Subdividing land is often a part of retirement or estate planning, farm succession planning, or an opportunity for new development. Subdividing a parcel requires provincial and municipal approval and may require rezoning. The province requires that subdivisions follow a specific process that can take between 3 and 6 months.
Click here for a copy of the Application to Subdivide Land. This application includes all relevant provincial and municipal documents and information.
1. Contact the RM Planning Department. Planning staff can help identify any constraints or requirements that the applicant should address before applying to the province.
Some requirements RM staff may highlight include:
- What is your long-term plan for the parcel(s)?
- What is your proposed timeline for development?
- How do you plan to access the parcel(s)? Is the roadway all-season?
- How do you plan to access potable water?
- How do you plan to deal with wastewater?
2. Contact a surveyor to create a Plan of Proposed Subdivision. The surveyor must be a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) or a certified land surveyor. Depending on the proposed parcels and their zoning district, the Plan of Proposed Subdivision must meet specific guidelines as outlined in the Zoning Bylaw.
3. After hiring a surveyor to create a Plan of Proposed Subdivision, they will submit an Application to Subdivide Land to the province's Community Planning branch.
4. After applying to Community Planning, they will refer the application back to the RM for review. They may also send the application to other agencies.
5. Once the RM receives the application from the province, RM staff will begin working on the rezoning and service agreement process (see below for more information about servicing agreements). The Planning Department may ask to meet with you and your surveyor to discuss other required forms, reports, studies, and documents.
6. While discussing servicing fees, the municipality may also require municipal reserve. This amount can be met either by dedicating land for municipal and public amenities or through cash-in-lieu (see below for more information about municipal reserve).
7. Once the applicant has signed the servicing agreement and paid all servicing and advertising fees and, if rezoning was required, it has been approved by Council, an RM Planner will present your application to Council for subdivision approval.
8. If Council grants subdivision approval, an RM planner will submit the subdivision approval to the province for review. From the date of submission, the province has 30 days to respond.
9. If the subdivision receives approval from the province, they will contact your surveyor with a Certificate of Approval. At that point, your surveyor will contact ISC (Information Services Corporation) to create separate certificates of title for each new parcel.
What is a Servicing Agreement?
A Servicing Agreement is a legal document between the applicant and the municipality. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of the applicant regarding development and the municipality regarding parcel servicing. As part of a Servicing Agreement, the applicant may also be responsible for paying servicing fees, including:
- Road and Construction
- Bridges and Drainage
- Public Works Facilities
- General Governance
- Fire and Protective Services
- Parks, Recreation, and Pathways
- Planning and Development/Administration
- Municipal Reserve (see below)
Specific fee amounts are outlined in the Servicing Agreement Fees and Securities Policy.
To learn more about Servicing Agreements, please review the Subdivision Servicing Agreements Information Sheet below.
What is Municipal Reserve?
Provincial legislation requires that Municipal Reserve be provided at the time of subdivision. The Municipal Reserve requirement can be satisfied either through land dedication or cash-in-lieu. For residential subdivisions, land dedication is equal to 10% of the total subdivided land area. For commercial or industrial subdivisions, land dedication is equal to 5% of the total subdivided land area.
In many cases, especially for rural and single-parcel subdivisions, the Municipality will take a monetary cash-in-lieu payment instead of land dedication. The following payments shall be required in lieu of land dedication:
- For Single-Parcel Country Residential Developments outside the Development Overlay Area: payment is $6,500 per acre of land required for land dedication (10% for residential and 5% for commercial and industrial).
- For All Developments within the Development Overlay Area and All non-Single-Parcel Country Residential Developments outside the Development Overlay Area: payment is equal to 10% for residential (or 5% for commercial/industrial) of the land value as determined by an appraisal undertaken by the RM.
The RM’s municipal appraiser is a third-party consultant who calculates the land value using fixed appraisal tools at no cost to the subdivision applicant. If the applicant is unsatisfied with the assessment provided by the Municipality, they may hire an appraiser at their own expense.
Municipal Reserve cash-in-lieu payments are due at the time of signing the Servicing Agreement.
To learn more about Municipal Reserve and cash-in-lieu, please review the Municipal Reserve - Cash-in-lieu Policy (May 2023) or read the Municipal Dedicated Lands Information Sheet below.