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Subdivision is the process whereby a parcel of land is divided into two or more parcels in order to obtain separate legal titles for each parcel. The landowner may make an application for subdivision, or hire an individual such as a professional planning consultant or an Alberta Land Surveyor, to make an application on the owner's behalf. Hiring an expert to manage the application helps ensure the process remains efficient.

The Subdivision Authority reviews applications to:

  • Subdivide land into two or more parcels (apply online)
  • Subdivide land into two or more bare land condominium units (apply online)
  • Convert existing buildings into condominiums.

The subdivision submission information package, including a process of approval flowchart, outlines the necessary steps.

Step 1. Application Submission

If you are considering subdividing a property, the City of Edmonton's Planning Coordination Section uses a web-based Land Development Application (LDA) process for all subdivision applications processed by the Branch.

The online application form asks users to register for an account. Once registered, applicants can monitor the progress of their applications online.

Application criteria

Each application is reviewed to determine compliance with:

The review also checks to ensure:

  • The parcel created is suitable for its intended use including environmental considerations
  • The parcel created is serviceable
  • The parcel created has access to a road or a lawful means of access satisfactory to the Subdivision Authority

Types of Subdivision Applications: Major and Minor

Applications are categorized into two types, Major and Minor Subdivision Applications.

Major Subdivision Application

Often occur in new areas where new infrastructure (for example, roads, underground utilities, parks, and so on) have not been constructed yet.

Minor Subdivision Application

Often occur where infrastructure already exists and the land use class is staying the same (for example, the creation of one additional lot from parcel that is already zoned for residential uses).

Please see below for more information for the requirements on the different types of applications.

Major Subdivision Application

A subdivision application is considered to be major when one or more of the following criteria are present:

  • An associated plan amendment, rezoning or road closure application
  • Servicing Agreement is required (for construction of new roadways, major underground utilities, and so on); and/or
  • Reserves are owing

Application Requirements for a Major Subdivision Application

A complete application includes:​

  1. Include digital PDF copies of:
    1. the Certificate of Title, issued by a registry office less than 30 days before your application submission; and
    2. the “tentative plan of subdivision” (see below for more detail on this).
       
  2. You will also need to provide information identifying the location or confirming the absence of any abandoned wells within the proposed subdivision as set out in the ERCB Directive 079, Surface Development in Proximity to Abandoned Wellbores:
  • If no abandoned wells are identified, a signed declaration form confirming the absence of abandoned wells is required
  • If one or more abandoned wells are identified, a map showing the actual wellbore locations and a description of the minimum setback requirements in relation to the existing or proposed building sites (as set out in the ERCB Directive 079) is required

A “tentative plan of subdivision” (geographic representation of the titled lands to be subdivided) should contain:

  • The location, dimensions (metres), and boundaries of each new lot
  • Labels for Municipal Reserve (MR), Environmental Reserve (ER), Natural Areas, Public Utility Lot (PUL), walkways, greenways and roadways
  • Any existing rights-of-ways (that is, public utilities, roadways)
  • The location, use and dimensions of buildings on the land that is the subject of the application and specifying those buildings that are proposed to be demolished or moved
  • The approximate location and boundaries of the bed and shore of any river, stream, watercourse, lake or other body of water that is contained within or bounds the proposed parcel of land
  • Description of the use or uses proposed for the land that is the subject of the application
  • If the proposed lots are to be served by individual wells and private sewage disposal systems, the location of any existing or proposed wells, the location and type of any private sewage disposal systems and the distance from these to existing or proposed buildings and property lines
  • The existing and proposed access to the proposed parcels and the remainder of the titled area
  • The proposed roads identified as numbered or named streets and avenues
  • Digital copies of the tentative plan of subdivision required in PDF and dwg formats (all submissions in AutoCAD must be set in AutoCAD 14)

Depending on the application, additional documents such as an Environmental Site Assessment, conceptual schemes of future surrounding subdivisions, a computational sheet detailing the breakdown of land uses and units, and a property value appraisal report may be required.

Once an application is accepted fees are applied. The fees must be paid before the application will be processed.

Your application will be circulated to City departments and other affected agencies. In some cases, adjacent land owners will be notified. The responses will be reviewed and your application will be approved or refused.

Minor Subdivision Application

A subdivision application is considered to be minor when the following criteria are absent:

  • An associated plan amendment, rezoning or road closure application
  • A servicing agreement; and/or
  • Reserves are owing

Subdivisions in mature areas generally fall within the minor subdivision category because the major infrastructure already exists.

Application Requirements for a Minor Subdivision Application

The following documents will be required to make a minor subdivision application:

  • A digital copy of the Certificate of Title issued by a registry office less than 30 days before your application submission
  • Digital copy of the tentative plan of subdivision in PDF format which includes:
    • Dimensions of the proposed lots in metres
    • Labels for streets and alleys
    • Identify the adjacent lots (legal), for example, Lot 2, Block 3, Plan 123 HW
    • North arrow
    • Existing buildings (please note whether they will remain or be demolished)
  • A Geotechnical Report (only required when the proposed subdivision is adjacent to the ravine system, along the top-of-bank and at the discretion of our geotechnical group)

Please note the tentative plan of subdivision must be a digital drawing. We recommend contacting an Alberta Land Surveyor or professional planning consultant to submit an application on your behalf.

Typically, minor subdivision applications can be reviewed and a decision can be made within a 60-day period. More information can be found on the City of Edmonton’s Infill page.

Step 2. Subdivision Authority

Section 623 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires City Council to appoint a subdivision authority to exercise subdivision powers and duties on behalf of the municipality. In Edmonton, City Council has delegated authority to the City Manager who, in turn, has delegated authority to the Chief Subdivision Officer. The subdivision authority reviews technical matters involved in subdivision proposals, including conformity with statutory and non-statutory plans and the implementation of any public improvements the administration needs to include in associated servicing agreements. Subdivision authority meetings are not open to the public.

Step 3. After the Subdivision Authority Decision

Conditional Approval

A "conditions of approval" letter is sent by the Subdivision Authority, which may include conditions such as the request for an easement to protect a utility service or provide access to a property or properties.

Another common condition of subdivision is that the applicant enter into a servicing agreement with the municipality in order to construct certain improvements such as sewers, water, and roads so that the properties within the subdivision are properly serviced. The Servicing Agreements web page contains more information. Please note, minor subdivision applications typically do not require a servicing agreement.

The applicant may also be required to pay certain fees and assessments, such as sewer or roadway assessments, which help pay for larger shared infrastructure from which the lands will benefit. See Fees and Assessments and Financing New Sanitary Sewer Trunk Construction for additional information.

Appeal

If your application for subdivision is denied, or you disagree with a condition, you may appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board within 14 days of receipt of the written decision of the Subdivision Authority.

Only the applicant, the municipality, the school boards and the provincial government may appeal subdivisions. Adjacent property owners are notified of applications when received and are invited to comment, but have no right to appeal decisions.

The Municipal Government Act also allows subdivision to be appealed to the Municipal Government Board on matters of provincial concern or inter-municipal dispute. The Municipal Government Board is a provincially appointed board.

Step 4. Endorsement Package Submissions

Prior to going to land titles to register your lots, each application must be reviewed and consent granted by the Subdivision Authority. The review consists of reviewing the Plan of Survey and confirming that the conditions outlined on the Conditions of Approval letter have been completed.

Effective July 4, 2016, only digital endorsement submissions will be accepted.

Endorsement Submissions Requirements:

Submit digital documents to subdivisions@edmonton.ca

Sample subject line:
Endorsement Submission - LDA16-0123, 256848, Secord Stage 4

  • Send a cheque including a letter referencing:
  • LDA number
  • POSSE number
  • Attn: Blair McDowell, Chief Subdivision Officer
  • Surveyor file number

Digital documents required:

  • Cover letter outlining documents attached, how conditions have been met, a break down of MR/ ER dedication by title and cheque number
  • Plan of Survey (PDF)
  • Other necessary plans - for example, Utility Right of Ways (URW)
  • Subdivision Authority Approval form
  • Title(s)
  • Any encumbrances registered by the City - that is, Deferred Reserve Caveat (DRC)/ Utility Right of Ways (URW)

If required, please send four (4) hard copies of any Restrictive Covenants (berm and fence, top of bank and pipeline) that require our signature to execute.

Once the endorsement package is submitted via email, it will be reviewed by the Subdivision Authority. After the Subdivision Authority has endorsed the Plan of Survey the approval form will then be sent back to the surveyor, ready for registration at Alberta Land Titles.

For More Information

Applications

Telephone

311

 

Email subdivisions@edmonton.ca

Street Name Inquiries

Telephone

780-496-6226

Condominium Conversion Inquiries

Telephone

780-944-0250

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