Subdivision is the process of dividing land into two or more parcels under the Land Title Act or Strata Property Act.  Before a subdivision is approved roads, sewage treatment and utilities have to be put in place.  Subdivisions are approved or rejected by a provincial “Approving Officer”.  In Sechelt, the Director of Development Services is the provincial Approving Officer for subdivision approval.  He/she has to make sure all subdivisions satisfy local and provincial requirements such as Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw, health regulations, environmental regulations, and subdivision servicing regulations.

Subdivision process

Subdivision approval starts with filling out the application form that identifies the proposed subdivision, paying the application fee and by providing all the necessary documentation that outlines the subdivision.  The District encourages you to meet with one of our planners at an early stage to discuss which requirements might apply to your specific situation.  When the application is complete, the proposal will be referred out for comments from agencies like Vancouver Coastal Health, Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, Fire Department, etc.  Based on the referral results you may receive “Preliminary Layout Review (PLR)”.  This is a letter outlining all the conditions that have to be met before the subdivision can be approved.  One of the main requirements for subdivision approval is a servicing agreement (prepared by the Engineering Department) that specifies required off site services (roads, sewers, drainage).  When all the conditions are met and the lots are serviced with utilities, the subdivision may be approved by the Approving Officer and forwarded to the Land Title Office for registration.

For more detailed information please review the Applications Guide.

Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw

Subdivision requirements include engineering standards for roads, sewer, and servicing.  Most applicants use registered professionals to outline a plan of subdivision, for example roads, sewer, septic systems, lot layout.  A complete and detailed overview of subdivision requirements is outlined in the District of Sechelt Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw No. 430, 2003.

Development Cost Charges

Development Cost Charges (DCCs) help fund future municipal infrastructure costs.  Anybody who subdivides land pays Development Cost Charges into earmarked DCC Reserve Funds for:
  • Sewer system (where applicable)
  • Roads
  • Stormwater Management
  • Parks
  • Water Service (Provided by Sunshine Coast Regional District Bylaw No. 693, 2015, which came into effect March 8, 2016)

A new Development Cost Charge Bylaw No. 554, 2016 was adopted February 1, 2017. DCCs are paid at time of subdivision approval in the case of single family residential lots or at time of building permit for multi-family residential construction, industrial, commercial or institutional construction.

Subdivision and Development – Servicing Agreements

One of the responsibilities that lie within the Engineering Department is the review and implementation of the engineering requirements of the Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw as they pertain to property development.

New development often requires the construction of new roads, or upgrades to existing roads, boulevards, sanitary sewer system, drainage system, streetlights and other utilities.  Engineering designs are reviewed against the bylaw requirements and best engineering practices by the District’s Development Engineer.  Upon design approval, permission for construction is granted through a Servicing Agreement process.

In addition to the requirements of Bylaw No. 430, the design and construction of the built environment must be guided by a vision of the District’s future, the Official Community Plan, and attention to public safety and environmental concerns.  Staff are committed to ensuring that all municipal infrastructure meets the needs and standards of the community and that delivery of services to residents and businesses is provided in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible.