Steps in the Subdivision Process

The review process for a subdivision can vary greatly depending on the nature of the proposed development. Some proposals may be considered to be fairly straightforward applications, while others may be complex with concerns related to: suitability of the land, potential hazards, environmental impacts, access, servicing and more. Complex applications may require possible study by professional experts, with the completion of resulting reports being required before the application can be approved. Despite the range of possible subdivision applications, the followings steps are a general framework of the process:

1. Pre-application meeting

Prior to submitting an application for subdivision, applicants should meet with the Approving Officer and other District staff as determined necessary by the Approving Officer, to discuss basic requirements of the proposed subdivision, including but not limited to:

  • zoning,
  • minimum lot sizes and lot widths,
  • trees,
  • environmental considerations,
  • servicing
  • heritage considerations, and
  • additional requirements as determined by the Approving Officer.

An important step in the pre-application meeting is the initial discussion between staff and the applicant regarding necessary considerations for on-site and off-site servicing (including water, sewer, storm, and access). On site and off site servicing considerations are a crucial component of any subdivision as regulated by the Subdivision and Development Bylaw. Servicing upgrades are typical of a subdivision application and works and associated costs can be substantial depending on the specific conditions of the services that are affected. Applicants should anticipate ongoing consultation with staff about site servicing throughout the subdivision process and will likely require the assistance of a professional engineer.

Applicants should also contemplate how or if they will discuss their subdivision proposal with the neighbourhood (this opportunity for public input is not a legislated or regulatory requirement).

2. Submission of Subdivision Application

  • Applicants submit a complete application for Preliminary Layout Consideration (PLC), as per the form.

3. Preliminary Review (Internal and External)

  • The application is referred to the relevant municipal departments, and other external agencies as deemed necessary by the Approving Officer for preliminary review.​

4. Preliminary Layout Consideration

  • Once a preliminary review is complete, the Approving Officer may grant Preliminary Layout Consideration (PLC) in the form of a letter. The PLC will outline a list of requirements that must be fulfilled or may ask for additional information as a condition before final consideration and approval can be granted. Alternatively, the Approving Officer may request additional information and/or studies to fully evaluate the proposal prior to Preliminary Layout Consideration.
  • Preliminary Layout Consideration is NOT final approval of the subdivision plan.

5. Completion of Conditions and Undertaking of Works and Services

  • Following PLC issuance, it is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the identified requirements / conditions as noted above.
  • The Approving Officer and District staff (Engineering, Parks, Building and Planning) will review the resulting submissions from the applicant and coordinate the necessary documentation for the applicant to complete works and services.

6. Consideration of  Final Approval

  • Once an applicant has completed the conditions of the PLC, they must submit an application and documentation for final approval indicating all requirements have been met, including payment of all fees and submission of a final survey plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor.
  • Once the Approving Officer has reviewed the final plans and all supporting documentation, and has determined all requirements of the PLC have been fulfilled, a final decision will be made.

7. Registration of Plans

  • Plans and documents are executed by the Approving Officer and forwarded to the applicant’s support team (eg. lawyer, surveyor) for registration.
  • Plans and other associated legal documentation are registered with the Land Title Office. This formally creates the new lots.