Subdivision 101

What is a Subdivision?

Subdivision generally refers to the division of land into two or more parcels.  However subdivision can also include:   

  • Re-alignment of existing property lines (boundary adjustment)
  • Bareland Strata(individually titled lots with private access roads and utilities)
  • Building Strata (individual unit ownership, with shared yard or common areas)
  • Strata Conversion of Existing Buildings (conversion of a previously occupied building to strata title ownership)
  • Phased Building Strata Subdivisions (buildings constructed in a series of phases, allowing strata lots in earlier phases to be sold in order to raise funds to complete subsequent phases)
  • Long-term leases of land (over three years)
  • Air-space parcels (volumetric subdivision to create separate ownership in mixed use buildings such as commercial/residential)

Who is Responsible for Approval of a Subdivision?

The Land Title Act states that a Municipal Council must appoint an approving officer to independently administer the approval or rejection of subdivisions.  The approving officer must be a municipal employee or a person who is under contract with the municipality.

What Does the Approving Officer Consider?

  • Existing City Policies & Bylaws (eg. Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw, etc)
  • Provincial & Federal Regulations
  • Access/Mobility (vehicle and pedestrian)
  • Servicing
  • Parks and Environmental Protection
  • Natural Hazards
  • Requirements of External Agencies

What are the Steps Involved in Subdividing?

Please refer to our Applying for a Subdivision page for a step-by-step guide.

How Long Does the Subdivision Process Take?

Preliminary Layout Acceptance (PLA)

PLA approval times vary depending on many factors including; the scale and complexity of your project, how thoroughly your application is prepared, and the number of applications in the system.  Generally speaking, it takes approximately 8 weeks from application submission to receiving PLA. 

Design and Construction of Works

We aren't able to provide an estimate on time to complete the design and construction stages of your subdivision, as the responsibility is on you and the professionals you hire to complete the work correctly and in a time frame that works for you. 

Final Approval

Assuming a complete application is received, the Final Approval process takes approximately 2 weeks.

Registration at Land Title Office

Please contact the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC

Related information

Last updated: August 17, 2017

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