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What is a subdivision?

Subdivision is the process of dividing land into smaller parcels.

The Subdivision Authority, as defined in the Municipal Government Act (623), is authorized to make subdivision decisions on behalf of The City. In Calgary the Subdivision Authority is currently the Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) and the Senior Subdivision Officer.

All Subdivision Applications are required to be submitted electronically (ePlans) through VISTA.

There are several types of subdivision which serve different purposes:

Outline plan

Outline plans are prepared as an initial stage in major subdivision applications, usually in outlying areas.  They are not statutory; however, they are acknowledged in the legislation and short-circuit the circulation process in subsequent tentative plans.  They are usually processed together with land use redesignations, to ensure a "workable" distribution of land uses, open space, road networks, etc.

Once approved by the Subdivision Authority (Calgary Planning Commission), they form the basic concept for the subsequent tentative plans.  There is no appeal route for outline plans as they are not statutory documents.

Tentative plan

A tentative plan is prepared when a proposed subdivision is to be undertaken by a plan of subdivision.  The tentative plan may be based upon an approved outline plan but will include more detail.  Decisions are made by the Subdivision Authority.

Unlike outline plans, tentative plans are legal plans and decisions or conditions related to them may be appealed by the applicant.

Subdivision by instrument

Subdivision by instrument occurs in situations where additional parcel(s) will be created and they can be described without a survey.  The description identifying the new parcel must be satisfactory to the Provincial Land Titles office.

Subdivision by instrument is the form of subdivision often used for splitting lots for inner city infill development.  Such infill subdivisions, within established communities, may be accompanied by a development permit application describing the structure proposed on at least one of the new lots.

Decisions are made by the Subdivision Authority.  Appeals may be made by the applicant.

Legal plan or 'Linen'

This plan provides an accurate record of the survey markers placed in the ground, in the form of iron pins, from which dimensions are taken.  It shows detail as to location, orientation, and size of all parcels.  The Legal Plan or Linen must be submitted to The City for endorsement within a year of the Subdivision approval date.

When endorsed by The City, the plan is registered at the Land Titles Office.  The transfer of title of lots cannot occur until the plan is registered.  The endorsed documents must be registered at the Land Titles Office within a year of the endorsement date; however, an extension may be granted by The City.

Please note: If there is no Area Structure Plan or Community Plan, adjacent landowners must be notified.  In developed areas adjacent landowners are usually notified.  Any comments received from adjacent owners must be considered as part of the decision making process.