Subdivision Surveys

A subdivision survey is performed when a landowner wishes to divide a lot into 2 or more parcels. The result is each new lot will acquire a separate Title.

The first step in the subdivision process is the application. The application can be completed by the landowner, or, if desired, by an agent acting for the landowner. The agent can be an Alberta Land Surveyor or another professional such as engineer, lawyer, or planner.

The application can usually be found on the City/County’s website or at the applicable office. Before completing the application, the landowner/agent should be aware of the land use bylaws and any other planning documents that may impact the subdivision process. As part of the application process, a tentative plan will also be required. Depending on the jurisdiction, this may be completed by the landowner or may need to be completed by an Alberta Land Surveyor.

The Subdivision Authority may also request that a Real Property Report or site plan be done to show existing buildings, right of ways, and sewer facilities, etc. and their associated setback distances to the new boundaries.

A decision on the application will come from the Subdivision Authority usually within 60 days. The Subdivision Authority can accept, refuse, or vary the application. With the approval will also come conditions. These conditions can be vary from approaches being required, sewage facilities being installed within regulations, to a road widening being required before the subdivision will be endorsed by the municipality.

The Subdivision Plan can usually be done by a Plan of Survey or  a Descriptive Plan. With a Plan of Survey, statutory iron posts are placed at the corners of the subdivision whereas a Descriptive Plan there are no monuments placed. The main difference is that the Descriptive Plan may be less expensive to complete but the downside is the landowner will usually need a Land Surveyor to establish the boundaries if needed in the future.

The other aspect of a Descriptive Plan is that it can only be used in certain situations. For example:

  • The parcel being subdivided is the first one out of a quarter section
  • The parcel is square or rectangular
  • There is no dedication for a road widening or reserve

Most often the conditional approval will be forwarded to Land Titles to have them confirm if a Descriptive Plan will be allowed.

Upon completion of the Descriptive Plan or Plan of Survey, The plan along with consents will be sent to the landowner, Subdivision Authority, and any other applicable interests. If the Subdivision Authority is confident the conditions have been met, they endorse the consents and return them to the Land Surveyor. After all consents have been received all documents are then sent by the Land Surveyor to Land Titles for registration. A fee is also levied by Land Titles for each registration.





Subdivision information sources

Alberta Land Surveyors Association (Subdivisions)

City of Edmonton

City of St Albert

Strathcona County

Parkland County

Thorhild County

Lamont County

Sturgeon County

Westlock County

Leduc County

Lac Ste.Anne County

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