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General Information on the Subdivision Process

Subdivision is the legal division of a single parcel of land into two or more parcels; each of which is then given a separate title. Subdivision is also used for existing lot line adjustments. Before being registered with Alberta Land Titles, each subdivision must receive approval and endorsement from the MD's subdivision approval authority. You must apply for subdivision approval if you want to:

  • Divide your land into smaller parcels of land
  • Split one parcel into two or more lots
  • Adjust or realign existing property boundaries
  • Consolidate one or more properties into a single lot

Subdividing and Redistricting Advice

If you're planning on subdividing your land and are required to redistrict your land, both applications can be submitted at the same time. However, Council must approve your redistricting application before you can receive subdivision approval.

Understanding Subdivision Compliance and Approvals

The subdivision approval authority ensures that the land to be subdivided is suitable for its proposed use, and that what is proposed complies with the statutory plans and the MD's Land Use Bylaw in addition to all provincial legislation, including the Municipal Government Act (RSA 2000) and the Subdivision and Development Regulation (43/2002). This compliance process is designed to:

  • Protect MD communities and residents from developments that might not be appropriate;
  • Reduce conflicts with other land uses; and
  • Guide the orderly development of land in the community.
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Overview of the Subdivision Application Process

Regardless of how simple or complex subdividing will be, the Municipal Government Act and the Subdivision and Development Regulation require that a common process be followed. The following table describes the general steps that are followed during a typical application process.

Initial Inquiry

Applicants should review the property zoning, minimum and maximum lot size, and other requirements with the MD Planning Department. A meeting with the Planning and Development Officer is recommended.

Duration: 1 day

Application

Applicants submit a detailed application that includes the following: required fees, proposed plan of subdivision, plan showing proposed driveway locations and potential building area.

Duration: 20 days

Review and Decision

The application is reviewed by several departments and agencies. The application is reviewed by the MPC who conditionally approves the subdivision.

Duration: 60 days

Confition Fulfilment

The applicant fulfills all conditions imposed on the subdivision by the MPC. Due to weather conditions it is recommended that the applicant does not leave road construction to the winter months.

Duration: up to 1 year

Endorsement

The subdivision is endorsed when all conditions are deemed complete by the Planning and Development Officer and the Municipal Engineer. The applicant’s surveyor then registers the plans at the Land Title Office.

Duration: 20 days

Before you consider subdivision, there are several factors that should be discussed with MD staff:

  • Size of the new lots. Several restrictions exist to the size of lots. For example, the maximum size for a farmstead subdivision is 2 ha (some exceptions apply).
  • Agricultural or Rural zoned lands cannot be subdivided into multiple lots without rezoning the parcel first.
  • Site conditions such as creeks, ravines, and valleys may cause environmental concerns – if your property has steep slopes or is adjacent to a creek or ravine, retaining those features in their natural state will be a priority during the subdivision process. If soil conditions warrant detailed geotechnical study, special conditions may apply.
  • Servicing – If available in the area of subdivision, all lots must be connected to municipal water, sanitary sewer, and storm drainage systems. Upgrade of these services and the adjacent road (curb, gutter, sidewalk, road surface, catch basins, fire hydrants etc.) may be required. The preliminary application review will identify the necessary upgrades. Applicants must also upgrade electricity and gas services to the new lots and should contact utility companies directly for these requirements.
  • For larger or potentially controversial projects, public consultation may be required.
  • Planning staff can help identify possible costs before the developer has invested too much money into the subdivision.
  • A subdivision must conform to statutory plans be and suitable for the intended use of land. Planning staff can help applicants tailor the application to conform to these plans.
  • Identify transportation issues, such as access to highway.
  • Identify restrictions to subdivisions i.e. oil and gas development or intense agricultural operations in close proximity to the land to be subdivided.
  • Inquire about the natural gas availability for the proposed lands of the subdivision. Not all subdivisions can be serviced by natural gas and knowing this prior to applying for a subdivision is vital. Typically, the gas company will not install lines through crown land.

Ultimately, the initial inquiry will help the developer have a better understanding of all the steps and costs involved so that a subdivision cost and feasibility calculation can be made.

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