Subdividing Lots in Coquitlam: How to Subdivide a Lot or Land (The Process)

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Written By: Mariko Baerg, REALTOR of Bridgewell Real Estate Group
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What is subdivision or subdividing?

Subdivision is the process of changing or creating new property (lot) boundaries. The subdivision process requires approval from the City’s Approving Officer for registration of the new subdivision at the Land Titles Office is also required.

When is a subdivision application required?

A subdivision application is required for the following in Coquitlam:

  • Creating two or more lots from one or more existing lots
  • Consolidating two or more lots into one lot
  • Adjusting or realigning an existing property line
  • Dedicating property for a road or park
  • Cancelling gan existing road allowance
  • Creating a bare land strata development
  • Creating several strata lots from one or more existing properties
  • Creating a phased strata development
  • Converting an existing multi-unit development to strata title ownership

subdividing lots in coquitlam

What must be ready prior to applying for a subdivision of a lot?

The following steps are recommended prior to submitting a Subdivision Application in Coquitlam:

  1. Official Community Plan – Land Use Designation: Check the Official Community Plan (OCP) land use maps for the designation of your property and the types of land uses allowed within the corresponding zone. (The OCP designates the types of land uses intended for all areas o the City.
  2. Network Plans: A proposed subdivision layout should use concept and network plans as a guide as they show the proposed location fo future roads, bike lanes, pedestrian paths and trails and the location of desired parkland and linear open spaces.
  3. Area Plans: If a watercourse is located within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision, a watercourse Development Permit will also be required.
  4. Zoning Maps and Zoning Bylaw: Check the City’s Zoning Maps and Zoning Bylaw to find the zoning designation and zoning requirements for your property, including minimum lot size, minimum lot depth, and minimum lot width.
  5. Servicing: the servicing of roads, lanes and sidewalks adjacent to the land being subdivided is required for all subdivision applications and must meet the requirements of the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw.
  6. Tree Cutting: Apply for Tree Cutting Permit if any tree measuring 20 centimetres or more in diameter needs to be removed. (The tree management bylaw applies to all properties in the city of Coquitlam)

What is the subdivision application process in Coquitlam?

To proceed with a subdivision application, complete a Subdivision Application Form and Checklist available on the City’s website or at the Planning and Development Department. All information requested in the Checklist must be provided at time of submittal this will ensure that your application will be referred to the appropriate City Departments and external agencies and responded to in a timely manner.

  1. File Manager Assigned: The application will be assigned a File Manager in the Development Planning Section.
  2. Referrals: The File Manager refers the application to appropriate City Departments, including but not limited to Development Servicing, Transportation services, parks recreation and culture services, building, environmental services, engineering and public works, and fire. The File Manager may, in some circumstances, refer the application to an external agency including the Provincial Ministry of Transportation, the Provincial Ministry of Environment, and/or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
  3. Subdivision Advisory Committee: The Subdivision Advisory Committee reviews the subdivision application to ensure it meets certain City standards, including but not limited to the following:
    1. Official community plan policies
    2. Lot size and dimensions
    3. Road, lane, walkway and emergency vehicle access
    4. Parks, natural features protection
    5. Compatibility with existing subdivision patterns and future subdivision potential of neighbouring properties
    6. Sewer, water, street light, and other services
    7. Neighbourhood amenity preservation
  4. Requirements Letter: The applicant is sent a letter detailing the results of the subdivision advisory committee meeting and may be required to supply grading and site servicing plans, an arborist report, a flood proofing study, and/or a transportation impact study.
  5. Preliminary Layout Approval: Upon receipt of any required additional information, the application will be scheduled for a Subdivision Advisory Committee meeting and if the Committee is satisfied, it will either find the subdivision “Technically Feasible” or grant the proposed subdivision PLA with conditions that must be met prior to final approval. The PLA is valid for 180 days from the date the subdivision advisory committee grants approval. Conditions of the PLA typically include but are not necessarily limited to, the applicant providing:
    1. Development servicing infrastructure, including roads, sewer, sidewalks
    2. Legal documents for any required statutory rights of way, covenants, or easements
    3. Payment of development cost charges, connection fees, Greater Vancouver sewerage and drainage district fees, and school site acquisition charges
    4. Dedication of five percent parkland, or payment in lieu for a subdivision creating three or more lots and
    5. Payment of any current or outstanding property taxes
  1. Final Approval: Once the conditions are satisfied, the approving officer can grant final approval and the applicant is then responsible for registering the subdivision plan with the Land Title Office.

Can I subdivide a lot with a gas line running under it?

You cannot subdivide a lot if there is a gas line running under it, for example a Trans Mountain line. You also cannot build overtop of that line, so if you are thinking about adding another building on the property you should make sure you know the exact boundaries of the line and where you can or cannot build.

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Subdividing a lot can be a tricky and detail oriented process, and it’s important that you’re working with a realtor that knows what they’re doing. Are you looking for a property to subdivide? Are you currently thinking of listing a home that is sub dividable? Whatever it is, we can help you. Give us a call at 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200. Or email mariko@bridgewellgroup.ca

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