Subdivision is the legal mechanism used to create new, titled parcels of land and to adjust existing property lines.
Privately owned land in B.C. is registered under the Torrens Land Title Registration System. In general, land can’t be subdivided without registering the changes with the Land Title Office. In almost all cases, the Land Title Office will not register a subdivision without the signature of an Approving Officer on the subdivision plan.
If your subdivision proposal complies with current zoning regulations, you can submit an application to the Town’s Subdivision Approving Officer. If your subdivision proposal doesn’t comply with current zoning regulations, you may need to also make a rezoning application.
- Adjusting lot lines between two or more parcels
- Creating new lots from one or more parcels
- Creating lots in a bare land strata development
- Creating a phased strata plan development
- Subdividing land for the purpose of leasing for a term longer than three years
- Air space plan subdivisions
- Strata conversion
Subdivisions can be costly depending on the scope of the development and specific site features. Some of the significant costs can include:
- Subdivision application fees (found in schedule 7A)
- Legal and survey costs
- Fees for consultants including surveyors, engineers, and qualified environmental professionals
- Servicing costs including water and sewer - this is regulated by Works and Services Bylaw No. 1170
- FortisBC Electric and FortisBC Gas requirements
- Ministry of Transportation requirements
- Development cost charges
Applicants are encouraged to contact Development Planning to schedule a meeting to discuss their proposal. Staff will provide information about the application process and identify site-specific issues such as zoning, planning policy, development permit areas, existing services and development constraints.
It’s important to note that subdivision application fees are non-refundable. Applicants are encouraged work with qualified professionals prior to submitting a formal application.
You can view and print information about all properties within Creston by using the Regional District of Central Kootenay online interactive map.
Subdivision applications are circulated for review to internal departments and external agencies (where required). Departments and agencies that may review your application include engineering, public works, fire, planning, BC ministry of transportation and infrastructure. Depending on the complexity of the proposal, you may be asked to provide additional information.
Approving Officers have a statutory responsibly to determine if a proposed subdivision is against the public interest and may hear from anyone who thinks they may be affected by the subdivision.
If Town staff determine that a subdivision proposal can move forward, the next step is a preliminary layout application letter, which is issued by the Town to the applicant. The preliminary layout application letter lists all the requirements that need to be met before final approval of the subdivision. The letter may be valid for up to 12 months and may include requirements such as:
- Works and Services (i.e. curb, gutter, sidewalk, street lighting);
- Dedication of parkland or cash-in-lieu (for the creation of 3 or more additional lots);
- Preservation of the environment and natural features;
- Covenants, easements, and statutory rights-of-way;
- External agency requirements;
- Payment of Development Cost Charges (DCCs)
After the Town issues a PLA Letter, you will hire a Civil Engineer to prepare detailed design drawings for the design of any roads, services, and utilities that are required as part of your subdivision. Town Engineering staff will review and coordinate the requirements, design, cost estimates etc. with your civil engineer to ensure the works and services are in accordance with the Works and Services Bylaw No. 1170. Once the drawings meet Town approval, Design Stage Acceptance (DSA) is granted and construction of works and services can begin.
All services must be installed at the owner’s expense prior to final subdivision approval.
It is now time to hire a contractor to construct the Works & Services. Your engineer will arrange a pre-construction meeting through Town Engineering staff. A “Certificate of Substantial Completion” will be prepared by your engineer following completion of the construction of all service, utility, and road works, and upon final inspection by Town crews.
Once all the requirements outlined in the preliminary layout application letter have been addressed, applicants can submit the documents for final subdivision approval.
These conditions would typically include: Final survey plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor, Development Cost Charge fees, Maintenance/Construction Agreement and related security deposit, and legal documents prepared by your lawyer/ notary. If appropriate, the Approving Officer will approve the subdivision by signing the Application to Deposit Plan and any relevant documents.
Once the subdivision documents are signed by the Approving Officer, they’re returned to the applicant or their legal representative for registration at the Land Title Office. When the documents are registered, a legal title will be for each new parcel shown on the subdivision plan.
There’s a wide range of provincial and local government legislation and regulations that are taken into consideration when assessing subdivision applications, including, but not limited to:
Related Bylaws and Plans
Subdivision regulations are outlined in the Zoning Bylaw and are different for each zone. To subdivide your property, all the new lots being proposed must meet the minimum lot width, lot depth and lot size requirements listed in the Zoning Bylaw. If your proposal does not meet Zoning Bylaw regulations, you may have to rezone your property before making a subdivision application.
For more information, visit Town Hall and speak with one of our planners, or contact us at 250-428-2214 or email@example.com.
A rezoning application is a request to change the zoning classification of a property and must be submitted to Council for approval. A rezoning application must be approved by Council and can’t be delegated to another authority.
A subdivision is the creation of new lots. It’s considered by the subdivision Approving Officer, who is appointed and governed by the Land Title Act.
If a property needs to be rezoned or if variances are required before it can be subdivided, applicants must make rezoning and/or development variance permit applications at the same time as their subdivision application. The rezoning and/or development variance permit applications would need to be approved by Council prior to the subdivision being approved.
If Council approves the rezoning and/or variances, the subdivision application is then referred to the Approving Officer, who will approve or refuse the proposed subdivision.
The Approving Officer can refuse a proposed subdivision if it conflicts with relevant provisions of the Works and Services Bylaw, Zoning Bylaw, Official Community Plan or provincial legislation. Provincial statutes outline when an Approving Officer can refuse a subdivision application. An Approving Officer can only reject a subdivision application for the reasons specified in the provincial legislation. The primary reasons for rejecting a subdivision are if it’s deemed to not be in the public interest or it doesn’t meet relevant regulations.
If your subdivision proposal is rejected, you can’t appeal to Mayor and Council. As per Section 89 of the Land Title Act the applicant can appeal an Approving Officer’s decision to the B.C. Supreme Court. Only the applicant may initiate an appeal under this legislation. There’s no appeal procedure set out in the Bare Land Strata Regulations.
The input of neighbours is one of many elements the Approving Officer can consider. That said, it wouldn’t be appropriate for the Approving Officer to reject an application solely on the grounds that the subdivision isn’t supported by the neighbourhood.
No. Provincial legislature purposely separates the role of Municipal Council from that of the Approving Officer. It wouldn’t be lawful for a Councillor or Municipal Council to unduly influence the Approving Officer for or against a subdivision application. The appeal must be made to the B.C. Supreme Court.
Municipal Councils set overall land use policies in Official Community Plans and Local Area Plans. They also have the authority to pass and change regulatory bylaws, such as the Zoning Bylaw. These bylaws are enacted through a mandated public hearing process. However, the Municipal Council can’t be involved in the subdivision approval process as this is governed by the Land Title Act and not municipal bylaw.