A subdivision is the process of altering or creating new legal property boundaries.
All subdivision of land in the City of Port Coquitlam is governed by the Subdivision Servicing Bylaw and Zoning Bylaw, which set out requirements such as minimum lot dimensions, specifications for construction and subdivision procedures.
When is an Application Required?
A subdivision application is required if you are:
- Creating two or more lots from one or more existing lots(s)
- Adjusting or re-aligning an existing property line
- Consolidating two or more lots into one lot
- Creating a bare land strata development
- Creating a phased strata development
- Dedicating property for a road or park
Who is Involved?
- Engineer/BC Land Surveyor/Lawyer (or Notary) – Hired by the developer to assist in the application.
- Approving Officer – Approves all subdivisions.
- Development Engineering Division – Ensures technical compliance with servicing standards in the Subdivision Servicing Bylaw No. 2241.
- Other City divisions/agencies – Other City divisions that review and comment on applications: Building, Transportation, Corporate Office, Parks, Planning and Fire. External agencies that may comment: BC Hydro, Telus, Shaw, Fortis and provincial ministries of environment and transportation.
- Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (formerly Land Title Office) – Registers the application to make the subdivision legal, after approval by the Approving Officer.
Get Started: Pre-Application
Zoning and Official Community Plan Designation
You can find your lot’s zoning and Official Community Plan (OCP) designation on PoCoMAP.
For information about existing uses allowed in your zone, minimum lot sizes and other information, review the Zoning Bylaw. To change the zoning of your property, you may apply for a Rezoning Permit now.
To know the potential uses for your lot based on its OCP designation, visit our OCP.
Watercourse Development Permit – may be required if a watercourse is located within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision.
Development Permit may be required if your property:
- is a Hazardous Conditions Area (review the Official Community Plan)
- includes an archaeological site
- has heritage significance (review the Heritage Resource Inventory)
The servicing of roads, lanes, sidewalks and utilities adjacent to the land being subdivided is required for all subdivision applications and must meet the requirements of the Subdivision Development Servicing Bylaw No 2241.
Other Permits and Regulations
Other permits and regulations that may apply:
Preliminary Layout Review
Before submitting an official subdivision application, the developer may apply for Preliminary Layout Review of the subdivision to find out if the proposed layout is acceptable to the Approving Officer.
- This is ONLY for single-family residential subdivisions that will yield a total of less than four lots.
- This process takes approximately 90 days and a successful Preliminary Layout Review only verifies the feasibility of the proposed layout and is NOT an approved subdivision.
To submit an application for a Preliminary Layout Review:
- Fill out the Preliminary Layout Review Application (pdf)
- Provide one paper copy of a plan showing your proposed subdivision. This plan does not need to show field posting of lot lines, but must show accurate calculated dimensions of all current and proposed lot lines and the area of each lot.
A subdivision application may be made in person at the Development Engineering Counter at the City Hall Annex and must include:
- A completed Subdivision Application form (incomplete applications will not be accepted). Original signatures of all owners are required on the form.
- Payment of the application fee pursuant to the Fees and Charges Bylaw No 3892. Payments can be made via cheque or credit card over the phone.
- One 11″ x 17″ (tabloid) white paper copy of a subdivision plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor. The plans must be signed and dated from a BC Land Surveyor within the last 6 months.
- Photocopy of drivers licence or other government BC ID issued showing owners signature.
- Title search – dated within 30 days of the application
- Corporate search – if the property is owned by a corporation or company
- Letter of consent – a letter of consent from the owner(s) of the property (or properties) giving permission for the applicant to apply for a subdivision application on their behalf.
Please note: We do not accept electronic submissions for subdivision applications.
Upon receipt of the application, the Development Engineering Division will circulate your subdivision proposal to appropriate City staff (i.e. Transportation, Building, Parks, Fire, Planning, Corporate Office) for comment.
In some cases, applications are also referred to external entities for comments such as Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Environment, Agricultural Land Reserve, Metro Vancouver and School District 43.
Please allow 60 days for the application to be reviewed and comments provided in the form of a Preliminary Layout Approval (PLA) letter.
The PLA provided by the Approving Officer will be detailing the requirements for the civil design to be completed by a civil engineer.
Once the design from your civil engineer and all the required reports/studies are received and reviewed, the Approving Officer will decide if the proposed subdivision can proceed.
If so, the Approving Officer issues a Tentative Approval (TA) Letter to the developer that specifies any conditions to be met prior to approval. These requirements may include but are not limited to the following:
- Layout specifications
- Subject to obtaining Rezoning and/or Development Permits
- Removal/relocation of existing buildings
- Dedication of parkland, linear open space and walkways, and roads
- Restrictive covenants and easements; and statutory right-of-ways
- Tree Removal Permit
- Soil Removal and Deposit Permit
- Payment of taxes
- Requirements and/or designs from outside agencies
- Letter of Credit/cash fees paid
It is the developer’s responsibility to comply with all conditions in the letter before the plan can be approved.
Please note: If a rezoning is also required, the applicant may wish to wait until the rezoning has received third reading from Council before proceeding further with their subdivision.
Completion of Requirements
- The developer hires a BC Land Surveyor to complete the subdivision plans for registration.
- The developer, through their Professional Engineer, finalizes the designs for the offsite works and must be approved for construction by the Approving Officer. (There may be several submissions by your Engineer before their design drawings are accepted and approved for construction.)
- The developer hires a legal representative to prepare any legal documents required, such as statutory right-of-ways, easements and covenants.
- All requirements of the Tentative Approval Letter must be completed at this time. This includes cash and Letter of Credit securities, signing of the required Developer’s Agreement and Latecomer Waiver Charge Agreement, and any other required documents.
- If rezoning is required, final reading of the Rezoning Bylaw must be given at this stage.
Final Approval and Registration
- Once all the conditions outlined in the Tentative Approval Letter have been met, the developer’s legal representative (a lawyer or a notary who does land conveyancing) submits the Application to Deposit Plan and survey plan prepared by a Registered Land Surveyor to the Approving Officer.
- The Approving Officer signs the plans and returns them to the developer’s lawyer for registration at the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. The plans must be registered within 60 days of the Approving Officer’s signature.
- Upon registration of the subdivision plan, the applicant’s lawyer will provide City with the new legal plan number and copies of the documents bearing Land Title Office registration numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I transfer my subdivision Application to someone else?
No, subdivision applications are non-transferable if you sell or transfer ownership of the property. The new owner(s) will need to submit a new application with supporting documents and pay all the applicable fees should they decide to subdivide.
How Long Does the Process Take?
On average, the entire subdivision process may take six to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the application and the preparedness of the applicant.
From the time the application is submitted, please allow at least 60 days for it to be reviewed and a Tentative Approval (TA) Letter to be provided.
Once the TA Letter has been provided, the time frame is affected by how long it takes to complete the requirements outlined in the TA Letter.
How Much Does the Subdivision Process Cost?
See the Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 3892 for application fees.
Development Cost Charges are applicable and will be required prior to subdivision approval.
Development Cost Charges
Under Section 559 of the Local Government Act, a municipality can establish development cost charges (DCCs), which are charges levied on development to assist in funding the cost of upgrading or providing infrastructure services and acquiring and developing parkland needed to support new development. DCCs can be collected to help pay for roads, drainage, water and sanitary infrastructure, as well as parkland acquisition and development.
In addition, the municipality collects the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage DCCs and School Site Acquisition charges on behalf of Metro Vancouver, School District 43 and Translink DCC.
Legal costs such as restrictive covenants, statutory right-of-ways or other legal agreements and documents may be required as part of the Tentative Approval Letter requirements. It is the applicant’s responsibility to have these documents prepared for the City’s review.
The City is unable to provide an estimate of offsite works requirements or servicing requirements until an itemized cost estimate review has been provided by the Developer’s Professional Engineer. If the City concurs with the estimate, the developer will bond for that estimate, plus 15%.
When Can a Building Permit Application Be Submitted?
The building permit can be applied for when the new civic address has been assigned, which occurs after the subdivision is registered at Land Title and Survey Authority of BC.
We do not recommend proceeding with a building permit until the subdivision is complete.
Technically, the developer may apply for one building permit before subdivision approval; however, this is extremely risky as the building must meet all the requirements/setbacks for the proposed subdivision. If it does not, the developer must remove whatever was built in order for the subdivision to proceed. This may also incur additional costs. Please note that it would be solely at the developer’s risk, and it is his/her responsibility to make sure all requirements are met.
Location and Mailing Address
City Hall Annex (Above the Bank of Montreal, 200-2564 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 3G4
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)