Subdivision Approval Process Step by Step

1. Pre-Application Meeting

This initial discussion with staff to review your development intentions is your opportunity to seek more information in advance of submitting a formal application. To make the best use of your time, provide a sketch plan and prepare specific questions in advance. Be prepared and knowledgeable about your proposed subdivision. The more information you are able to gather before submitting an application, the more efficiently the process is likely to run.

2. Application Submission

If your property is appropriately zoned, you may submit an application to seek subdivision approval. For a full list of requirements, see the Subdivision Application Approval User Guide. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

3. Internal (DART) and External Review

The city’s Development Application Review Team (DART) meets bi-weekly, and  includes key staff from departments responsible for development, subdivision and capital project delivery. DART reviews new project and will provide comments on applications  typicllay within two weeks of the meeting date. The DART process establishes site specific technical requirements, which must be completed to the satisfaction of the Approving Officer before a Preliminary Layout Review (PLR) letter is prepared.

The City refers the application to external agencies for comment and their respective approval requirements. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to fulfill external agency requirements and obtain all necessary approvals or permits for the proposed development.

4. PLR Preparation

The PLR outlines  subdivision completion requirements. The Approving Officer collects, compiles and reviews all internal and external review comments, and reviews relevant legislation and city bylaws in order to determine if a proposal is eligible for PLR. The PLR will include an initial calculation of Development Cost Charges (DCC)s and other Municipal fees . The PLR is valid for six months, with the possibility of a six-month extension where progress on the project is demonstrated.

5. Completion of PLR Requirements

The PLR outlines subdivision requirements such as infrastructure improvements (road paving, water, sanitary and stormwater system upgrades, etc.), legal agreements and environmental protection.

6. Completion or Bonding of Works and Services

If you are seeking subdivision approval before installing works and services, you will need a  Servicing Agreement. All services must be installed at the owner’s expense prior to final subdivision approval, unless the owner provides security and enters into a subdivision servicing agreement with the city to complete the required works by a specified date.

A Servicing Agreement requires the Applicant to provide:

  • A cost estimate of the proposed subdivision servicing works including engineering fees, construction costs with the appropriate contingency sum, and warranty deposit amount. This estimate must be certified by a Professional Engineer and forms the basis of the security required by the Applicant for execution of the agreement.
  • Security in the amount of cost estimate above, augmented by the contingency required by the City over and above that identified in the estimate. The Engineering Division will advise the Applicant of the current security requirements.
  • Liability insurance where the construction of works is proposed to extend into City controlled lands or road dedication. The Engineering Division will advise the Applicant of the current insurance requirements.

7. Subdivision Approval

Once the Servicing Agreement and other conditions of the PLR have been addressed, you may apply for subdivision approval to the city’s Approving Officer. In doing so, you must provide:

  • A cover letter identifying the request and providing the documentation demonstrating that all the conditions of the PLR have been met
  • The final survey plan as prepared by a B.C. Land Surveyor (BCLS)
  • Payment of all application fees and/or outstanding service/connection or other fees (as applicable)
  • Proof that all property taxes are paid in full
  • Payment for the applicable Development Cost Charge amount
  • Provide all other required documentation as defined in the PLR

If appropriate, the Approving Officer will approve the subdivision by signing the final subdivision plan.

8. Plan Registration

Once signed by the Approving Officer, your plans will be returned to you, and are now ready to be registered at the Land Title Office (by you or your solicitor) along with other documents which may have been required (restrictive covenants, rights-of-way, etc.). This is the process that creates legal title for each new parcel defined on the subdivision plan. The plans must be registered within two months of signing by the Approving Officer.