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 are the Key Points for Regional District Approval?

Agricultural Land Commission

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

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 Service 

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.