;
  2. Where the parcel is in addition to a lot other than a farm, a price of $1.00 per square foot of land; plus
  3. A fee of $1,500.00 to cover the City's staff time expenses; and
  4. All costs of the land transaction including the cost of all required notices and surveys, documents required to be registered in the Land Registry Office, all legal fees incurred by the municipality in connection to the sale and any other costs assocaited with the transaction. The purchaser will be required to make a non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 in advance of the road closing to cover the said costs.

 

It is impossible, therefore, to name the "exact" price in each instance. This should give a general idea, however. In all other cases, as noted, a land appraisal must be obtained prior to sale.

 

Full Cost Recovery:

In addition to the non-refundable application fee in the amount of $125.00 any costs that are incurred by the City in connection to a request concerning City owned land or the disposition of surplus property shall be payable by the applicatn or the proposed purchaser. Such costs shall include:

  1. Any legal costs incurred by the City;
  2. Any costs incurred through the completion of any required public notification;
  3. Any costs incurred through the completion of any required reference plans;
  4. Any costs incurred through the completion of any appraisals that are necessary; and
  5. Any miscellaneous costs that are incurred by the City.

 

The following is a list of approximate costs that would be associated with land transactions:

  1. Legal Fees - $1,500.00 - $2,000.00 +/-
  2. Public Advertising - $1,000.00 - $1,500.00 +/-
  3. Reference Plan - $2,500.00 - $5,000.00 +/-
  4. Appraisal Fee - $2,000.00 - $3,000.00 +/-
  5. City Staff Time Expense - $1,500.00

 

Please note: The above-noted figures are only for informational purposes and the actual costs will vary depending on the parcel of land that is involved in a particular transaction.

 

Circumstances such as clouds on title, for example, or the size/type of parcel of land can increase costs and are not within the control of the municipality, the applicant will be expected to cover any of these costs. In addition to the above, the applicant is responsible for any costs owing to the solicitor retained to act on their behalf. If H.S.T. is applicable it is in addition to the above.

 

Please note, the applicant is required to obtain their own legal representation at their own expense. A fee of $35.00 will apply to any N.S.F cheques.

How do I start the process?

If you are interested in applying to purchase land from the municipality please complete the Application - Municipal Land Inquiry and submit the same along with the applicable $125.00 non-refundable application fee.

 

Your application will be presented to the Land Management Committee for review. If there are no objections by the Land Management Committee then the next steps would be as follows:

 

  1. Records Search - A historical records search will be completed to ensure there are no restrictions to selling the subject property.
  2. Utility Consultation - If no restrictions are found, staff will proceed to consult with local utility companies to determine if any easements are required over the subject property.
  3. Public Notice - Notice of the potential surplus declaration and sale of the subject property will be advertised in the local newspaper. 
  4. Report to Council - A Report will be presented to Council recommending the surplus declaration and sale of the subject property.  Please note that Council is required to consider any objection to the sale of the subject property and hear any person or corporation who claims his/her/its interest will be prejudicially affected by the sale.
  5. Reference Plan & Appraisal - If Council approves the sale of the subject land, Realty Services will proceed to retain a surveyor and appraiser (if required).
  6. Agreement of Purchase and Sale - Once the Reference Plan and Appraisal, if applicable, have been completed we will prepare and present you with an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for review, signature and return, along with your lawyer's contact information and the $1,000.00 deposit made payable to the City of Kawartha Lakes by certified cheque.
  7. By-Law - A By-law authorizing the transaction will be presented to Council.  If the By-law is passed by Council it is submitted to the City's outside legal counsel for registration. Once the by-law has been registered our legal counsel will contact your legal counsel in order to set the closing date and finalize the transfer.

How long does the process take?

Time frames are largely dependent on the individual circumstances of the case.

 

The Land Management Committee meets monthly. However, by the time a matter is reviewed, reported on, approvals are given, surveys are prepared, advertisements run their course, and legal work completed, there may actually be many months between the Land Management Committee comments and actual disposition.

 

Council generally meets the Tuesday afternoons of the second and fourth full weeks in each month except in July and August when they only hold one meeting.

 

If Council declares land to be surplus, the sale procedure will begin. In all cases, the surplus declaration must be advertised. If Council has determined that the land should be sold by public tender, then the process will take slightly longer than if Council has approved a direct sale.

How do I contact the Land Management Committee?

Address correspondence to the Land Management Committee to:

The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes

Realty Services

12 Peel Street

P.O. Box 9000

Lindsay, Ontario K9V 5R8
Attention: Laura Carnochan, Law Clerk

Fax: 705-324-2982

E-Mail Realty Services

Inquiries About City Owned Property

On June 29, 2010 Council adopted By-law 2010-118 to regulate the procedure that is followed during the sale of City owned real property; Article 10.00 in that By-law applies directly to inquiries that are made about City owned property.
The Realty Services Department frequently receives inquiries that relate to City owned property, examples of those inquiries include:
Request to purchase a road allowance/shoreline road allowance;
Request to purchase a piece of City owned property;
Clarification about the ownership/boundary of a parcel of land;
Clarification about the existence of an easement over a parcel of land;
Clarification about the ownership of a ‘forced road’;


Inquiries of this nature generally benefit one stakeholder and not residents of the municipality on the whole. Article 10.00 was included in By-law 2010-118 to outline that a non-refundable fee of $125.00 will need to accompany each inquiry that is submitted to the Realty Services Department. The $125.00 fee will cover the costs that are associated with the research that is completed to address the inquiry, those costs could include:
the cost to obtain information from the Land Registry Office;
the cost of any legal advice that is required;
the cost of any public notification that is required, etc.


If you are planning to submit an inquiry about a piece of City owned property please complete and submit the Application – Municipal Land Inquiry to the Realty Services Department at the address noted below and ensure that the $125.00 fee is included with your submission. An inquiry cannot be addressed until the completed application and non-refundable fee has been received by the City. The fee payment can be made by cash, cheque or bank draft (a fee of $35.00 will be applied to any N.S.F. cheques). Please note that any costs that are over and above the $125.00 fee will be payable by the individual(s) who made the original inquiry.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Realty Services Department at (705) 324-9411 extension 1261 or E-Mail Realty Services

 

Encroachments onto Municipally Owned Land

City of Kawartha Lakes By-law 2001-90 defines an “encroachment” as the occupation of a portion of municipal property by use or structure.


From time to time circumstances arise where ratepayers or other land occupants inadvertently occupy portions of municipal realty holdings. The nature of the encroachment is often one that is financially unrealistic to address (i.e. it would involve demolition of a building or structure). Similarly, City staff are often approached by ratepayers or other land occupants seeking to intentionally encroach onto municipal realty holdings.


A License Agreement acknowledges the existence of the encroachment onto the municipally owned land. All costs that are incurred by the municipality in connection to the completion of the License Agreement will be payable by the ratepayer. Such costs may include the following items:
the costs of any necessary reference plans, survey or sketches, if required;
the legal fees incurred by the municipality, if required;


If you are aware of an encroachment over a portion of municipal property by use or structure we would ask that you complete the Application – Municipal Land Inquiry and submit same to:


The City of Kawartha Lakes
Attn. Laura Carnochan, Law Clerk – Realty Services
12 Peel Street, P.O. Box 9000
Lindsay, Ontario K9V 5R8
Telephone: 705-324-9411, extension 1261
Facsimile: 705-324-2982
E-Mail Realty Services


AND, include the non-refundable application fee of $125.00 and a sketch or survey to show the location and dimensions of the encroachment. Please note that a fee of $35.00 will be applied to any N.S.F. cheques.

 

Road Allowance Status Inquiries

On July 7, 2015 Council adopted By-law 2015-131 to regulate the procedure that is followed during inquiries relating to the status of a Road Allowance.


The Realty Services and Public Works Department receive numerous requests regarding ownership, maintenance and parcel identifier number/PIN page clarifications from solicitors in connection to private real estate transactions. Further, staff are requested to provide the status on road ownership and maintenance, which is often used as confirmation to obtain or meet mortgage or insurance qualifications for a private land transaction. The inquiries received are for a variety of reasons such as:


1. Determining the responsibility for maintenance of a road allowance;
2. Determining the ownership of a road allowance;
3. Confirm assumption or dedication of public highways; and
4. Whether or not there are by-laws dedicating or assuming lands as a public highway.


Simple verbal response as to whether or not the municipality maintains a road can be obtained through the Area Roads Supervisor or Manager located at your Service Centre. “Public Authority Having Jurisdiction” on a parcel identifier number (PIN) page indicates municipal ownership of the road. However, very often these requests require written confirmation and are a result of a complex real property situation. Preliminary research must be completed for each inquiry received by Realty Services in order to correctly answer these inquiries.


Inquiries of this nature generally benefit the corresponding applicant, their client or the potential purchaser of lands adjoining the allowance, not the municipality as a whole. Article 2.01 was included in By-law 2015-131 to outline that a non-refundable step fee shall be charged and must be submitted with each application for information as follows:

Nature of the Inquiry
Fee
Maintenance: $75.00
Ownership: $100.00
Road Status (Open/Assumed Public Road): $75.00
Public Highway By-law: $200.00 plus any applicable legal fees/by-law registration costs
All of the above: $450.00 plus any applicable legal fees/by-law registration costs


If you are planning to submit an inquiry about road allowances, please submit the fully completed Application – Road Allowances and that the applicable non-refundable application fee is included with your submission. An inquiry cannot be addressed until the non-refundable fee has been received by the City. The fee payment can be made by cash, cheque or bank draft, a fee of $35.00 will be applied to any N.S.F. cheques. Please note that any costs that are over and above the applicable fee will be payable by the individual(s) who made the original inquiry.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Realty Services Department at (705) 324-9411 extension 1261 or E-Mail Realty Services.

 

Application forms

  • Application - Municipal Land
  • Application - Road Allowance Status Inquiries
  • Application - Dock License

Policies and by-laws

Kawartha Conservation information

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