Subdivision FAQs

Can I subdivide my property?

Subdivision regulations are outlined in the Zoning Bylaw and are different for each zone. To subdivide your property, all the new lots being proposed must meet the minimum lot width, lot depth and lot size requirements listed in the Zoning Bylaw. If your proposal does not meet Zoning Bylaw regulations, you may have to rezone your property before making a subdivision application.

For more information, visit Application Centre on the second floor of City Hall and speak with one of our Planning Technicians, or contact us at 250-469-8626 or

What is the difference between rezoning and subdivision?

A rezoning application is a request to change the zoning classification of a property and must be submitted to Council for approval. It involves the creation of a bylaw, a public hearing, and four readings of the bylaw by Council. A rezoning application must be approved by Council and can’t be delegated to another authority.

A subdivision is the creation of new lots. It’s considered by the subdivision Approving Officer, who is appointed and governed by the Land Title Act.

When do I need Council approval?

If a property needs to be rezoned or if variances are required before it can be subdivided, applicants must make rezoning and/or development variance permit applications at the same time as their subdivision application. The rezoning and/or development variance permit applications would need to be approved by Council prior to the subdivision being approved.

If Council approves the rezoning and/or variances, the subdivision application is then referred to the Approving Officer, who will approve or refuse the proposed subdivision. 

Can the Approving Officer refuse a subdivision application?

The Approving Officer can refuse a proposed subdivision if it conflicts with relevant provisions of the Subdivision Bylaw, Zoning Bylaw or provincial legislation . Provincial statutes outline when an Approving Officer can refuse a subdivision application. An Approving Officer can only reject a subdivision application for the reasons specified in the provincial legislation. The primary reasons for rejecting a subdivision are if it’s deemed to not be in the public interest or it doesn’t meet relevant regulations.

If your subdivision proposal is rejected, you can’t appeal to Mayor and Council. As per Section 89 of the Land Title Act the applicant can appeal an Approving Officer’s decision to the B.C. Supreme Court. Only the applicant may initiate an appeal under this legislation. There’s no appeal procedure set out in the Bare Land Strata Regulations.

If neighbours in the vicinity of a proposed subdivision write in opposition to the subdivision application, will it be rejected?

The input of neighbours is one of many elements the Approving Officer can consider. That said, it wouldn’t be appropriate for the Approving Officer to reject an application solely on the grounds that the subdivision isn’t supported by the neighbourhood.

Can the decision of the Approving Officer be appealed to the Municipal Council?

No. Provincial legislature purposely separates the role of Municipal Council from that of the Approving Officer. It wouldn’t be lawful for a Councillor or Municipal Council to unduly influence the Approving Officer for or against a subdivision application. The appeal must be made to the B.C. Supreme Court.

Why don't Municipal Councils make all the decisions on land use?

Municipal Councils set overall land use policies in Official Community Plans and Local Area Plans. They also have the authority to pass and change regulatory bylaws, such as the Zoning Bylaw. These bylaws are enacted through a mandated public hearing process. However, the Municipal Council can’t be involved in the subdivision approval process as this is governed by the Land Title Act and not municipal bylaw.

How do I find out what services will need to be provided for my proposed subdivision?