Land subdivision involves the creation of legal parcels of land. This is one of the more common procedures within the development process when new titles are to be created.
There are several major considerations with regard to subdivision approval:
- The proposed subdivision plan must be prepared by a professional planner or licensed surveyor.
- An application is made to the approving authority for subdivision. The Community Planning, Land Use and Subdivision Branch of the Ministry of Government Relations is an approving authority, and a number of cities have been given the authority to approve subdivisions.
- Proposals must comply with The Planning and Development Act, 2007, and any OCP or zoning bylaw.
- A completed subdivision application form and a plan of proposed subdivision are required.
- The suitability of land for development is considered.
- The provision of services, dedicated lands, etc. is considered.
- Servicing agreements may be required by the municipality prior to subdivision approval.
- An application for subdivision can be made with a request for an amendment to an OCP and zoning bylaw.
- Subdivision appeals may be made to the municipality’s Development Appeals Board (DAB) or the Saskatchewan Municipal Board Planning Appeals Committee (SMB). The SMB can hear appeals made from the DAB.
- If a municipality is an approving authority (most cities), the appeal is first made to the local DAB, and can be further appealed to the SMB. During the process, the application is circulated to the government departments that would have an interest in or be affected by the proposal. In this way, the requirements for an Environmental Impact Statement, for example, would be determined.
As a condition of subdivision approval, a signed servicing agreement with the local municipality may be required. Such an agreement is a legal contract between the developer and the municipality to establish responsibility for both on- and off-site development costs. Where an agreement is required by the municipality, pursuant to Section 172 of The Planning and Development Act, 2007, it must be signed prior to subdivision approval by the approving authority. Because of its financial implications, the servicing agreement is one of the most important steps of the development process and should be anticipated in the initial phases of the development program.
The developer should consider the following factors in anticipation of signing a servicing agreement:
- The provision of on-site services in a subdivision should include roads, utilities, water lines, sewer lines, drainage, street lighting, park development and other authorized services.
- Charges may be levied for on- or off-site services, which may relate to roads, utility lines, water lines, sewage lines and other authorized services provided to the subdivision.
- The servicing agreement usually specifies the development standards for all improvements.
- The developer usually maintains all services for an interim period before municipal takeover. If this is the case, these costs should be considered in preparing the projected cash flow statements as part of the business plan.
Subdivision and Servicing Agreement Information:
- To learn more about subdivision and servicing agreements, and to access agreement samples visit the Community Planning, Land Use and Subdivision Branch of the Ministry of Government Relations.