what is a subdivision?
A subdivision is the legal mechanism towards the creation of new parcels of land. It involves the division of an existing parcel into two or more parcels and can include re-alignment of existing property lines, creation of building and bare land strata lots, long-term leases (three years or more), building stratas, and air space parcels.
Subdivision of land requires several steps and applications which are outlined in the Subdivision and Development Services Bylaw. The Starting point for a subdivision is a review of the proposed subdivision by the Approving Officer and an an application for a “Statement of Conditions”.
why is subdivision approval required?
Provincial statutes require that subdivisions be approved by the Approving Officer who is appointed by Council. There are some forms of subdivision which do not require approval and they include plans that consolidate whole parcels and/or cancel lot lines where both parcels are under the same ownership, and some building stratas where the buildings have not yet been occupied.
The Land Title Act is the entity that authorizes a Municipal Council to appoint a person(s) to independently administer the approval or rejection process of subdivisions.
The Approving Officer is responsible to either approve or reject a subdivision application based on his or her opinion as it relates to City bylaws and policies and Provincial statutes. He or she is given the authority to use discretion concerning subdivision applications which includes the ability to determine if the subdivision is in the public interest.
The authority provided to the Approving Officer allows them to act in a judiciary manner and it is them, not Council, who approves or rejects each subdivision application.