Subdividing Rural Land

This information is about subdividing land in unincorporated areas. In municipal areas, please contact the municipal office. If you are considering developing a parcel of Crown land FrontCounter BC can assist you.

Subdividing is a complex process involving many overlapping interests. Depending on the size and complexity of your project, it can take many months to get from the idea stage to building. 

If you are new to subdividing, we suggest that you hire a practitioner to work with you on your proposal. You may choose a B.C. land surveyor, an engineer, or a development consultant.

If you have questions or concerns, contact your district office.

Roles & Authorities

Every subdivision must be approved by an approving officer appointed under the Land Title Act.

The approving officer for rural subdivisions is situated in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure district offices. There are other authorities, held by local governments and agencies, which must be consulted as well.

What Is A Subdivision?

  • Consolidating two or more properties into one lot
  • Adjusting or realigning an existing property line
  • Creating several lots from one or more existing properties
  • Creating several strata lots from one or more existing properties

Types of Subdivisions

  • Conventional subdivision
  • Strata (consisting of bare land, building and phased strata lots)
  • Cooperative corporation/shared interest
  • Leases
  • Subdivision of land for relatives

Time Required

The time it takes to process and make a decision on your rural subdivision proposal can vary depending on

  • The number of applications in the system
  • The scale and complexity of your project
  • How you prepare your application

Components include time for review of the application, investigation and development.

Fees & Costs

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure charges two fees, one at the time of your application and another for the review of final plans. Other agencies may also charge fees related to your application.

You may incur the cost of site investigations if required by the approving officer.

Common assessments are:

  • Geotechnical
  • Archaeological
  • Environmental
  • Hydrological
  • Soils

You are responsible for all costs related to the subdivision and development of the property.

For example:

  • Road and drainage works
  • Utilities
  • Survey
  • Covenants and other legal documents

Approval Process

The rural subdivision application process has five stages with separate steps.