A development agreement is a legally binding contract between a Municipality and a landowner. It specifies the terms and conditions for the construction of any municipal improvements such as roads and utilities that may be necessary to service the approved subdivision.
Development agreements may be registered on the land title of lands that are the subject of a subdivision or development application and will transfer with the title to any subsequent owner. The agreement applies to the property until such time the Municipality discharges the agreement.
A performance security is often required from the applicant in order to remediate the site if the applicant encounters financial difficulty and is unable to complete construction. The security is returned to the applicant upon completion of all of his obligations.
The purpose of the agreement is to put in contractual form the responsibilities of the developer and of the County for the development of land approved for subdivision. It is a very detailed contract that establishes:
- Financial and construction obligations for both and the developer
- Exactly what is to be built
- Timeframe for construction and maintenance
- Amounts of payments for acreage assessments, and how and when they are to be invoiced
- Amount of performance security required
- Verification of the applicant's liability insurance
- Method of payment to be used
- Endeavors to Assist - in cost recovery conditions.
All developments must have adequate service such as water, wastewater disposal, drainage and roads. The developer is responsible for checking what services are currently available to the site, that they are adequate and for augmenting or providing for additional services if necessary.
The Developer remains fully responsible for the design and construction of municipal improvements according to accepted engineering practice and standards that address and meet the specific needs and site conditions of the development. Certain site-specific conditions may warrant that standards that are more stringent be met.
The Developer shall be responsible for obtaining all easements and right of ways for the installation of municipal improvements located outside of the normal right-of-way or utility lot. All permanent easements, including plans and documents, shall be registered at the Land Titles Office naming the County as the Grantor prior to application for a Construction Completion Certificate.
The developer will be required by the County to engage the services of a professional engineer to design the necessary municipal improvements and ensure that the work is completed in accordance with the requirements of the development agreement.
The Developer shall at his own cost and expense, provide the following:
- Design and construction of the required municipal improvements including necessary off-site upgrades and utility oversizing associated with the Development.
- Quality control and materials testing by an independent party during utility installation and roadway construction. Certification by a qualified professional engineer that the construction has been completed in accordance with the approved drawings and specifications.
- Legal and all other costs incurred by the County for the preparation and execution of the Development Agreement.
- Engineering and inspection costs incurred by the Municipal Engineer, for the review and approval of the design and construction of the required municipal improvements.
Discharge of Caveats
There are various methods available to remove or withdraw an instrument such as a caveat from a title. The most common of these is a discharge document that must be properly executed by the person or entity entitled to the benefit of the instrument or caveat (i.e., mortgagee, caveator, grantee, etc.).
What is a caveat?
A caveat is a document lodged on a Certificate of Title for a parcel of land, registering another person interest in the property.