Land Subdivision

A subdivision is the creation of new land or building parcels from one or more "parent" parcels. Subdivision plans for land within a municipality must be approved by the local subdivision approving officer, before they are acceptable for deposit at the Land Title Office. The subdivision approving officer is usually a staff person appointed by the municipal council to carry out this role. Although appointed by council, the subdivision approving officer must work in a provincial role, independent of direct council direction.

There are three main types of subdivisions:
  • Simple subdivision of land into smaller, unattached land parcels
  • Subdivision of land into smaller strata land parcels, usually with shared common property (can be in one step or in several phases)
  • Subdivision of buildings into individual strata units (can be in one step or in several phases)
When considering properties for subdivision, the subdivision approving officer must consider regulations in the Land Title Act, the Strata Subdivision Act, the Local Government Act, other provincial enactments, as well as local bylaws including the Official Community Plan, the Development Bylaw and the Subdivision Servicing Bylaw.

Houston's Development Bylaw establishes zones and permitted uses, regulations regarding signs and nuisances, minimum lot sizes by zone, and development permit areas.

Houston's Subdivision Servicing Bylaw No. 725 sets the standards for installing services to subdivisions as well as new construction on existing development sites. These services may include water and sewer service extensions, road paving and drainage, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and outside utilities such as power, gas and telecommunications utility extensions. The cost of installing these works is normally charged to the developer or subdivider.

In addition to paying for local services, new development must pay a portion of the cost to eventually upgrade existing services to meet the demands of new growth. For example, as new growth occurs, the capacity of existing water supply and sewer treatment facilities gets used up. Eventually, treatment plants need to be expanded and new water sources need to be found.

Application Fees under the Land Title Act

First Two Parcels $1,000.00
Additional Lots n/a
Subdivision Examination Fee n/a

Application Fees under the Condominium Act

First Two Strata Lots $1,000.00
Additional Lots n/a
Subdivision Examination Fee n/a

Forms Guidelines and Applications

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