Subdivision can generally be described as the legal mechanism to create new, titled parcels of land. Where a proposed subdivision complies with the current zoning regulations for the parcel, an application can be submitted to the City of Kelowna Subdivision Approving Officer.

Privately owned land in B.C. is registered under the Torrens Land Title Registration System. Generally, land cannot be conveyed or subdivided without registering the changes in the Land Title Office. In almost all cases, the Land Title Office will not register new parcels that are created through subdivision without the signature of an Approving Officer on the plan of subdivision.

The following are types of subdivisions where approval of the Approving Officer is required:

  • Adjusting lot boundaries between two or more parcels;
  • Creating several new lots from one or more parcels;
  • Creating lots in a bare land strata development;
  • Creating a phased strata plan development;
  • Subdivision of land for the purpose of leasing for a term longer than 3 years;
  • Air space plan subdivisions
  • Strata conversion

Regulatory Framework

There is a wide range of both provincial and local government legislation and regulations taken into consideration when assessing a subdivision application, including, but not limited to:  


There may be other significant costs to consider depending on the scope of the development and specific site features. These may include:  


When do I need Council approval?

Zoning & Variances 

Zoning is a way of regulating the use and density of land. If a property must be rezoned or variances are required before it can be subdivided, it will be necessary to provide rezoning and/or development variance permit applications concurrently with the subdivision submission. Review of the applications will take place simultaneously and when complete, planning staff will prepare a report for Council’s consideration of the proposed rezoning and/or variances. For an overview of the rezoning process please refer to: Land Use Branch . 

If and when Council adopts an amending bylaw or issues any required variances, the subdivision application would be referred to the Approving Officer, who will make a decision with respect to approval or rejection of the proposed subdivision. 

Can a subdivision be refused?

The Approving Officer may decide to refuse to approve a subdivision plan under the relevant provisions of the Subdivision Bylaw, Zoning Bylaw, Provincial Statutes and Regulations. If a subdivision plan is rejected, there is no appeal to Mayor and Council. The applicant may only appeal an Approving Officer’s decision to the B.C. Supreme Court under section 89 of the Land Title Act. It is important to note that only the applicant may initiate an appeal under this legislation. There is no appeal procedure set out in the Bare Land Strata Regulations