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Subdividing in BC

Subdividing is a complex process involving many overlapping interests; depending on the size and complexity of your project, it can take many months to get from the idea stage to building.  If you are new to subdividing, we strongly suggest that you hire a practitioner to work with you on your proposal; you may choose a BC Land Surveyor, an engineer, or a development consultant.  You can also contact your local Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure District Office for more help. 

Roles and Authorities

Every subdivision must be approved by an Approving Officer appointed under the Land Title Act.  For rural subdivisions the Approving Officer is situated in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure district offices.  There are other authorities, held by local governments and agencies, that must be adhered to as well. These are listed in detail in the Roles and Authorities section.

What Is A Subdivision?

  • Consolidating two or more properties into one lot
  • Adjusting or realigning an existing property line
  • Creating several lots from one or more existing properties
  • Creating several strata lots from one or more existing properties

Types of Subdivisions

  • conventional subdivision
  • strata (consisting of bare land, building and phased strata lots)
  • cooperative corporation/shared interest
  • aboriginal reserves
  • leases

Time Required

The time it takes to process and make a decision on your rural subdivision proposal can vary, depending on the number of applications in the system, the scale and complexity of your project, and how thoroughly you prepare your application. Components include time for review of the application, investigation and development.

Fees and Costs

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure charges two fees, one at the time of your application and another for the review of final plans. Other agencies may also charge fees related to your application.

You may incur the cost of site investigations if required by the Approving Officer. Common assessments are:

  • geotechnical
  • archaeological
  • environmental
  • hydrological
  • soils

Finally you are responsible for all costs related to the subdivision and development of the property. For example:

  • road and drainage works
  • utilities
  • survey
  • covenants and other legal documents