Subdivision & stratification proposals
There are various requirements for subdividing a property or stratifying a building in Kelowna.
Subdivision is the legal mechanism used to create new, titled parcels of land and to adjust existing property lines.
Privately owned land in B.C. is registered under the Torrens Land Title Registration System. In general, land can’t be subdivided without registering the changes with the Land Title Office. In almost all cases, the Land Title Office will not register a subdivision without the signature of an Approving Officer on the subdivision plan.
If your subdivision proposal complies with current zoning regulations, you can submit an application to the City’s Subdivision Approving Officer. If your subdivision proposal doesn’t comply with current zoning regulations, you may need to also make a rezoning application.
- Adjusting lot lines between two or more parcels
- Creating new lots from one or more parcels
- Creating lots in a bare land strata development
- Creating a phased strata plan development
- Subdividing land for the purpose of leasing for a term longer than three years
- Air space plan subdivisions
- Strata conversion
Subdivisions can be costly depending on the scope of the development and specific site features. Some of the significant costs can include:
- Servicing costs including water and sewer - this is regulated by Subdivision, Development, and Servicing Bylaw No 7900
- Legal and survey costs
- Fees for consultants including surveyors, engineers, arborists and qualified environmental professionals
- FortisBC Electric and FortisBC Gas requirements
- Ministry of Transportation requirements
- Development cost charges
- Development application fees
There are seven steps involved in the subdivision process:
Applicants are encouraged to contact Development Planning to schedule a meeting to discuss their proposal. Staff will provide information about the application process and identify site-specific issues such as zoning, planning policy, development permit areas, existing services and development constraints.
It’s important to note that subdivision application fees are non-refundable. Applicants are encouraged work with qualified professionals prior to submitting a formal application.
You can view and print information about all properties within Kelowna by using our online interactive map.
When you are ready to make your application, submit the following forms along with associated fees to the Application Centre on the second floor of City Hall:
Read the subdivision application checklist for more information about the documents that need to be submitted with your application.
Subdivision applications are circulated for review to internal departments and external agencies. Departments and agencies that may review your application include development engineering, transportation, FortisBC Electric and School District 23. Depending on the complexity of the proposal, you may be asked to provide additional information.
Approving Officers have a statutory responsibly to determine if a proposed subdivision is against the public interest and may hear from anyone thinks they may be affected by the subdivision. You can view subdivision applications on our current developments map. To stay informed about a subdivision in your area, sign up for e-Subscribe to receive daily newsletters about current developments.
If City staff determine that a subdivision proposal can move forward, the next step is a preliminary layout review letter, which is issued by the City to the applicant. The preliminary layout review letter lists all the requirements that need to be met before final approval of the subdivision. The letter is valid for one year and may include requirements such as:
- Subdivision layout, road alignments and lot dimensions
- Dedication of park land or cash-in-lieu
- Protection of the natural environment
- Covenants, easements and statutory rights-of-way
- Engineering servicing requirements
- External agency requirements
- Ministry of Transportation requirements
Next, applicants must hire a professional engineer to design the works and services required in accordance with the Subdivision Bylaw. All services must be installed at the owner’s expense prior to final subdivision approval, unless the owner provides bonding and enters into an agreement with the City to complete the required works.
Once the subdivision documents are signed by the Approving Officer, they’re returned to the applicant or their legal representative for registration at the Land Title Office. When the documents are registered, a legal title will be for each new parcel shown on the subdivision plan
There’s a wide range of provincial and local government legislation and regulations that are taken into consideration when assessing subdivision applications, including, but not limited to:
A stratified building is two or more individual dwelling units that share a single lot as common property. Once the units are stratified, they can be sold independently. To stratify dwelling units, a lot must be zoned RU6, RU7, or an RM zone. There are two types of stratifications:
- Two, three, and four dwelling housing on lots zoned RU6 or RU7
- Multi-family dwellings on RM zoned lots
Official Community Plan Policy 5.9.1 doesn’t support stratification of existing buildings with four or more units when the rental vacancy rate is below three per cent. This is to encourage the preservation of rental housing.
Stratification can be complicated and take many months. If you’re new to the process, we suggest that you hire an agent to work with you on your proposal such as a land surveyor, engineer, or development consultant.
A building status report prepared by a certified professional is required to initiate the process of stratifying a building. The building status report identifies upgrades needed to bring the building reasonably up to current BC Building Code standards. This can be expensive depending on the state of the existing building(s).
Next, you must submit a stratification application package and an owner’s authorization form. Several City documents will influence if your property can be stratified including the Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw, and Council Policies. Processing times for stratification proposals vary depending on staff workload and the complexity of the proposal.
Application fees are listed in our Development Application Fees Bylaw and change yearly. Depending on your proposal, you may be responsible for other costs including:
- Building permits
- Development cost charges
- Upgrades to services such as roads, water, and sewer
- Covenants and other legal documents
- Environmental habitat restoration
- Site grading
Other agencies – such as FortisBC, your water provider or the BC Safety Authority – may also charge fees related to your application.
Any building permits required for your proposal must be complete before your stratification request can be approved. You will require an electrical contractor authorization to ensure your proposal is in accordance with electrical safety regulations.