Land Subdivision

When a person wants to subdivide out a parcel from a quarter section of land, adjust the boundary between two existing parcels or develop a multi-lot subdivision, the Municipal Government Act and the Land Titles Act require that they obtain the approval of the County. In order to enable consistent decision making by the Subdivision Authority, County Council developed policies in the Municipal Development Plan. In summary the current policies provide that:

  • Every landowner of an unsubdivided quarter section has the right to subdivide two parcels out of a quarter section without the requirement to rezone the parcels out of the Agricultural District. Farmstead parcels of a size that accommodates the farm yard up to 10 acres and bare parcels of up to 5 acres must make a financial contribution to the Rural Development Fund in the amount of $50. For farmstead parcels larger than the actual farm yard and bare parcels larger than 5 acres the financial contribution to the Rural Development Fund is $1,000 per acre.
  • When a landowner wants to subdivide additional parcels out of a quarter section, i.e. a third or additional parcel(s), the minimum number of parcels that must be subdivided out is five (certain exemptions apply). This means that after the first two parcels have been subdivided, a landowner must undertake multi-lot subdivision if they wanted to subdivide additional parcels. The multi-lot subdivision process is more involved and requires several planning approvals, some of which are on provincial level, including an area structure plan, engineering studies and a development agreement which includes a security deposit for all improvements that will be transferred to the County (e.g. public roads). The developer also has to dedicate environmental and/or municipal reserves to the County.

When a landowner subdivides a second or additional parcel(s) out of a quarter section the County will require the dedication of environmental and/or municipal reserves, the latter typically in the form of cash in-lieu-of land. The manner of determining and agreeing on the land values for this purpose is explained in Policy 1.32 Municipal and Environmental Reserve Values.

The Municipal Government Act states that a municipality must make a decision on a subdivision application within 60 days of receiving a complete application. Usually the County is able to meet this processing timeline, however if we do not, the applicant has the option of deeming the application refused and appealing it to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board or enter into an agreement with the County to extend the timeline. The County's subdivision application form provides for such an agreement.

If you are planning to apply for a subdivision in the County it may be helpful to review the Land Use Bylaw, the Planning and Subdivision Guidelines and other relevant County policies in order to better understand the statutory requirements and the format and content requirements of an application. Also, in order to save your time and resources, it is advisable to call the County's Planning and Development Services to discuss your proposal before you file an application.

The County requires that the applicant for a subdivision application dedicate 4.9415 metres road widening to the County in accordance with Administrative Policy 1.11 – Primary Road Dedication and Upgrades and Subdivision Registration along all the road frontages of the quarter section. Road dedication shall be by way of a road plan and the cost of preparing and registering the road plan shall be the applicant's responsibility.

The applicant must also obtain written confirmation from an accredited Safety Codes Officer that the sewage disposal system complies with the Private Sewage Disposal Systems Regulation (Alta. Reg. 229/97) respecting the setback distances from property lines, buildings, bodies of water and water sources. Please note that any issues identified by the Safety Codes Officer regarding the operation of the sewage disposal system must be corrected before the final approval will be given to the subdivision application.

Satisfactory arrangements must be made with the County of Stettler No. 6 for access to the proposed parcel and the remainder of the quarter-section, including the construction or upgrading of approaches and off-site access roads, where deemed necessary. Please refer to the County's Policy 5.5 Installation of Approaches and Culverts, Policy 5.8 Road Construction and Policy 5.9 Road Specifications. You may be eligible for road cost sharing from the County (see Policy 5.12).

For multi-lot subdivisions you will be required to prepare an outline plan or an area structure plan and engineering studies, as well as enter into a development agreement with the County. Policy 5.16 Engineering Design Guidelines and General Construction Specifications describes the relevant requirements.

For multi-lot subdivisions you would have to provide a community name and street names (see Policy 300.8 Community and Road Naming Procedures).

You may be required to hard surface a road when your multi-lot subdivision is within one mile of existing pavement, or to provide dust control where your subdivision impacts other residences. The Municipal Development PlanPolicy 5.2 Dust Control and Policy 5.17 Dust Control on Secondary Highways provide more information.

The applicant must comply with Bylaw 1430-10 relative to making arrangements for civic addressing of the new lot(s). Policy 300.7 Rural Addressing describes the relevant requirements.

There may be many other aspects that impact your proposed subdivision. It is our role to advise you of these matters. Please contact us for more information.

Subdivision Application Form

Subdivision Fees

Jacinta Donovan, Development Officer

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Cara McKenzie, Development Officer

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Johan van der Bank, Director of Planning and Development

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