A preliminary proposal establishes whether a subdivision is possible without you having to pay in advance for a subdivision plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor. Once you have preliminary approval letter, advise your surveyor to proceed with the survey and prepare the necessary subdivision plans.
If you submit a subdivision plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor with the proposal, that's a formal application to subdivide. The submission requirements are the same as for a preliminary proposal, except that a registration set of subdivision plans is submitted in place of a sketch plan.
Our Subdivision and Strata Title team review all proposals. In our review, we:
- Consider the proposed parcel size dimensions, the configuration, and the intended use
- Determine compliance with all applicable City bylaws
- Get comments and advice from other City departments, provincial authorities, and neighbouring property owners, as required
- Make a recommendation, based on the results of the review, to the approving officer for a decision
Most subdivisions do not require a public notification, but the approving officer may choose to notify neighbouring property owners if there is a concern that they may be detrimentally affected by a proposed subdivision. In these cases, neighbours are encouraged to comment on the proposal, and the approving officer considers these comments, in conjunction with the staff analysis, and other relevant information before making a decision.
Approval of a proposal
If your proposal is accepted by the approving officer, we issue you a letter outlining conditions that must be met before approving the final subdivision plan. For preliminary proposals, the preliminary approval letter is valid for 120 days from the date of approval, but in general the application will be kept active as long as the subdivision plan is submitted within that time.
Refusal of a proposal
If your proposal is refused by the approving officer, we issue a letter outlining the reasons for the refusal. There is no appeal process for a preliminary proposal that is refused. A formal subdivision application must be filed, and refused in writing by the approving officer before an appeal can be made. Subdivision appeal provisions are outlined in both he Land Title Act and the Vancouver Charter, which are both provincial legislation. Appeal a subdivision refusal to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Neither City Council nor the Board of Variance has any jurisdiction in subdivision matters.
Obtaining final plan approval
Before a subdivision plan can be signed by the approving officer, satisfy all the conditions in the letter of preliminary approval. Have all the owners, mortgage lenders, and any other charge holders sign all the copies of the subdivision plan before obtaining final approval from the approving officer.
Once those conditions have been met and the approving officer signs the subdivision plan, you have the two months to deposit the plan for registration at the Land Title Office. If this has not been completed, you need to re-submit the plan to the approving officer for re-approval.
Subdivision of industrial or commercial lands that may have contaminated soils
Under provincial legislation, the City must collect a site profile as part of an application to subdivide. If you haven’t submitted a site profile as part of a related rezoning or permit application, our Environmental Protection team will request one as part of your subdivision application. If your site meets the criteria, you can submit a site profile exemption form.
Depending on the BC Ministry of Environment response to your site profile submission, you may be required to enter into a remediation agreement with the City as a condition of the subdivision.
Registering subdivision plans
All subdivision plans must be deposited for registration at the Provincial Land Title Office.