Subdivision Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is subdivision?

    Subdivision is the process of altering legal property boundaries, typically to create new parcels of land. Authority to grant subdivision approval is granted to the Approving Officer from the Province in the Local Government Act, Land Title Act, Courtenay Subdivision Control Bylaw, as well as in several key provincial statutes. The subdivision of land can be a complicated process involving overlapping interests, and approval is at the discretion of the Approving Officer. The ability to subdivide is a combination of meeting the Zoning Bylaw requirements and having adequate services and capacity to service the additional lots. The role of the Approving Officer is to exercise an understanding of municipal regulations with consideration of the long term public good before approving or denying subdivision.

  2. Why is subdivision approval important?

    The subdivision process ensures that new parcels of land are created in a manner that is beneficial to the overall wellbeing of the community. While rezoning approval affirms that a land use is compatible with its surroundings, subdivision approval ensures that newly created lots will not negatively impact public safety, transportation linkages, environmentally sensitive areas, utility capacities or long term growth.

  3. How do I find out requirements before I apply?

    The Subdivision Approval Process User Guide [PDF - 330 KB] is a valuable tool outlining the city’s basic minimum requirements. However, to fully establish the requirements for individual applications, it is often necessary for staff to review a preliminary submission and refer the proposal to other departments or provincial agencies. A discussion with city staff can help you determine up front what types of information you will need to provide, and what professionals you will need to engage, to address the specific and unique requirements of your site.

  4. Do I need to hire consultants to help prepare my application?

    You will likely need to hire professionals to assist with aspects of your development. Depending on the complexity of your project, professional surveyors, planners, engineers and/or biologists may be required to satisfy application requirements. It is strongly recommended that coordination of the various activities is specifically assigned to one person who can communicate progress, respond to requests for information and ensure all necessary steps are followed in the correct sequence. It is important that the coordinator has a general understanding of the regulatory process and procedures and can effectively communicate between the various professionals, property owners and city staff to ensure the efficiency of the approval process.