What is Subdivision?

Subdivision is the process of dividing existing parcels into new parcels or changing existing property boundaries. If you would like to divide your land into two or more plots of land, you will need to complete a subdivision application. In addition to these more common examples, there are other forms of subdivisions, and we recommend that you consult with Development Services staff to discuss. Please refer to the Development and Land Use Application Form and the Subdivision checklists to determine the minimum submission requirements.

Subdivision can include:

Cost of Subdivision

There are significant costs to subdividing lands - the upgrades and changes needed to accommodate new development have related demands on road, water, sanitary, and storm water systems. Please refer to the Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 1603.

Role of the Approving Officer

All subdivisions must receive the approval of the Approving Officer (AO). The Approving Officer is a statutory official with separate and independent jurisdiction from the local government (Mayor and City Council). The Approving Officer is appointed under the Land Title Act and by the Strata Property Act, to make decisions and exercise discretionary powers with respect to the subdivision of land. Authority to approve or deny a subdivision application is at the sole discretion of the Approving Officer through Provincial Legislation and contained in the City of Colwood Subdivision and Servicing Bylaw as well as several key provincial statutes. It is the responsibility of the Approving Officer to ensure that subdivisions are in accordance with Provincial statues, regulations and local government bylaws regulating subdivision and zoning. 

The review and approval process for subdivisions is necessary to ensure that all statutory and City Bylaw requirements are addressed including but not limited to:

  • Size and shape of lots/buildable area;
  • Roads, lanes and emergency vehicles access;
  • Parks, open space and walkways;
  • Preservation of natural features (ravines, streams, trees, etc.);
  • Compatibility of subdivision pattern with surrounding neighbourhood;
  • Sanitary sewer, water, drainage, street lights and other services; and,
  • Municipal infrastructure such as protection of opportunity for future development for lands adjacent to or beyond the lands being subdivided

Subdivision Process 

Once a completed preliminary subdivision application is received, it will be reviewed by internal departments and external agencies before a Preliminary Layout Assessment (PLA) is issued. This letter provides a preliminary list of technical requirements to be completed before final approval of the subdivision. You may also be asked to submit additional information or revise the proposal as a result of this review.

A typical PLA is issued within 3-4 months, though the process for more complex proposals will take longer. To address the PLA you may be required to submit civil engineering plans, enter into a Servicing Agreement, and other legal documents. It typically takes 12 months to satisfy the requirements of the PLA before the application is ready for consideration of approval. The timing of final subdivision approval may be affected if your subdivision application also requires other development approval processes, such as a Development Permit or Development Variance Permit.

The full OCP Amendment and Rezoning process is outlined in the diagram below. Once you are ready to apply, ensure you have completed the relevant Subdivision Application Checklist, and submit the online Development and Land Use Application form. 

Additional Links

Development and Land Use Application Form

Subdivision (Air Space Parcel) Application Checklist

Subdivision (Final) Application Checklist

Subdivision (Form P) Application Checklist

Subdivision (PLA) Application Checklist

Subdivision (Strata Conversion) Application Checklist

Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 1603

If you have any questions about the Subdivision Process, please contact Development Services at 250-294-8153 or planning@colwood.ca.