What is a subdivision?

A subdivision is the process of dividing land into two or more legal parcels. Lot line adjustments between 2 or more separate parcels which do not create additional parcels (boundary adjustment) are also considered subdivisions.

How to apply for a subdivision?

All applications for subdivision in rural areas (those areas outside a municipality) must be submitted to the Ministry of Transportation. This Ministry is the approving authority for all subdivisions in these areas. The Ministry of Transportation then refers all applications to a variety of other provincial and public agencies, including the Regional District, for comments.

It is advisable to discuss your subdivision proposal with both the Ministry of Transportation and the Regional District before submitting an application.

What is the Regional District subdivision review process?

Once the Regional District has received the Subdivision Referral from the Ministry of Transportation, a Subdivision Referral review fee is determined.

  • $400 Subdivision referral administration fee
  • $500 Each fee simple lot intended to be created
  • $500 Each strata lot/unit intended to be created
  • $100 Boundary adjustments, per lot altered
  • $150 Each revision of subdivision referrals

(RDOS's Fees & Charges Bylaw No. 2619, 2013)

The subdivision referral will be reviewed for Regional District requirements only after the referral fees are collected from the applicant. Once the referral fees have been collected, the applicant will receive a letter of requirements (LOR) detailing the Regional District requirements for subdivision. A copy of this letter will be sent to the Ministry of Transportation and the applicant.

After receiving all information from the applicant the Regional District will assess the subdivision proposal. At this time the Regional District may contact the applicant for further information or clarifications.

The Regional District will then write a letter of approval (LOA) to the Ministry of Transportation stating whether the submissions meet Regional District bylaw requirements.

What are the Key Points for Regional District Approval?

Agricultural Land Reserve status:

Subdividing land within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) requires prior approval by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC). No subdivision will occur without this approval.

Applications for subdividing ALR can be picked up and paid for at the Regional District main office.

Official Community Plans and Zoning bylaws:

Staff will examine proposals to make sure it meets the requirements of Regional District Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaws. Any lots created by subdivision must conform to minimum lot size and minimum lot width. Another requirement for subdivision may include the need for park dedication.

You may apply for necessary OCP or Zoning amendments at the same time you submit your application for subdivision. If these amendments are not approved, your subdivision may not be approved.

Parkland Dedication:

There is a provision for parkland dedication during subdivision under the Local Government Act, Section 941. The Regional District adopted a revision to the Parkland Dedication Policy on July 8, 2010, which outlines the decision making process.

Subdivision Servicing Bylaw:

RDOS Subdivision Servicing Bylaws require that every new parcel be supplied with an adequate supply of water and confirmation of electrical connection and approved method of sewage disposal. Other service requirements may include storm water drainage, curb and gutter and street lighting. The required services must meet the requirements laid out in the Bylaw or those of the local water or sewer authority.

Water and Sewer:

Properties in an area serviced by a community water system or a community sewer system must provide proof that there is adequate capacity in the system for your subdivision. The Regional District will need a letter from your provider showing that the lots being created can be connected to the local water and/or sewer system while meeting the requirments of the Regional District bylaws.

If your property is not served by a community water system, you must prove that an adequate water supply can be provided. Usually, this means drilling a well and having the water tested. A Public Health Inspector at Interior Health can tell you how to get your water tested.

If your property is not served by a community sewer system, you must prove that there is adequate area on your property for an on-site sewage disposal system. Contact the Public Health Inspector at Interior Health to find out how to do this.

How will Notification of Approval or Denial be given?

The Ministry of Transportation provides the final approving authority for subdivisions in rural areas. Once the Ministry of Transportation has received responses from the referral agencies the Ministry will determine the subdivision application approval. The Ministry will issue either a Preliminary Layout Approved (PLA) or a Preliminary Layout Not Approved (PLNA). In either case the Ministry will inform you what is still needed to complete your subdivision.