Subdividing land is often a part of retirement or estate planning, farm succession planning, or an opportunity for new development. Subdividing a parcel requires both provincial and municipal approval and may require rezoning (learn more by clicking here). The province requires that subdivisions follow a specific process that, altogether, can take between 3 and 6 months.

Subdivision Process

1. Contact the RM Planning Department at (306) 347-2963 or by email at Planning staff can help identify any constraints or requirements that should be addressed 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 (learn more by clicking here).

3. After hiring a surveyor to create a Plan of Proposed Subdivision, they will submit an Application to Subdivide Land to the provincial Community Planning branch. Community Planning is the approving authority for subdivisions within the municipality.

4. After submitting an application 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. The Planning Department may ask to meet with you and your surveyor to discuss other required forms, reports, studies, and documents.

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, the municipality regarding parcel servicing. As part of a Servicing Agreement, the applicant will also be responsible for paying several 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 #6 below)

Specific fee amounts are outlined in more detail in the Servicing Agreement Fees and Securities Policy.

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.

What is Municipal Reserve?

Municipal Reserve is a provincial requirement for every subdivision except for the first subdivision of a quarter section. For residential subdivisions, municipal reserve is equal to 10% of the total subdivided land area. For commercial or industrial subdivisions, municipal reserve is equal to 5% of the total subdivided land area.

In some cases (for example: more remote subdivisions where it is not feasible for the RM to own and maintain land), the RM has the authority to ask for cash-in-lieu. The amount of cash-in-lieu required to satisfy the municipal reserve allocation is equal to 10% (or 5% for commercial/industrial) of the land value as determined by an appraisal undertaken by the RM.

7. Once a servicing agreement has been signed and all servicing fees have been paid, and if rezoning was required and has been approved by Council, an RM Planner will present your application to Council for subdivision approval.

8. If subdivision approval is granted, 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.