Policies Relating to Subdivisions
What is a Subdivision?
Subdivision means the division of a parcel of land for the purpose of obtaining separate title(s) to part(s) of the parcel. However, in addition to requiring subdivision approval for the process of dividing a lot or parcel into two or more lots, a land owner, or their authorized representative, may require approval in order to:
(a) Register an interest on a parcel (e.g. A lease agreement for a portion of an existing parcel).
(b) Sell or transfer one or more of a series of lots that are described on a Certificate of Title and are part of a subdivision plan registered at a Land Titles Office prior to July 1, 1950.
(c) Adjust, or realign, existing lot boundaries, without creating new lots.
Subdividing land is an integral part of the land use planning process and is regulated both at the provincial and municipal level. Guidance starts at the provincial level in the form of provincial policies that dictate certain issues municipalities should consider when drafting their own laws and policies. More specifically, the Province stipulates many requirements municipalities must or should follow when considering subdivision applications. These stipulations are found in Part 17 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the associated AB Subdivision and Development Regulation (Regulations). Both of these statutory documents may be found by consulting the AB Municipal Affairs website and then accessing the link relating to the relevant legislation.
At the municipal level, subdivision is guided first by the Municipal Development Plan and/or Area Structure Plan and, secondly, by the Land Use Bylaw (LUB), which dictates, at a more micro level, regulations relating to specific property zoning designations. The subdivision authority, therefore, that is responsible for making decisions relating to subdivision applications, is bound, to a considerable degree, by requirements emanating from both the provincial and municipal level.