What is Subdivision?
Subdivision is the process of altering legal property boundaries. Most often this involves the division of a larger property into smaller lots. It may also include the realignment of an existing property, or the consolidation of one or more properties into a single parcel.
Legislation regulating the subdivision process can be found in the Local Government Act, and the Land Title Act of British Columbia. In New Westminster the Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw No. 7142, 2007 requires that all subdivisions be approved by the City’s Approving Officer. The Director of Engineering Services has been appointed by Council as the City’s Approving Officer.
The subdivision process ensures that:
- New lots are adequately serviced with water, sewers, underground electrical, communications, street lighting, roads, sidewalks, street trees, and other requirements identified by the City.
- The subdivision meets the minimum lot size and frontage requirements under the Zoning Bylaw.
- The subdivision supports future development of neighbouring properties.
- The subdivision is consistent with the requirements of the Official Community Plan, Bylaws and City Policies.
We have more information about subdivisions in this guide: Subdivisions Guide. For more information, please contact the Engineering Department at 604-527-4592 or at if you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your application.
Step 1 - Pre-Application
Before submitting your written application, confirm the feasibility of the subdivision with the Planning staff in Development Services.
Step 2 - Submit Application
Please note: There are new fees and rates for 2023
Submit application with application fee, all required documentation and plans to the Engineering Department.
Step 3 - Application Review
The application is circulated to various City departments and Provincial Ministries where applicable and the servicing requirements are identified.
Step 4 - Preliminary Layout Approval (PLA)
A preliminary approval letter is issued by the Approving Officer outlining the servicing requirements if the subdivision is supported. Requirements may include entering into a Works & Services Agreement with the City for construction of the site servicing.
Step 5 - Works & Services Agreement
If a Works & Services Agreement is required, an Engineering Consultant must be retained to prepare detailed site servicing drawings and provide inspections during construction.
Step 6 - Final Approval
Once all conditions for servicing the subdivision have been met, including payment of all fees, deposits and entering into a Works & Services Agreement the final subdivision plan will be considered for approval by the Approving Officer.
Step 7 - Registration with Land Title Office
Subdivision is registered with the Land Title Office and the Works and Services are completed.
For more information, please call 604-527-4592 if you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your application.
Click here to download the Subdivision Process - A General Guide and the Subdivision Application.
Complete Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw
Schedule A - Works and Services Agreement
Schedule B - Design Criteria
Schedule C - Supplementary specifications
and detail drawings
Schedule D - Drafting and Drawing
Submission Standards (zip file)
Schedule E - Typical Letter of Credit format
The following items must be included in the geotechnical report; failure to do so may result in delayed acceptance and/or possible rejection of the report.
- legal description of the lot
- purpose of the report
- site description and proposed development
- proposed main floor elevation
- identification of the flood construction level (if applicable)
- field investigation
- soil and groundwater conditions
- conclusion and recommendations
- confirmation that the proposed development is feasible
- fill placement and pre-loading recommendations and any anticipated short and long term settlement
- duration of pre-loading as applicable
- when the foundation can be constructed following primary consolidation
- recommendations for settlement gauge and piezometer installations
- recommendations for driveway, sidewalk and site preparation
- confirmation that the fill placement can be carried out safely without causing damage to adjoining buildings or structures, utilities, infrastructure or undue settlement of neighbouring lands
- adjoining property will not be subject to flooding as a result of fill placement
- pile foundation
- confirmation that there will be no potential damage to adjacent structures from pile driving
- lot grading
- methane gas
- reference methane gas barrier or ventilation system
- methods used to prevent potential damage to services to dwellings
- review and inspection services required by the geotechnical engineer
- detailed borehole logs and site plan locating the boreholes
The report must be signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of British Columbia.
If a subsidence covenant is not already registered on the lands, provide a one page summary of the geotechnical report called “Schedule A” and attach it to the subsidence covenant to be registered on title. This summary needs to include the wording; “the subject parcel of the land may be used safely for the intended use” either residential or commercial as applicable to the specific zoning of the land. In addition, it should make reference to the lot grading plan.