Subdivision Plans

Subdivision plans are the bridge from concept to construction. It’s when specific locations for property lines, utilities, roads, sidewalks and buildings are identified. 

Subdivision usually occurs when a property owner divides a parcel of land into several smaller lots or combines two or more lots into one larger parcel. Condominium plans are also considered to be a form of subdivision.

Subdivision can be as complex as a whole new neighbourhood or as simple as dividing a property in two. Even the smallest subdivisions can impact the character of a neighbourhood, the environment, parks, neighbours, water and sewers, emergency services and schools.

General rules

Subdivisions must comply with Cochrane's Land Use Bylaw

Thinking about applying for a subdivision?

Step 1: discuss your proposal with Planning staff as soon as possible. We can provide early guidance, describe the process and ensure you are headed in the right direction. Before you apply for subdivision, you should know:

  • the land use designation(s) of your property: check the land use map for your neighbourhood 
  • check the Land Use Bylaw to find out if subdivision is allowed, and if so, the minimum dimensions for each lot
  • check the Land Use Bylaw for other rules: density, site coverage, height, setbacks and more
  • you may have to demonstrate technical feasibility (servicing plan or a traffic impact assessment

Step 2: complete and submit a Subdivision Application. Pay fees associated with your application.

Tip: use the checklist to make sure you have everything you need 

Please note: fees vary according to the size and complexity of the proposed subdivision and may include the application fee, engineering review fee, endorsement fees, off-site levies, acreage assessments and a calculation of the voluntary community enhancement and parks development fees.

Subdivision applications also require an automatically renewable, irrevocable form of security for the costs of services and other infrastructure required to develop the subdivision.

What happens next?

Once we receive your application, Town staff give it a thorough review and determine if there is sufficient information to make a decision. If we need more information, we'll get in touch to let you know what's missing.

Your application is circulated to various Town departments, outside agencies and Cochrane Planning Commission (CPC) for comment. We'll let you know if there are any comments so you can address them. 

CPC renders a decision on the application as soon as possible (within 60 days; longer if you have granted an extension). CPC meets on the third Wednesday of each month.

After reviewing the development proposal, comments and recommendations, CPC may approve the application, place conditions on the approval or cite reasons for refusal. 

Pursuant to the Municipal Government Act, the Town and school authorities may claim a maximum of 10% of the property for municipal and/or school reserves. Undevelopable portions of your property may be required to be dedicated as environmental reserve. Subdivision of parcels containing less than 0.8 hectares (1.98 acres) is exempt from providing reserves.


Decisions may be appealed to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. To appeal, complete and submit a Notice of Appeal form within 19 days of the Notice of Decision.

Time Extensions

If you have been issued a Notice of Decision for your subdivision application, that decision is valid for 1 year from the decision date.  If you require an extension to complete the conditions, please complete and submit a Time Extension form 40 days before the 1 year anniversary of the decision date and include a letter describing why an extension is needed and pay the fee.

Addressing Guidelines
When applying for subdivisions where new addresses are required, please use the Addressing Guidelines for the proposed addressing plan.