Subdivision happens when a property owner either divides a parcel of land into smaller lots or combines lots into a larger parcel. Subdivision plans lay out the details of proposed subdivisions, identifying specific locations for property lines, roads and buildings.
Because subdivisions impact the surrounding neighbourhood, environment and municipal services, applications are reviewed by the Cochrane Planning Commission for compliance with the Land Use Bylaw. Subdivisions as complex as a new neighbour or condominium building and as simple as dividing a property in two all must complete the same application process.
Step one: consultation
We advise that you discuss your proposal with Planning staff before starting your application. We can provide guidance on the process. Before you begin, you should know:
- the land use designation of your property
- if subdivision is allowed and the minimum dimensions for each lot
- land use rules such as density, site coverage, height and setbacks
You can find this information in the Land Use Bylaw and by consulting the land use map for your neighbourhood. You may also need to demonstrate technical feasibility by providing a servicing plan or traffic impact assessment.
Step two: application
Once you have consulted Planning staff, you can complete and submit an application. When submitting your application, be prepared to pay the associated fees.
Please note that fees vary based on size and complexity of the proposed subdivision. Fees may include:
- application fees
- engineering review fees
- endorsement fees
- off-site levies
- acreage assessments
- a calculation of the voluntary community enhancement and parks development fees
Please refer to the fee schedule for the cost of associated fees.
Please also review the subdivision application checklist to make sure your application is complete.
Your application will also require an automatically renewable, irrevocable form of security. This is for the costs of services and other infrastructure required to develop a subdivision.
Step three: application review
Once we receive your application, our staff will complete an initial review. This review ensures there is enough information to proceed with the application. If we require more information, we will contact you.
Following initial review, your application is forwarded to other Town departments, outside agencies and Cochrane Planning Commission (CPC). These reviewers provide comments which will be forwarded to you to be addressed.
CPC is responsible for a decision on the application and meets on the third Wednesday of every month. CPC reviews the proposal, comments and recommendations before approving the application, placing conditions on the approval or citing reasons for refusal. They will make a decision on the application within 60 days unless you have granted an extension.
Under the Municipal Government Act, the Town and school authorities may claim a maximum of 10 per cent of the property for municipal and/or school reserves. Portions of your property that are unsuitable for development may be required to be dedicated as an environmental reserve. Subdivision of parcels containing less than 0.8 hectares (1.98 acres) is exempt from this requirement.
Appeals and extensions
If you would like to appeal a CPC decision, you must submit a Notice of Appeal form within 21 days of the Notice of Decision. Appeals are handled by the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
When you receive a Notice of Decision on your application, that decision is valid for one year from the decision date. You may request an extension up to 40 days before the one-year anniversary of the decision date. To do so, complete and submit a Time Extension form along with a letter describing why you need an extension.
When applying for subdivisions where new addresses are required, please use the Addressing Guidelines for the proposed addressing plan.